Oct 23, 2007

The New! Huge Phone Company. Sucks like the old one.

Check your phone bill.

Some 3rd-party billing company named IDL Teleservices (update as of 7/16/09 that link no longer works. Seems IDL has hacked my link and changed it to ILDtelecom. I never changed it! It used to go to a half-ass, deadlink-filled website. I shoulda done screen-caps!) has attached a charge to my phone bill with The "New!"Huge Phone Company.

They're acting as a billing agent for a company called, IntegrItel Wireless Communications. For webhosting services. Right. Except their dubious and/or suspiciously fake website with dead links advertises a wireless security camera monitoring service. Every product link just goes to an email to sales.

I have so many problems with this, I don't know where to begin. Last month, I tried calling IDL and the phone was never answered. So I called the "New!" Huge Phone Company and got the very friendly "New! Huge Phone Company" customer specialist who said that they didn't bill us, but that I was being billed through them.

Nuance. She hoped I wouldn't catch it, I guess.

"No," I replied, "we're not going that route. You are going to collect my monthly bill, and YOU are going to expect the extra 40 bucks for a service I never ordered or received, and you are going to put a bad debt reference on my account if I don't pay it, so YOU are going to investigate and fix this."

She assured me that it would be a contested charge and should be resolved in 30 days. Cool.

Fast forward to today. I'm still getting billed. Call again. Another sainted and sweet Southern Belle answers my call and begins the spiel. "Sorry," I interrupt, "We're not going there. Get me a supervisor."

Super Supervisor with the "New!" company has never heard of IDL. "Hmmm... we have so many 3rd-party billings," she offers.

"Not good enough. I'm the only one in jeopardy here and IDL doesn't answer their phones and I don't have any web services with IWC." So she instructs me to fax her the bill and she'd have some department investigate.

In the meantime, I'd had my phone on hold for almost 20 minutes waiting for IDL to pick up. When they finally did, the young man was extremely forceful and unpleasant,denied that they provided any services or products but were merely billing agents (sound familiar now?)and assured me the charge had been reversed by their client, "as a courtesy," although I've never seen any credit. He upbraided me for interrupting, so I upbraided him for lying to me. Nowhere. Going nowhere.

So, I faxed the "New!" Huge Phone Company the following:

My phone company rep will be so excited to hear from me every day of the year until this is resolved. The "New!"Huge Phone Company doesn't /or pretends to not understand for whom they are collecting money? *ahem* I'm pretty sure they're earning some fancy interest on the holdovers until consumers wake up and question the charges.

But hey, until then, it's $40 here, $30 there. Pretty soon it adds up to real money. I'm sure it's all just an innocent misunderstanding.


nonny said...

That is mental they are like digital television, rip off merchants. Can you not just cancel your contract completely? i would demand credit for all he 40 dollars I had to pay, then I'd ask the girl for her name and wait outside her job and beat the shit out of her when she finished her shift!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh you Irish are a rowdy lot!

No, I like my revenges to be long and agonizing. Like Braveheart's evisceration.

julie said...

Too bad you're not getting Instalanched on this post - I bet you'd be getting a pretty quick response after that.

I hate talking on the phone, but if I were in your place I think I'd be calling those bastards every day until they fixed it, too. I'm only half Irish, though, so I wouldn't bother waiting outside to knock their teeth in. I'd just dream about it and laugh maliciously while on hold.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Not to worry, the legal department at work is all over it.

GUYK said...

I dropped Sprint land line a while back because of this kind of nonsense and had only a cell phone for a while..then Bright House Cable offered a hell of a deal with the phone service through the cable..free long distance any where is the USA..no time restrictions and it is cheaper than the local land line providers even without long distance..if you have Bright House cable you might want to chack into it.

Joan of Argghh! said...

This is bordering on fraud in a serious way, however. Not just an inconvenience. Since it's an international business account, I think the New! Huge Phone Company might consider looking into it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in this case, the New Huge Phone company isn't to blame. The practice of placing erroneous or false charges by third parties on your bill is called "cramming" and you may consider filing a complaint with our local Public Utilities Commission, Federal Trade Commission, etc. You will see that the FTC has put an injunction on this company for billing stuff like this in the past.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Whoever is collecting my money is ultimately who I'm going to have to deal with it. The phone company prints the bills, accepts the billing code for the printouts, and collects the money.

If they don't like me complaining, it behooves them to use their considerable resources and manpower to solve the possibly criminal activity that they are unwittingly or willingly, abetting.

Ilona Olayan said...


ILD Teleservices is a leading payment processor for transactions between merchants and consumers. Through contractual relationships with telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon, we give merchants the opportunity to let consumers charge products and services such as long distance, internet access, and collect calling directly to your phone bill.

As a result, instead of purchasing these items with a credit card or opening an account with the merchant, you can have a transaction billed directly to your phone. When you do, the merchant sends your transaction information to ILD, and ILD adds the charge to your phone bill. It’s a service very similar to what credit card companies provide.

If you have a charge you believe is incorrect, or if you have any other questions or concerns with ILD, please let us know. We want to address any and all issues you may have. To contact us, please email us at askild@ildmail.com. If you would prefer to call us, please call our hotline at 800-953-7765.

Thank you, and please let us know how we can help.

Ilona Olayan
ILD Teleservices

Joan of Argghh! said...

Now, why would I set myself up for further verbal abuse by IDL? If IDL just takes a shady company's word for having delivered a service to a consumer (without proof of contract, without even proof of legitimacy of the business)and begins billing that same consumer out of the blue, what recourse remains but to complain loudly and bitterly that IDL does not verify the legitimacy of the possibly illegal activity it is acting as a billing agent for?

Why talk to IDL when it seems that what is needed is a lawyer?

Jerry F said...

I got charged for 2 x 3 minutes collect LD calls from Scotland to Canada by this IDL company for $47.00 each. This is crazy. I have notified my local phone company and they erased the charges. They said IDL would probably be billing me direct, you can be sure I'll be waiting for those bills with my attorney.

ladont said...

They also operate as supernetdirectory.com and they constantly call about "your FREE listing on their search engine. Naturally, there is nothing at the website. Some guy named Turner is listed as the contact with a Sunnyvale post office box. He actually lives in maplewood, New Jersey. If I get billed, I'll visit Turner n Maplewood.

ladont said...

BTW, the "phone company" gets a cut of all these billings so they have no interest in policing fraud.