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Bogus collect calls

Complaint Rating:  96 % with 26 votes
96% 26
Contact information:
United States
ZPDI has repeatedly billed fraudulent collect call charges. We have a mentally ill daughter, mostly homeless, who attempts to call us collect on occasion. We have always (with only one exception) refused the calls. In March she attempted such a call, I answered the phone and as soon as I heard the recorded message, hung up. I did not push any buttons to accept the call. We still were billed around $25 for the call. I complained to Qwest who provided the pass through billing and paid their bill without the collect charges. I also contacted ZPDI, told them I had refused the call and accused them of deliberate fraud. They denied the fraud, but did, grudgingly, reverse the charges. In May, I got another bill from them, this time basically for the privilege of having been billed by them before. I again contacted Qwest as they are allowing this shyster organization to use them to forward these bogus charges. At first they refused to even listen, insisting I needed to deal with ZPDI. I insisted they share the blame and they conference ZPDI in. ZPDI insisted I had to have accepted the original call, which I had not and told them so. They again credited the charges. Just recently, I got another Qwest bill, this time with 2 collect calls on it. The first was actually legit as I had seen my daughter earlier in the day and knew there were some issues, so accepted it, knowing I would have to pay their exorbitant prices. The second charge, is as is usual, totally fraudulent.

I think this organization is about as sleazy as they come. They should be denied the right to pass charges through Qwest or anyone else. If this is their normal operating procedure for others also, they ought to be denied the right to operate. All such collect services ought to have to state upfront how much the call is going to cost before you decide to accept the charges. They now have unlimited license to charge anything they want.
Complaint comments Comments (16) Complaint country United States Complaint category Collections Agencies


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A  3rd of Oct, 2008 by    0 Votes
I just received my phone bill and they have a collect all on there that has a fee of $19.49 and according to them they were on the phone 1 min. I have called this company and they have told me that there is nothing that they can do about it we don't have a credit to give you. I let the operator know that I will be making a complaint about this.
A  26th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
I received a bill for 20 for a 3 minute collect call I will not pay this outrageous price for a collect call
A  11th of May, 2009 by    0 Votes
$334.00 has been placed as a collection in my (til now) impeccable 60 year credit record. It emanated through ZPDI and was billed by Verizon, for five 3rd party calls that were all placed in another state to phone numbers I can not identify. The rates were up to $18 per minute. Attempted phone calls, letters and faxes over a 3 month period to Verizon and ZPDI were to no avail. One representative with Verizon did state there are some overzealous people with the coin opeated phone services who pad their calls and advised me to close my checking account to prevent any future electronic withdrawl by Verizon. The credit company was able to give me a physical address for Verizon (not available before) but correspondence to them has not been answered. Amusingly, this communication giant does not have a listed phone number. Hod Sarasota
N  28th of Aug, 2009 by    0 Votes
On July 31 I received a phone call that said it was a collect call and then just disconnected. I figured it was a wrong number. On August 1 and 2 my phone rang very often and when I answered got a dial tone. If I didn't answer, it rang once and stopped. I just figured it was a glitch in the phone system until I received my phone bill with a bill from ZPDI for $63.00 in collect calls. I called and talked to 5 different people to tell them that I never accepted a collect call but they insisted that I did. They told me that there is no way a collect call can be charged unless it is accepted and that they were made from a local correctional institution. I told them that I don't know anyone in a correctional institution. They told me that they were legitimate calls and no credit can be given. I contacted my local phone company who will dispute the charges for me and put a block on my phone so that it will accept no collect calls. What a shoddy company! Apparently they need to change there system because it's obvious that there are serious problems OR it's just a fraudulent phone company.
A  28th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
I have had a similar experience with ZPDI. My husband placed a direct dial call to our daughter in Charleston, SC on November 30, 2009. A "voice" came on the line briefly before our daughter answered the phone. The charge for the call plus tax was $4.03 for 2 minutes + "director assistance"; not a huge amount but our long distance calls are billed and paid on line through AireSpring and do not cost anywhere near $4 for two minutes. I do not get billed through the local phone company (used to be Embarq, now CenturyLink) for long distance calls. I called ZPDI (who list no address and no web address) and after close to one hour waiting for a representative I hung up and called CenturyLink. Not a whole lot better but I did get a decent person after about 40 minutes waiting, and he was very quick to remove the charge from my bill. He told me the call was a "collect call" - no way. There is no way our daughter would call us collect from her office phone. ZPDI is a scam operation and since my phone bill is charged to my credit card, this fraudulent charge would have been paid had I not noticed the increase in charges since the previous month. I urge people to really review their phone bills very closely - ZPDI are ### of the lowest order and make a fortune on these fraudulent phone charges because people generally do not pick up on these illicit charges. It is interesting that we never had a problem like this until Embarq merged and became part of CenturyLink. I have had a "third party provider" block put on our home phone, but I hope that this incident does not indicate the caliber of people that CenturyLink does business with. Unfortunately we do not have any other choice of provider for home telephone service - Signed: Another Screwed-over Consumer.
A  19th of Sep, 2010 by    0 Votes
I am from Canada and had no idea what ZPDI was. I was under the impression I was making a collect call. I was charged $37.50 for a 17 min phone call using the hotel room phone. I would advise people to sheck who the hotels providers are.
A  20th of Nov, 2010 by    0 Votes
I received a charge on my att phone bill for this company for a phone number attached to a fax machine $30.00 dollars for 3 min during a time of day i was at work. When i call the company to investigate they refused the call and hung up on me. So off to old dependable ATT to investigate and hopefully i won't get the run around.
A  14th of Jan, 2011 by    0 Votes
This is ridiculous for them to even be in business. Just noticed my new ATT bill and it went from $50/mo to $190 this month. Just got off the phone with ATT and they told me I would have to contact this company direct...Okay how fun. However, before ending the call the rep did charge this company back for these charges. I am so hot right now about this company, I could spit nails. So I call ZPDI...and the poor rep sounded so stressed out already that I tried my best to be as sincere and professional as possible...until she said the charges will not be taken care of...OKay how dare them...Well I will be sending in a complaint and someone really needs to do something about this.
N  25th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
We just received our phone bill and it was over $50 more than our usual charges. When I investigated, I discovered it was two collect calls made by a friend from a local hospital. There was no upfront telling what the charge was going to be, just a simple - "will you accept a collect call from (friend's name) from the hospital. Of course we accepted it, although my husband only remembers one of those calls and two are on the bill.
I called AT&T and was told it was a 3rd party biller, which I have since discovered was Zero Plus Dialing, Inc., and that I would need to contact them. They finally agreed to deduct a total of $7.44 for each call since we were not told of the charges. I think the entire amount should be refunded ($56.32)
What a terrible scam and AT&T should be ashamed of theri part in allowing this 3rd party billing. AT&T is a phone company - why do they not handle collect calls themselves? Something really smells fishy here.
N  25th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
Outrageous 3rd party ollect call charges on phone bill.
A  9th of Jul, 2011 by    0 Votes
I am currently having problems with ZPDI. It appears they are attempting to double bill me for one collect call accepted from my niece while in a local jail. The amount of 17.04 appeared on my June bill immediately and again on my July bill. I will be contacting AT&T on Monday for an adjustment and to restore the block on collect calls. I may be contacting PUC about this company and Connection Backup Service, LLC an E-fax Service Company. I think both of these companies are in cohoot. Both have been charging my telephone service repeatedly. Watch your phone bill for the latter company and go online and read about their scam.
N  1st of Sep, 2011 by    0 Votes
They are still doing this and I can't believe the FCC allows this type of behavior when obviously people have voiced complaints. Also many of the services goes through Wimactel which has a clean complaint record on the Internet because people have failed to report them. My company CenturyLink refused to adjust the bill which I found to be siding with big business over there customer. I'm seriously disappointed with all involved because there is no explanation for charging $40+ for phone calls other than people are robbing people in need.

