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ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
DrsElixir
Enthusiast

Due to a higher than usual Verizon bill, I needed to check charges on my statement last month.  VZN Customer Service immediately adjusted my account for errors that VZN was responsible.  However, upon checking my February 2011 statement, I noticed a charge from an outside provider for $14.95 + $1.95 tax from MEMBERS EDGE, LLC with a phone number to call for billing questions. Looking back at previous statements, I noted that this charge began to appear on my November 2010 VZN bill, thereby, I was billed $16 each statement for five months. I called the number, on my statement stating to the CSRep that I did not know, let alone, authorize, any such service. The CSR replied that the charges would be refunded to my VZN account. Upon receipt of this month's bill, another $16 charge (six charges in all, totaling $90) was processed!

 

Entering MEMBERS EDGE, LLC in my browser, there were bountiful results, all indicating this "provider" is a "Rip-Off Scam."

 

Now I will need to call them again and probably, to no avail.  I also will call VZN to report this again, and ask how VZN can prevent the charge from being added by this "outside provider."

 

BE AWARE!  Check your statements!

 

I will report back on this forum if VZN can block this billing charge, and whether my account will be credited.

 

Tags (1)
Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
Hubrisnxs
Legend

when you talk to verizon, make sure that they add a block on all third party billing so this doesn't happen again.  They are required by law to honor these requests unless you have a block put on your account,  I saw a news report on Fox in California about this about a month or so ago.   

Here is a good article about it,   make sure to protect yourself and ask verizon to add that block.

How to Determine if Third Party Billing is on Your Phone Bill


What are “Third-party Billers?”  Some of them include: Basic Access, USBI, ESBI, PaymentOne.com ETS. What are these charges?  Who authorized them? How do you get rid of them?
First, you’ll need to know that removing these charges is a process; it takes time and patience.  These companies, although unjustified in charging you these charges, will not go away very easily.  Take good notes and document every call you make to them.  Make them prove that you or someone in your family authorized those charges.  Get confirmation numbers etc.

Step 1: Look carefully at page 1 of your bill — You will see the standard charges from your phone service company first. On the next line will be your long distance charges (if you don’t get billed separately from your LD company). The next line(s) will have any charges from companies that are NOT your local phone company or long distance carrier. There are hundreds of companies out there who are allowed to bill on your phone bill. Unfortunately, due to FCC and local Public Utilities Commission guidelines, your phone company is required to bill charges from third party companies who present requests for payment. So, your phone company has no obligation to determine the validity of the charges. In fact, most inquiries about these companies can only be answered by those companies!  Note: If the charges are for long distance calls from someone other than your carrier, see my article “How to Handle Getting Slammed.”


Step 2: Look at the specific charges — The first page of your bill will tell you on which page the charges are itemized. It will also provide you with the phone number of the company that is billing you. This is usually not the company that is charging you. The companies that are charging you are usually so small enough that they find it cheaper to pay a company that has a relationship with your phone company than to handle the cost of billing you directly. As a result, the third party billers themselves will rarely give you credit for the charges or even explain what they are for. They simply provide a buffer between your phone company and the company charging you. Go to the page where the charges show. Here you will find the company charging you. By law, they must provide a phone number to reach them.


Step 3: Try to remember events in the last month or two — Have you accepted any collect calls recently? Did you sign up for online advertising? These may be the legitimate charges for those services. Usually, though, these charges appear after someone calls you pretending to represent your phone company. Sometimes, they offer you great deals that don’t really exist and if you answer “yes” to any of their questions, they will use that recording as proof of authorization. This is completely unethical and illegal; however, if you don’t complain to authorities, these companies don’t get caught! Your phone company cannot verify the validity of their actions by law, because it is in all senses none of their business!


Step 4: Call the company that is charging you — Do NOT call you phone company first. Call the number listed on the page where the itemized charges appear and ask what they represent. Inform the company that there has been a mistake and that you do not wish to be signed up for whatever they have you subscribed to. Kindly ask that they provide you with credit for the charges. If they agree, go to step 6, if they do not agree or they hang up (yes, this happens often), see step 5 first.


