I am posting this in the event anyone else encounters this. I was in the midst of paying bills online this evening, and I noticed that my Verizon bill–for both my home and wireless phone service–was higher than usual. My bill is currently running higher than normal on account of actually having to get local and long-distance service with my current houseguest.
As I was reviewing my bill, I came across the following charges.
I had to scratch my chin here, as I had no idea why my bill had a charge for $16.28. I clicked on the link in my online bill, and I was shown this:
I now find it quite interesting that I am being billed for Cheap2Dial Telephone, a service for which I know I have not signed up. Thanks to Google, I find their website and start poking around. I see that this service offers Domestic Long Distance plans. I clearly have no need for this plan, as I have the Verizon Freedom plan which covers all my needs. While reading further on the Cheap2Dial website, I see the following statement:
How am I billed for using Cheap2Dial?
Although Cheap2Dial is not affiliated with your local telephone company, the monthly recurring charges for the plan you choose will appear on your local telephone bill on the USBI portion of your bill on behalf of Cheap2Dial Telephone, LLC. You will continue to receive the monthly recurring charges on your local telephone bill until you cancel the plan.
It is now pretty clear to me that I have fallen prey to “slamming.” I immediately call Cheap2Dial to have this service turned off. I also inquired as to when this change was made, and it was made on 7 May 2009. I find that interesting as I was in the office all day long, and the only person who could possibly have made the change was my houseguest. I inquired as to if she changed it, and she did not.
My next call will be tomorrow morning to Verizon to have this charge reversed. I will also be making sure that this does not happen again on my phone bill. My landline is not going anywhere anytime soon, but I expect to change my calling plan to the cheapest one once my houseguest is no longer here.
Cheap2Dial and USBI have gained a reputation for slamming customers. I can only advise you to ensure you look at your phone bill and are not a victim of slamming.