*Wimactel, ZPDi, Centurylink, FCC
A  1st of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
I looked at my bill and it was too high. I know about how much Iam charged each month. There were a few legitimate charges for extra long distance made by others in thr house but I wondered where the other 9 or qo dollars was being charged from and behold! ZPDI appeared there on my last page. This happened to me a couple years ago by another third party. ATT blocked third party companies but a few months ago I changed of my services a bit and now the fraudulant vampires or pirates rather are back, ready to take money from some unsupecting, individual they can get. But not me. i review my bill every month and never pay for what I do not understand. ZPDI should be prosecuted and shut down.
A  1st of Jul, 2012 by    0 Votes
I looked at my ATT bill and saw that it was too high. I always review my bill every month. There were some legit charges on long distance calls made by others in the house. But I didn't understand where all the other charges were coming from. Then behold! I scrolled down to see this ZPDI had charged $9.74 and when I did the math, I realized my bill would have been more normal looking without that. This happened to me a couple years ago and the charges were taken off. I had ATT block third party companies. Since then I had changed up my services a bit and now the vampires or pirates I should say, are back. ZPDI needs to be prosecuted and shut down. How do they even sneak it in. They will claim someone signed up when they didn't. Always review your bill before paying for something that you did not utilize.
A  20th of Jul, 2013 by    0 Votes
5-16-2013 I received my phone bill with a charge of $43.04 for a collect call for 8 minutes. There was no mention of the charges to accept this call. I called Frontier (my provider) and said they had no connection with ZPDI they just did their billing for them. So I called ZPDI. This was very frustrating to say the least. They told me I had been informed of the charges and the person who made the call would have been informed also. This is a lie. I asked for a credit and they said all they could offer me was a 35% off the bill. It would take several billing cycles before it would appear. Another lie. I called Frontier back when I got my next phone bill. No credit and now they were charging me a $5, 00 late fee for not paying the collect call charges. Frontier explained they did the collections for ZPDI even though earlier they told me they were not connected with ZPDI in any way. It is just a run around no matter who you talk to. I have filed a complaint with the FCC to put this company out of business.
A  14th of Apr, 2016 by    0 Votes
A 3 minute collect call from a payphone has been billed at over $30 to our landline, in which the servicer had not changed in almost 30 Years. Yes, 30 YEARS with the same number. When making the collect call from a payphone, we were instructed to dial another number in order to connect to the landline we were trying to call. At no point during, prior to nor post conversation were we informed of the $10+ per minute fees. This is highway robbery at its best and I'm shocked that these companies aren't regulated. In an age where EVERYTHING is regulated, watched, recorded, documented by big brother, you'd think these crooks would be held accountable. That is unless our very own government is right beside them lining their designer suit pockets

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