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A (Brief) Tale of Slamming by Cheap2Dial

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.

USBI1

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:

USBI-Cheap2DialI 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.

10 Comments

  1. Judy Stroup

    I too have found the same charge on my phone bill. I know without any doubt that no one here authorized this charge. What I find really ridiculous about this is that AT&T really should have thought this was strange considering I’m already paying them 25.?? a month for unlimited long distance!!Why on Earth would I need 2 long distance companies?!!

  2. JJT

    @Judy: The problem is that the provider is not liable. In your case–and probably in mine–you were a victim of some sort of mass-slam. Call them to opt out, then inform BellSouth you were a victim of slamming and want to contest the charges.

  3. plk

    Please email me at lileking@yahoo.com if you are interested in joining with others to pursue this legally. happened to me and i am hopping mad.

  4. brannen

    It’s not mass slamming as well as it isn’t immoral, it’s a legit service if that offers promotions with it’s marketing, if someone falsified your information and you didn’t actually sign up for the service they advise of the process to obtain the information as well they will credit back the charges if it is proven to be fraud, this not only protects the consumer as well as the company itself if they didn’t have this process tons of people could sign up for the service and just say they didn’t do it, the application you get will provide you with who sign up as well as their ip address which will tell you the location of the computer used

  5. JJT

    @plk: No thanks on the class action.

    @brannen: Nothing you said in your incredibly long run-on sentence came close to what I would describe as a coherent thought. I complained to my carrier–Verizon–who promptly billed me. The company with this service provided me with no additional recourse. A quick bit of Googling turns up others with the same issue I discovered. Thus, it is not that far flung a notion for me to make the claim I did in my post.

  6. Judy G

    This just happened to us also–we have unlimited long distance with Quest–now this has created a mess.

  7. Robert

    I just looked at my bill from AT&T today and noticed these same charges from “Cheap2Dial”. I called the number for them as shown on my bill and talked with a very courteous agent who was very helpful and promised that I would receive a credit for all the charges since the service was first “ordered”. If the credit doesn’t come through I will let you know.

  8. tony severino

    ditto,with my fairpoint bill and i never use my house phone for long distance.i have a cell phone and a magic jack…

  9. Jennifer

    We have been billed $17.49 a month for the past 5months tacked onto our already high Windstream bill. I haVe been trying to get rid of them for months now to no avail. I’ve called cheap 2 dial 3x, the CS people are terrible! They are always giving me the runaround telling me to submit an “LOA”. ??? They are supposed to e-mail me this LOA for me to fill out to get rid of their svc, but they never send it to me! What’s even more interesting is, they told me my husband signed up for it online, and he dosent even know how to turn the computer on!!! My phone co. Is reversing the charges back to them, but I still have to call them every month and ask them to. This time, my phone co. CS rep called cheap 2 dial for me requesting cancellation, and she got the runaround too! How do we get rid of them! If anyone knows please post!

  10. Sarah

    Please take the time to report these crooks to the FCC and complete the ‘slamming complaint form 501’.

    Visit: http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

    Click wired telephone –> Next –> Slamming: Unauthorized switching of your home telephone service to another company

    I’m dealing with these thieves as well.

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