Last month a charge of $15.25 appeared on my Verizon bill that had never been there before. According to the bill, I was being invoiced on behalf of "Access Savings" for a "Voicemail Monthly Fee." My Verizon statement indicated that this portion of my bill was provided as a service to Operator Assistance Network and that I should contact them directly with any questions. I called the 800 number and was advised that the charge was for an 800 number, requested through an email received from an e-mail account of my son that has been invalid for over a year, when we switched from Comcast to Verizon. Bottom line is that I told them to cancel the service and I paid my Verizon bill, minus the $15.25.
Have any of you had a similar experience? I suspect this was a scam, so the message is that we need to read our monthly bills carefully.
I received the same unauthorized charge on my bill. I have never heard of Operator Assistance Network, or "Account Savings," for whom they claim to be billing on behalf of. A quick Google search will show that they've been at it for years, and nothing is being done about it. It is clearly a scam. I have contacted the State Attorney General, as well as the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
I tried to contact the number listed for OAN, but could not reach a person. When I hit the option to cancel my account, even though I never opened an account with them, the automated response asked me to verify my e-mail address, with was an e-mail I never had that consisted of a long, wild combination of numbers and letters. When I hit the option to say that it wasn't my e-mail, I was disconnected without a further response. I called back again and again, and was disconnected each time.
I found a third party charge of $13.21 from ESBI on our current bill for a VOICEMAIL IDTHEFTMTHY service which we did not request; I have informed Verizon that I will not pay this charge.
There was also a third party charge of $15.25 from OAN on our March bill which I paid before I realized that we had not requested their VOICEMAILMNTHLY FEE service. I did call OAN and spoke to a very pleasant agent who gave me her employee number and a confirmation number for my request to discontinue this service. There was no charge from OAN in April.
There a number of sites on the internet where hundreds (if not thousands) have complained about this sort of treatment from ESBI and OAN as well as several other dubious companies, but apparently no one is really going after these scam artists with any effectiveness. Contacting the BBB and the FTC with complaints is not generating much, if any, action. I am not sure if the FCC has become involved in trying to resolve this serious problem.
OAN is a scam company that will continue to place charges on people's phone bills. I have complained to Verizon about the fact that they are assisting OAN with their fraudulent practices, but Verizon does not seem to care. I assume they get a cut of the bill.
Complain to Verizon about the fact that they will not block this company from billing their victims, and they will not guarantee a block of third party billing altogether. Also, compain to the BBB about both OAN and Verizon, and to your state Attorney General's Office - they will have a Consumer Fraud complaint department.
I actually called to complain about charges for "premium long distance" on my Mom's bill, and the Verizon guy told me he was placing a block on any future charges. I'm not sure if the block was only for this company, but it will help keep them from charging her again.