I was paying bills this morning and noticed that my phone bill with AT&T was substantially higher than normal. Go figure - the back page was from a billing company called HBS billing services that billed me for another company called UNITED TEL, LLC - a recurring monthly charge of $14.95.
I called the HBS company and told them that this was not my bill. They gave me the information the fraudulent party used to create the bill, and the IP address of the party. It was done in the Virgin Islands, they used an old address, half my email address, and my phone number to commit this fraud. HBS then told me that they would take care of the problem, but that it might take several billing cycles to clear it up, and that I should call the phone company to have this type of billing blocked. So I called AT&T and they told me there was nothing they could do about it. They said they cannot block this kind of billing, and that they could not remove the charge from my bill. I stated that I was not going to pay it, and the agent informed me that I would receive late charges and possible shut off if I did not pay it. Then he tried to sell me more AT&T services. This is ridiculous and I am left feeling like I have no recourse.
I called the originator of the billing yesterday - UNITED TEL, LLC - and the woman who took my call was THE most rude person I have ever spoken to in my life! I told her that the charges were fraudulent, to stop billing my phone, and never ever to bill my phone for anything ever again. She tried to argue with me about the charge of course, and I tried explaining to her that I did not authorize it, and that the IP address of the person who ordered it was not even in my COUNTRY!! I told her I wanted my money back, and the woman (named Melissa) said, "I'm not giving you anything." WOW! Then she called ME an explative and hung up on me!! Holy cow...
So United Tel, in my eyes, is nothing but a fraudulent company set up to scam and cram on unsuspecting people using their phone bills. I had no idea that companies like this can use your telephone like an open line of credit, and just bill whatever they want to it. What I don't understand is why they have to bill through HBS, and then through AT&T. What I find the most screwed up is how in the world this can be allowed to continue - there should be criminal charges against this company at the very least. I am just livid.