You just won’t believe what I’ve just been through with my phone company! and the nasties I very nearly said “Yes!” to. Oh, just an edge of a cliff I have been on! What horrors.
You may think me a bit hysterical, but when I tell you what’s nearly happened, I’m sure you will agree.
First, about the Cram Jam. Lisa Meyers of the MSNBC’s Today Show recently did an exposé of all things cramming. Telephone companies who add or allow third parties to add products you never asked for, never wanted, never knew you had agreed to, to be added to your phone account. Millions of people are being suckered into paying billions — BILLIONS of dollars for stuff they don’t want or need or asked for. And they don’t even know it. The phone companies promised back in 1993 to self regulate third party add-ons and prevent them from robbing us, but the phone companies make $$ on every transaction and they are not about to stop it without customers screaming!
Most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to our phone bills. I don’t usually bother to study my account, but when I got a bill that seemed a little too high last month, I began investigating. I had been away and knew I had not incurred long distance charges, so what was the $39.94 additional charge for anyway?
Turns out there was a third party special feature promotional thingy for a website I will never use (I have my own domain as you know) and some “golden” opportunity web keyword browser thingy…. BOGUS. I called the phone company (my company’s name begins with the letter “V”) and told them to not only get rid of the charges, refund the difference, but put a permanent block on my phone account so no third party nasty could add some additional program or feature I don’t want or need. They did it. And at least for a while I thought I was safe.
That is until this afternoon, when, for the fifth time this week, I got someone calling me, claiming to be from “V” phone company, and telling me of all these discounts I was being awarded. The woman’s accent was so think I could barely understand her.
Now, I want to be tolerant of heavy accents. I can’t speak Hindi, so why should someone half way around the world speak “Cape Codian?” So I listened and tried to figure out what fabulous discount I was getting. I got the whole thing mixed up in my head and somehow thought it was confirmation of my earlier discussion with the phone company about the third party blocking, etc. I got as far as agreeing to whatever they wanted just to get them off the line, and then she said I would have to speak with some verification service to confirm my agreement to recieve all these fabu discounts.
That’s when I became suspicious! And rightfully so. I finally hung up on the bunch of them. Of course, I immediately felt badly… I should have more tolerance. I should be more pleaseant, etc. etc.
BUT!!! My suspicions that the whole thing was a nasty hoax were confirmed, when I spoke with my phone company this afternoon— complaining that their reps from foreign lands are impossible to understand and if they want to offer me some discount they should have someone call me who speaks English clearly!!! Well!!! Come to find out, “V” the phone company, only has two offices in the U.S. and NO Foreign Offices or representatives. It is all BOGUS!!! and I nearly fell for it.
So… fellow phone callers… be awake and aware. Only deal with your phone company directly. Check your phone bill and look for strange fees. If you find any, get them removed and get a block against third party crammers on your phone line ASAP. And hang up on all those unintelligible sales people who try to con you out of a good day’s dollar!!!
I’m mad! And you should be too!