International Satellite Communications / Unauthorized billing
Last weekend I lost my cell phone at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and needed to use a payphone to make 4 phone calls. I swiped my credit card in one of the available payphones by my departing gate. While I knew that it would be more expensive than using change, how expensive it turned out to be was utterly ridiculous.
The first two calls I made were to my lost cell phone, a local call that went directly to voicemail. For each of these calls I was charged roughly $9. I made two subsequent calls, one to Orange County and one to San Francisco. Both lasted roughly 5-8 minutes and cost me $25 a piece.
When I saw that I had been charged $70 for four short phone calls, I called the number listed on my billing statement. The voice that picked up on the other end didn't state a company name, but instead just said a name (Brian Cervantes). I inquired about the phone calls and gave the voice my credit card number. After briefly putting me on hold, the voice returned and let me know that I would be refunded $20 as 'I didn't know about the rates'. Brian Cervantes then let me know that while the rates weren't listed, I could have called the operator and inquired about the rates before making the call. I inquired about the company's name, and Brian responded .
After the blatant suspiciousness of my exchange, I decided to look more into the company and found almost nothing online (aside from complaints). I called them back and demanded that they give me their mailing address (earlier they let me know they were based in LA). Brian let me know that because we had agreed on the $20 reimbursement he didn't have to give me the mailing address. I countered that I had never agreed to anything and that if they were going to bill me even $1 they were obligated to provide me with a mailing address. Again he declined, and I let him know I would call back within a couple days after looking into the situation more.
If anyone knows anything about this company please let me know. An address, a parent company, etc? While they ended up ripping me off for only $45, it's the principal.
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