Tuesday, January 9, 2007

What I learned today, or check your phone bill carefully ...

It's a long, involved story, but the short version is Kent is in another state, staying with the family of a woman he met over the Internet. He plans to stay there, come back every month for his disability check and generally leave us on our own. Whatever ...

He's run up horrendous phone bills - hundreds of dollars over the past few months. In November, when I went to pay the bill, I was going to freeze the long distance. However, I saw that they had a plan that had basic phone services with a few extras like call waiting and voice mail, high-speed Internet, [B]unlimited long distance[/B] and a Dell computer. It was cheaper than what I was already paying for phone service and high-speed Internet, so I signed up. I got my first complete bill since the signup today and was billed for all the phone calls. So, I called my phone company.

The customer service rep was very helpful. He looked back and found when I signed up. The person who put my new service into the computer didn't cancel my old service, so I got billed the higher amount. He corrected that. He also found something I hadn't noticed on my bill - I was being billed by two companies: The Billing Resource and Enhanced Services Billing. He gave me numbers for both of those and I called to cancel the service.

The first company was actually billing for another company: Nationwide Voice Messaging. Apparently Kent signed up on a marketing Web site for $1,000 worth of grocery coupons and this 800 service that sends voice mails to his e-mail address. I got him blocked - he can't sign up again. Both companies said that the service was canceled, both said they issued credits to my account. They also both said it takes 1-2 billing cycles to be complete, so I will need to keep an eye on my bill.

So, although I feel kind of silly for not going over my phone bill line by line (I would just look at the long-distance portion and complain to Kent), it looks like this will be resolved to my satisfaction.

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