• Report: #76892

Complaint Review: Talk America

  • Submitted: Mon, January 12, 2004
  • Updated: Sat, September 25, 2004

  • Reported By:Lake City MN
Talk America
P.O. Box 2356 Omaha, Nebraska U.S.A.

Talk America Will not cancel your bill if you accidentally signed up on the internet ripoff Omaha Nebraska

*Consumer Comment: Excessive Charges

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Pfah. This company ...unscrupulous representation methods and ...questionable selling practices

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I received a bill in the mail from this company in the amount of $11.43. No long distance calls were made, the charges are as follows; Monthly billing fee $5.95, Paper option $1.95, TSR Administration Fee $1.95, Fed. Telecommunications Relay Service $.01, Fed. USF Combined High Cost and School $.58, Fed. Excise Tax $.31, and State Sales Tax $.68. My wife accidentally signed up for this service thinking there was just charges of 3.9 cents per minute and she didnt read the fine print. When I called to dispute the charges and take this service off my phone line, the representative got real defensive and told me to take car of my obligations and that anything done on my computer is my responsibility. He told me to read my internet provider rules. PLEASE BEWARE OF THIS SCAM TELEPHONE COMPANY. Call your phone company and ask them to look for a Long Distance Provider named Talk America and there ID # is 6746. If they see it, tell them to take it off your phone line.

Lake City, Minnesota

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2004 03:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/talk-america/omaha-nebraska-68103-2356/talk-america-will-not-cancel-your-bill-if-you-accidentally-signed-up-on-the-internet-ripof-76892. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Excessive Charges

AUTHOR: Cindy - (U.S.A.)

Kevin states, "But any telephone service you enroll in will have these charges (with perhaps the exception of your paper billing charge)."

I disagree. I have had phone services through a variety of carriers and have never seen charges like those from Talk America. I had long distance service with them for several years (don't aks me why), and in a month when I made absolutely no calls, my charges were over $24.00 just for fees and taxes.

The Talk America customer service agreement states that they charge all required and allowed fees and taxes. Not every phone company charges every single fee they can get away with. The operative word here is "allowed". My local phone company charges me the same amount per month for all taxes, fees, my home phone line, unlimited local calls, caller id, call waiting, etc.

The tariff documentation for Talk America is too complex and cumbersome for most consumers to wade through. I was trying to find out what all of the fees and taxes on my account were for. I wound up with four or five PDF files of over 90 pages each explaining the tariffs, in terms I had difficulty understanding. I gave up.

Talk America is definitely not a bargain, and they make it as difficult as possible for the consumer to understand their charges.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Pfah. This company ...unscrupulous representation methods and ...questionable selling practices

AUTHOR: Kevin - (U.S.A.)

Let's face it, here - your wife didn't 'accidently' sign up for the services; she signed up for them knowingly and willingly and was surprised when she found out taxes and surcharges were added.

There might be some validation here if she had spoken with a customer service representative and they failed to mentioned the taxes and surchages - such an individual could actually have action taken against them up to and including termination. But any telephone service you enroll in will have these charges (with perhaps the exception of your paper billing charge).

This company might have some unscrupulous representation methods and some questionable selling practices, but in this case your wife clearly didn't look into everything she was signing up for. When buying something off of the internet, even if it's from God himself, be sure to read all fine print or you'll no doubt be surprised.

One more thing - unless you signed up for it, either specifically or through the process of starting up your phone line for the first time (when asked who you want for your long distance carrier, be sure to name a specific company!

Saying 'the phone compay', for example, will sign you up with one specific provider; there are other call names even I am not familiar with) you won't find Talk America on your bill.
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