Would you like to accept the charges?
April 26, 2008 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Is it worth the time and effort to attempt to get a third-party collect call removed from my phone bill?

On my Verizon bill this month, there is collect call from The Billing Resource on behalf of OSP Communications. The trouble is that the call was "accepted" on a day and time that nobody was home.

On one hand, I don't want to pay for something that I didn't use and is most certainly a scam of some sort. On the other hand, we're looking to buy a house in the next year and it would be equally dumb to blemish our credit and shell out far more money if we're not approved for a good mortgage because these scammers push it to collections over an $11 charge.

Verizon can't help because they're only passing through the charge for a third party provider. I can't imagine that these people would make it easy or even possible to contest these charges.

Has anyone successfully fought charges like these?
posted by dr_dank to Work & Money (6 answers total)
My advice: pay it and fight it are two different things.

Pay the 11 bux cuz 11 bux is not a lot of money.

If you're pissed, if you're civic-minded enough to help stop this kind of scam, or if you're frugal enough that you want your eleven USD back, fight it. After you pay it.

Yes, i've successfully fought this kind of thing, but many years ago. and to be honest, they treated it like a write-off, so the crime-fighting-action-hero aspect of the thing never came into effect. I got my eleven dollars back, but justice was probably not served.
posted by stubby phillips at 9:04 AM on April 26, 2008

I'd report the crime to the appropriate agency (state attorney general?) but whether it's worth fighting for a refund depends on factors that are not yet apparent.

I'd definitely go at least the first step. Inform the company that the charge is incorrect and see if they'll reverse it. At this stage, I wouldn't go into fighting mode yet, just "there must be some mistake," as though you're sure they'll be helpful and fix it immediately. Seems to me that even if it is 100% scam, their best strategy would be to refund everyone who requests it and just keep the money of the people who don't bother.
posted by winston at 9:26 AM on April 26, 2008

Fight it. They're slimeballs and Verizon knows about them. You may have to jump through a hoop or two, but the Verizon billing department will credit you the money.

I got "crammed" by one of their companies a month ago and successfully disputed the fraudulent charge. Using the word "fraudulent" goes a long way. Be polite but firm and you will get your money back.

You can also request that a block on third-party services be added to your account so that if you ever want to add one in the future, you'll have to verify it with Verizon. It's worth doing.
posted by bink at 10:10 AM on April 26, 2008

Best answer: I've contested a charge even smaller than this, because it pissed me off. All I had to do was call my phone company, and the first person I spoke to took the charge off my bill. I paid that bill in full and they credited me the few bucks for the next month -- the company said it was easier to do it that way, and I didn't mind.

I was polite on the phone, and they were familiar with the scam, so it went well.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:29 AM on April 26, 2008

Dispute this with Verizon. If enough people complain they may pursue action against the company just to stop their customers from calling in.
posted by Octoparrot at 7:08 PM on April 26, 2008

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