I used to work at a call center in Dubuque, IA that handles the business for USA Voicemail, OAN Services, Direct USA (and other different names they went by). This whole company was under one name of DaData. In my opinion, this was a huge scam and I found after working on the project for a lil while it was also unethical!
Usually what happens, is you are out on the internet, and you are taking a survey or trying to sign up to win something free. In order to proceed with the survey (or be entered into the drawing) you need to give your information (so they can contact you when you win, right?) which includes your HOME telephone number. (Cell phone number do not work.) You also have to include your e-mail address. Once you sign up for this an automated e-mail is sent to the e-mail address provided telling you that you have been enrolled in this voicemail service. The e-mail explains (of course in the fine print of the terms & conditions) that you have I believe its 24 hours to call and cancel the service at no charge, but then after that you will begin to see the charges on your home telephone bill.
Let me tell you a little bit about the "service" you are getting. Once you sign up for the service you are given an 800 # which you can give out to friends, family, etc. They can then call that # and leave you a voicemail and you call the # to retrieve your messages. Supposedly, this is ideal for single women (who don't want to give their private # out to men they just met), small businesses (so their customers have a toll-free # to call), families with students in college, military, etc And this "great service" can be yours for the low price of $12.95 or $14.95 (depending on which Voicemail company it is and which website you signed up on) and some are even $29.95! Now, in this day and age of cell phone with their own voicemails, I do not know why anybody would willingly sign up for this service.
So now that you have been scammed, what can you do? Well, there should be an 800# next to the company's name on your phone bill. If not, you should call your phone company and they should be able to give you the 800# to the voicemail company. Now most phone companies will not credit you back for these charges, that is why you need the voicemail companies 800# to call them and demand your money back! Most likely you will have to be on hold for a long time (I know when I worked at nights sometimes people were waiting 20 min to talk to someone). Please be patient and eventually you will be connected with a person.
Now when you are connected with a person, (I know it will be hard) but please try to remain calm and ask them why this is on your bill and all the other questions you have. (Just a lil tip--if you are an a** and mean the customer service rep won't want to give you all of your money back, but if you are nice then there is more of a chance for you to get your full refund) Like I said before, this is only signed up for on the internet, and they should tell you which website it was where you got signed up for this at. Some people actually do sign up for this and do not know what they are doing and other times, someone else has signed up for it. Like a minor child--in which case you would receive a full credit back of all your charges. If it's a spouse who signed up for it, they will ask you if he/she is authorized to make changes on your bill, and you need to say NO, so that way you can get all of your credits back, otherwise you would only get 2 credits back. (And I have seen people being charged for years and never know, but if you say you do not know that person--even if its your son/dau-- and that person is not authorized to make changes on your bill then you will get all of your credit back.)
If you do say that your spouse is authorized (or anyone else) to make changes on your bill, then you will only receive 2 credits back (most likely the charge you are calling about and an upcoming charge that they can't stop from being posted to your bill). But let's say you have been being charged this for months and you want all of your money back, then you will need to request an address (or a fax #) and write a letter to receive the rest of your credits. And another thing that sucks about this crappy scam is anybody can pick a phone # out of the blue and that could happen to be your phone # and you get billed for this. There is no verification process at all in this company (other than checking the box that says "Please verify that all this information is correct")
So hopefully this was some help to you. I don't understand how this company keeps getting away with what they are doing. In my opinion it seems illegal, or at the very least, terrible business practice. I've heard many times from callers that they are going to report them to the BBB and their attorney general. I urge you to do that as well. The more people to complain then hopefully they will be out of business. I strongly caution you to look out at what you are agreeing to on the internet, especially when it asks for your personal information. You could end up paying for something you have no idea what it is.