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Report: #192494

Complaint Review: Roctel And ESBI - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Kirkland Washington
  • Roctel And ESBI roctelcorp Internet U.S.A.

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On May 10 (2:30 in the afternoon) someone from a company I never heard of (Privacy Plus) leaves a message on my answering machine saying, "they are taking the opportunity to remind me about starting the next month of billing".

Since I had never heard of these people and since I do get a lot of wrong-number phone messages, I just deleted it.

Then my phone bill from Verizon (billing date of April 28) arrived with a $16.72 charge from "another provider" - Roctel! And FOUR times on this one sheet of paper, Verizon tells me to not contact Verizon but to contact ESBI directly for any questions! So it obvious that Verizon expects to receive plenty of customer flack and is trying to head-it-off!!!! Unbelievable.
I phoned the phone number for ESBI and of course could only get an automated "customer service" (joke). So I punched in my ten-digit phone number and was told "Your cancellation request has been received. Thank you for trying Privacy Plus". Unfortunately, I have this bad feeling they will not be going away easily or quickly.

Patricia
Kirkland, Washington
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2006 05:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/roctel-and-esbi/internet/roctel-and-esbi-ripoff-phone-service-that-i-never-requested-just-appears-on-my-verizon-pho-192494. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author
4Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#4 Consumer Suggestion

Exactly how is Verizon the problem here?

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

POSTED: Sunday, August 06, 2006
Let me get this straight: I blame VERIZON for charges that ANOTHER CARRIER forwarded on to my phone bill...charges that Verizon CANNOT deny without a customer dispute. All I hear from telecom customers is "I want to have other choices other than _________ (insert major telecom company name here)"...yet when they are responsible, either voluntarily or by accident, for charges with ANOTHER telecom company, who do we blame? VERIZON...evidently, everything is the fault of the local service provider who CANNOT refuse third party charges of any sort unless there exists a billing or customer-imposed restriction on said service.

If you are disputing any charges with a 3rd party carrier, simply contact the local telecom's billing department (through phone or email) and let them know you wish to dispute the charges that appeared on your bill. They can then place a claim on your account - which relieves you of payment of those charges for 60-90 days (depending on the local carrier) while you drop the hammer on the offending 3rd party. Once that carrier either refunds the charges to you directly or forwards the amount to local billing, the charges will disappear and the claim will be satisfied.

My best advice to you: Stop whining about AT&T, Verizon, whoever just because they're sending your bills. There IS a process to handle these billing disputes.
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#3 Author of original report

Response

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

POSTED: Saturday, August 05, 2006
Response to Teresa in Illinois

Teresa: When I said: "So it is obvious that Verizon expects to receive plenty of customer flack and is trying to head-it-off!!!!"

I did not say or suggest (your words: "The suggestion that Verizon is somehow in cahoots with this ESBI company and trying to rip you off by giving you the contact number for the other company is misleading and disingenious at best."

What I WAS saying was that Verizon, knowing that this 'service' charge was not from them or by them, obviously expects the consumer and owner of the phone bill to be calling and contacting Verizon (the initial point of contact) to straighten it out and/or figure out how to stop and/or remove the charges from their phone bills, at least initially upon receipt of the very first phone charges appearing on their bill. In fact, this is exactly what happened. Since Verizon is the issuer of one's phone bill, it is the logical place to contact and I am sure they get more than their share of ROCTEL's unknowing "customers" phoning them for clarification. Verizon has no connection with ROCTEL and the lady at Verizon I spoke to said she is quite used to getting lots of these calls from people in my situation. THAT is what I was saying.

And no, I have never accepted a collect phone call from anyone in my life; no, I never phoned anyone from other than my home phone; and the same for the 10-10 dial-around number.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

"other providers" message

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

POSTED: Friday, August 04, 2006
In your complaint, you stated "And FOUR times on this one sheet of paper, Verizon tells me to not contact Verizon but to contact ESBI directly for any questions! So it obvious that Verizon expects to receive plenty of customer flack and is trying to head-it-off!!!!"

I just need to inform you that the reason the message is there is not to head off any "customer flack." That message is there no matter who the other company might be or what they are charging you.

There are a number of ways an "other provider" charge can show up on your phone bill. You may have used a 10-10-xxx "dial-around" number. You may have accepted a collect call from another company's pay phone. You may have made a call from somewhere else and used "third-party billing" to bill it back to your home number while you were in a Qwest area and gotten an operator assistance charge from Qwest.

We don't set their prices, we don't provide their services, so we can't answer any questions about how much they're charging you for what.

The suggestion that Verizon is somehow in cahoots with this ESBI company and trying to rip you off by giving you the contact number for the other company is misleading and disingenious at best.
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#1 Author of original report

Slimy RocTel Update

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

POSTED: Tuesday, May 23, 2006
After filing my RocTel complaint here, I also filed a complaint with the FTC. Even though I had "cancelled my service" via RocTel's automated phone system, I also went to their corporate website. There I sent an email advising of my "cancellation" on their automated phone system and I also told them that I had filed a report here at this website and also with the FTC. Here is the email reply they sent me:

Thank you for calling PrivacyPlus customer service. We're sorry to hear that you no longer wish to take advantage of the benefits available as a customer of PrivacyPlus Voicemail. As per your request, this notice confirms cancellation of your account and refund request for (xxx)xxx-xxxx. Your refund has been processed and will be credited to your telephone bill.

Due to the billing cycle of your phone company, a monthly charge in addition to the one you inquired about may have already been processed and billed to you. If this is the case, a full refund of both charges is reflected below. It will take 30 to 60 days, or 1 to 2 billing cycles for the phone company to process your request and the credit to appear on your phone bill.

Refund amount Bill Date Refund Date Description
$29.9 5/11/2006 12:00:00 AM 5/22/2006 6:50:31 AM RocTel Voicemail Services


For a detailed display of the refunds please visit

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your account, please contact our customer service department toll free at 877-282-8574 or email us at service@roctelcorp.com.

Thank you for trying PrivacyPlus!

Sincerely,
Kathryn
PrivacyPlus Customer Service manager


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