greg (grysar) wrote,
greg
grysar

Reach out and shaft someone

A month or two ago I made some long calling card calls from NC to a MD dial up. Not having a local dial up number was danged inconvenient, but since the rate on the calling card was supposedly less than 10 cents a minute, I was willing to pay the price.

Trouble is the bill just came through, all the calls logged as 'operator assisted' w/ a rate of something like $1.50 a minute and a per call surcharge of more than $5.

Needless to say, I am not amused. Even less so as it was the card of the mother of a friend of mine. Thankfully I had the sense to get permission first and make abundantly clear how I'd be using the card or I'd be really angry with myself right now. Obviously I'll pay the full amount, which is less than, but still in the neighborhood of about 1k, if it comes to it, 'cause I don't shaft my friends, but I'm first going to work rather hard to avoid the charge.

The weird thing is, ATT, who is the service that offered the card, doesn't seem to know where the charges came from. Obviously they weren't operator assisted, unless operators can talk to modems these days, and the rate policy on the card nowhere states that there is a ludicrous markup for data.

Current plan, get a statement in writing from the timeshare, the local phone company, and the Internet provider that they are not the origin of the charges. That would only leave ATT. They were getting greedy and trying to charge 25 cents per minute even though they don't say anything about the high rates in their documentation, but I can handle that if I have to. But I certainly should be able to argue my way out of paying for a charge that has no origin.

Time to see if I'm a diplomat or a chump...
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