Sunday, November 12, 2006
just a warning...
(the actual evil phone I used)
yesterday I had to run an errand for my Aunt. I left home quickly and half awake (it was 7AM) forgetting to take my cell from the charger. I was supposed to call her when I got to a certain place and she would meet me. There is no auto access to where she was working.
Arriving on time I reached for my cell and then discovered what had happened. The only possible way to contact her was the payphone in front of my car. Nobody uses these things so much anymore, and wouldn't you guess I had no change. So then I noticed that I could charge the call to my visa. Reading the fine print I found out that after a $1.50 fee the call would cost $.10 a minute.
The call would only take a second, and given I had little choice anyway, I picked up the receiver, dialed the number, an operator came on and took my info, and within half a minute I was speaking to my Aunt and she was on her way. It was just that simple, or so I believed yesterday.
I mentioned yesterday I am very tightly budgeted. I had $14.00 in my Checking Account to which the Visa/Debit card is attached, this should more than have covered the $1.70 I understood would be billed as a result of my perhaps minute and a half call.
This appeared on my online Checking Account Summary today:


For a grand total of: $24.17
I had a balance before this of $14.06 therefore my account went negative and it is my understanding that Bank of America will access me an overdraft fee of $35.00 in the morning. I called the Bank and they told me should these charges be refunded by the vendor, the overdraft fee would as well. I sort of felt better until I started looking into this company called TELESERVICES.
The $5.00 charge is the "Access" Fee
The $19.17 is the actual cost of the call, based on two minutes at $9.58 per minute.
So, essentially this 90 second call has cost me


Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said... got totally screwed! There should be some sort of law against this. I was thinking the other day that I don't see that many payphones any more...I guess the cost of running them has gone WAY up since people are using their cells.

That soooooooooo sucks for you...sorry that you're having to go through that.

Blogger Rian said...
Holy shit!
I'm very sorry to hear that.

So Visa just charged you a few bucks for access, and the line company charged you $19.17?
I guess since the only people who use payphones anymore are drug dealers or illegal immigrants they can get away with screwing you to the wall. And charging you for it...
I'd have bought you dinner and taken you dancing.
just, you know, FYI.

Blogger Michael said... see....that's what we call WRONG! WTF? I swear that phones in general are starting to get more and more evil. If it's not the cellphone folk then apparently it's the Payphone folk. Good lord.....sigh.

I hope that you're feelin better though.

Blogger Mikey said...
WOW!!!! all I can say is WOW!!! and ouch!!!

Blogger Donald said...
That is absolutely ridiculous. You were screwed, and not even with a smile. I am so sorry.

Blogger Doug said...
Anyplace you can report this? The Better Business Bureau? The local news station?

Blogger Ur-spo said...
Lily Tomlin as Ernestine summed it up as "We don't care, we don't have to; we're the phone company!"

Blogger Spider said...
Yea - my local "action reporter" on TV would be hearing about this one... I hate getting fucked like that and no one buying me dinner...

Blogger purpletwinkie said...
Wow! I can't believe that. Sorry!

Blogger Marko said...
OMG! That really sux! Id be sooo pissed!!!

Blogger Polt said...
So the moral is, always make sure your cell is charged? Or always make change, never use plastic, for a call?

Ithink were it me, I'd put something up on the phone describing the situation, and warning other potential victims. Dont' know how long it wouldstay there, but if it stopped one other person from having this happen to them, I'd be happy.


Blogger Tay Hota said...
gawd, you could have dropped in and bought a new cell for that... jeesh...

Blogger dirk.mancuso said...
That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Companies that pull crap like that should be shut down on the spot.

Blogger Jeepy said...
Did you atleast get dinner out of the deal,? Cause it sounds like you got FU@#*D

Blogger madamerouge said...

let me be an automotive Martha for a moment: put some small change in a small plastic container (a 35 mm film canister works perfectly) and keep it in the glove box of your car

better yet--if the car has little coin slots on the console, load 'em up

Blogger Jim said...
Ouch! For $60 you could have bought a back up cell phone. Funny how something all of us never had years ago has become so necessary.

Blogger lisa bee said...
I found your page after I searched for the charges I just received on my bill. I had to use the pay phone because I left my cell phone in my rental car and had to call them asap to let them know to look for it. I had no change and guess I never read the fine print, but I could have sworn it said it was $1 anywhere in the continental US. F*ing BS. I was charged $9.33 and then $5. So pissed...had you been able to do anything about it? Did you say Bank of America took those charges off? Next time I will put my pride aside and ask a stranger to use their cell phone...

Blogger Ilona Olayan said...

ILD Teleservices is a leading payment processor for transactions between merchants and consumers. Through contractual relationships with telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon, we give merchants the opportunity to let consumers charge products and services such as long distance, internet access, and collect calling directly to your phone bill.

As a result, instead of purchasing these items with a credit card or opening an account with the merchant, you can have a transaction billed directly to your phone. When you do, the merchant sends your transaction information to ILD, and ILD adds the charge to your phone bill. It’s a service very similar to what credit card companies provide.

If you have a charge you believe is incorrect, or if you have any other questions or concerns with ILD, please let us know. We want to address any and all issues you may have. To contact us, please email us at If you would prefer to call us, please call our hotline at 800-953-7765.

Thank you, and please let us know how we can help.

Ilona Olayan
ILD Teleservices

Blogger Plastic Canvas said...
Same thing just happened to me. I was at work and a co-worker called collect. I wasn't able to except the call without a credit card, so I used my own. Less than a minute on the phone and I was billed $19.26 The first charge was $5.00 and the second $14.26 This is crazy, aren't there laws against stuff like this. The message on the phone gave no indication how much they charge or even an option to find out about billing.

What a scam!

Blogger Tammysue said...
I am a widow up in age and on a fixed income. My son-in law had to phone me due to an emergency about my daughter and had to use a pay phone, after the 30 second phone call they charged me 36.95. When I phoned the company they told me I should listed to the recorded message and understand what the charges would be.I may be up in age but I am not stupid and they talked to me as if I was. Finally I did get 13.95 refunded. Everyone PLEASE BE CAREFUL THESE PHONES ARE THE EQUILIVENT OF STRON ARM ROBBERY !!!!! We need to contact our local consumer advocate to have these things removed !!! This is WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!

If anyone would like to contact Ken Amaro in Jacksonville Florida's channel 12 news I would be glad to help.


Blogger Our Family said...
This just happened to me!!!!!
I was charged $5.00 by:
on 10/23/10
AND then...
I was charged $15.73 by:
on 10/24/10

All I did was use a payphone when I had no cell phone and it was an emergency. I left a message for my husband and that took 30 seconds. They will not get away with this.


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