Optimum Voice Mail offers coupons at http://prizeamerica.aavalue.com/VMAILVERSIONS/TEMPLATE757_1.HTML
They also promice "1 free month of voice mail." In very small print they note that there is a $15.54 (plus tax) non-refundable fee, however this information is well buried in their ad.
OVM is an internet site registered to (no name) @ 50 Hill Street, Suite 161 Southampton, NY 11937, an apparant mail drop. An affiliate of OVM is i-tpv.com located at 328 Commonwealth Avenue 1st Floor Boston, MA. There is a reference on OVM's "cancellation site" to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail to that address received no response.
OVM turns billing over to OAN Services who automatically bill the subscriber's local telephone company. If the subscriber complains, they are referred to 800-339-6340 (or 800-944-0171) where an operator handles cancellation requests. Following the cancellation request, an e-mail is sent by OVM stating that payment for the "non-refundable fee" must be sent to: P.O. Box 990165, Boston, MA 02199 as "you remain legally responsible for the charges incurred while the Company provided you with toll-free voice mail services." They do offer an onerous "refund" application which must be mailed.
OAN is registered in Maine as a d/b/a for ACI Billing Services of San Antonio, TX. ACI is owned by Billing Services Group which also owns Billing Concepts and other companies. Its chairman & CEO is Patrick J. Haynes, III. According to their web site (http://www.acibilling.com/) they are the "Largest Telecommunications Billing and Settlement Service in U.S."
While it is clear that (1) OVM disguises its true purpose (to solicit unwanted 800 number service) and (2) OVM plays on the name "Optimum Voice Mail," suggesting that they are related to Optimum On-Line, it is not entirely clear that OVM is directly owned by OAN Services. However, calls to OAN are answered by OVM strongly suggesting a close business connection. Whether or not there is an actual ownership interest, OAN and its sister companies play an active role in facilitating OVM's deceptive practices.
Rockaway, New Jersey