Step 5: Call your phone company — Now it is appropriate to call you local phone service provider. Inform them that you have been charged for a service that you did not wish to be subscribed to an that you would like the charges to be sent back to that company. Next, ask that the put in a request to stop billing from that company. This request does not require a response from the company charging you for up to 60 days, so do not be surprised if you see the charges on the following 2 months of bills. You may have to call your phone company twice more to have the charges sent back.


Step 6: Inform the authorities —  No, don’t call the cops. There are, however, a few consumer advocates that should know about this:  The Federal Communications Commission or FCC. Check out their website at FCC.gov and contact The Public Utilities Commission or PUC.  A list is found here with your state. Every state has one, though their name may be different. Look on your state’s official website to learn more.  You can also try the Better Business Bureau. BBB.org



Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
somegirl
Champion

Excellent info, Hubrisnxs!

Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
clynn77
Enthusiast

Thanks for listing this rip off scam.  my Feb statement has a charge of $732.85 with nothing explained.  Keep informed.

Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
LARRYL2
Newbie
  1. Does anyone know if ILD Teleservices, Inc. is legitimate?  I was charged $15.95 starting on Jan 27, 2011 for "Family 911 Setup Fee.  Total ...Family 911 LLC $15.95".  If this is legitimate, I apologize for wasting everone's time.  IF IT"S NOT, then add this to the list of unauthorized billings by a third-party.  VERIZON will be crediting me 3 mos. of $15.95, and probably a fourth charge of $15.95 from Apr 18th!!  I went to paperless billing to save a few trees, not to invite third-party venders to scam consumers!  Where does VERIZON'S responsibility end in all of this?  Respectfully submitted, Distrusting Verizon customer. 
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Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
Hubrisnxs
Legend

I've never heard of that company, and if you google ILD Teleservices, Inc and Family 911 Setup Fee - there are similiar complaints and concerns.  their website has a place where you can cancel service, so you may want to visit their website or call them and cancel.  You should probably go through steps 4-6 on the list.


Step 4: Call the company that is charging you — Do NOT call you phone company first. Call the number listed on the page where the itemized charges appear and ask what they represent. Inform the company that there has been a mistake and that you do not wish to be signed up for whatever they have you subscribed to. Kindly ask that they provide you with credit for the charges. If they agree, go to step 6, if they do not agree or they hang up (yes, this happens often), see step 5 first.


Step 5: Call your phone company — Now it is appropriate to call you local phone service provider. Inform them that you have been charged for a service that you did not wish to be subscribed to an that you would like the charges to be sent back to that company. Next, ask that the put in a request to stop billing from that company. This request does not require a response from the company charging you for up to 60 days, so do not be surprised if you see the charges on the following 2 months of bills. You may have to call your phone company twice more to have the charges sent back.


Step 6: Inform the authorities —  No, don’t call the cops. There are, however, a few consumer advocates that should know about this:  The Federal Communications Commission or FCC. Check out their website at FCC.gov and contact The Public Utilities Commission or PUC.  A list is found here with your state. Every state has one, though their name may be different. Look on your state’s official website to learn more.  You can also try the Better Business Bureau. BBB.org


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Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
BAnsl
Enthusiast

I just received a rip-off charge for $19.99 from PaymentOne on behalf of Auto Pilot Profit WebHost & Email Service.

Any more of this and I will be switching my service.

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Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
S-wags
Enthusiast

Are you on Facebook?  If yes, did you ever participate in any "polls" or "add-ons" where they asked for your phone number?  What about do you download music?  Fine print and you will see the charges being assessed on both occassions.  Fortunately, Verizon is very accomodating in this situation.

Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
Hubrisnxs
Legend

@BAnsl wrote:

I just received a rip-off charge for $19.99 from PaymentOne on behalf of Auto Pilot Profit WebHost & Email Service.

Any more of this and I will be switching my service.


Without calling Verizon and asking them to put a block on third party billing, then you won't have any protection against these getting charged to your account.  Changing companies doesn't fix that, because all companies are required by law to carry these charges, unless there is an explicit block placed on your account.    

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Re: ALERT! RIP-OFF-SCAM ! UNAUTHORIZED OUTSIDE PROVIDER BILLED ON VZN STATEMENT
BAnsl
Enthusiast

This was blank???

Please see my next message.

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