I work at a small business and I was going through my AT&T bill because with the economy being bad I wanted to find a way to pay less for phone service. After going through the bill I noticed that for almost 10 months a company called "USABD Internet Solutions" was charging $49.95 + 4.50 totaling $54.45 of unauthorized charges every month and it went undetected because it is a business and we do have internet, so it seems like this fee is charged on behalf of AT&T for internet services, when in fact it was charged seperately via AT&T.
When calling this company at [protected] they informed me that they were authorized to bill me since Dec of 07 when in fact I had been billed from Feb of 08, so they obviously make things up as they go. They said that a certain "John Cougar" had authorized the charge but what they didnt know is that this is a small mom & pop shop with 1 employee and both employee and owners are of latinamerican descendent's so it is impossible for anyone to even have a name to come close to that one. Obviously what they do is go through the yellow pages find numbers of business' and hope that since they are companies with various employees the amount will go through undetected. Which in this case it did only because we assumed it was an AT&T charge for providing internet services.
I told the company that they needed to verify who the title holder of the phone number was and ask "are you this person and do you authorize this charge" that they couldnt just randomly call and have anyone that answers say "sure charge my bill" and that I would be filing a lawsuit against them for illegally charging us these fees. To which he said that he has the recording of "John Cougar" and that either way he would cancel the billing charges from now on and that he would email me the recording of "John Cougar" or "Jane Doe" as i like to name this infamous non existing person. Then I said i will proceed legally to which he asked me my name and i said "does it matter? I mean I can tell you im Britney Spears and that would be good enough for your company to assume that I am she and i am the title holder of the phone number", after that he gave me a fake "confirmation of cancellation number" and i told him that lgal action would proceed through me and through AT&T.
Well needless to say AT&T is a great company and they credited me back for the 10 months of unauthorized billing, BUT i am so angry at this company for stealing money from innocent people that I want to do as much as I can to spread the word and make people aware that if you are getting a charge from this company it is illegal and hopefully if all people being wrongfully charged denounced their fraudulent actions, this company can receive federal charges.
So if you are a victim please file a complaint here:
California Public Utilities Commission