Leon Thompson called our small business claiming to be with "AT&T Billing". We'd had some issues with our AT&T bill and I thought he was calling to resolve those issues. He said that changes in FCC regulations had forced AT&T to call all their customers to inform us that our long distance billing would flow through a non-affiliated billing agent back onto our AT&T bill. The amount of our monthly bill wouldn't change.
During the verification process, the "3rd party agent" mentioned an additional monthly long distance charge and rate of 5 cents per minute. I interrupted at this point say that we had unlimited US long distance as part of our AT&T plan. Leon Thompson came back on the line and told me that we'd have to start again since I interrupted the flow of questions. According to Thompson, the "5 cent" charge only applied to extremely rare ("a solar eclipse happening at the same time as Halley's Comet") situations when a call might be routed to some odd carrier (he was a bit vague on this). We began the verification process again. I googled "AT&T NSBI" during the process and saw that many had reported NSBI as a scammer. I asked during the recording if the really was AT&T. The verification agent hung up on me.
It seems that the verification agent must be in on the scam as well.
A fake rep, posing to be from the AT&T phone company called to tell me she was notifying me of a need to approve a new "billing service" to assure that my billing fee remained the same. It was very slick, well presented, and quite believable. My red flags went up when they wanted the "recorded verifications", just to make an internal billing change. I quick did a web search for their "billing provider", called NSBI and discovered lots of complaints. When I confronted the caller, she immediately hung up. NSBI is a fraud based company. They are trying to "slam" you to a new provider.
I received a call from a Mary Stevens from the 'AT&T notification department' to tell me that AT&T was changing it's long distance billing carrier from World Com to NSBI. My bills would not look any different but in order to continue receiving one bill AND have a reduced monthly long distance fee, I needed to verify thru a 3rd party administrator that I wanted to do so.
I was specifically told 3X NOT to ask questions to the 3rd party administrator as it would cancel the order and I would start receiving 2 bills and not benefit from the new lower long distance monthly fee.
Once I was switched to the 3rd party verification administrator, the conversation went so fast I had to ask the person to repeat himself 3 times! At the very end, I caught him saying that I had agreed to change my long distance CARRIER to NSBI... not just the long distance billing agent!
Once I got of the phone, I called AT&T to verify and was told it was a scam. AT&T has now updated all our phone lines so that they are supposedly protected from being switched over. I also called the 1-888 number given to me by the 3rd party admin and I swear the same person answered the phone! When I complained that his company tried to scam me, he immediately took my phone number and told me that the order would be canceled on that line and any line that I had given to Mary. He also said that Mary should not have told me that she was from AT&T!