Ever felt like you were getting overcharged for minute usage on your cell phone bill, but got no cooperation from so-called customer service reps?
Ever had your cell phone drop a call for seemingly no reason, then you can't make another call right away? Or gotten multiple wrong number calls
asking for the same person, from different people?
Have you been assured that it is virtually impossible for anyone to hack into your line and use your number on another phone?
Do you realize that if your bill doesn't display the number that dialed you for incoming calls, you have no way of tracking them other than by time
of call placement?
I had an interesting experience a couple years back with just this combination of factors. The company that I had service with then recently took
major losses and ended up in a merger, but will remain nameless.
If you are still interested, read on.
July 16, 2003
Dear Wireless Fraud Investigator,
As I have detailed in several calls to Cust. Svc., I am disputing my bill for the period ending 5/27/03. I have paid $250.00 in good faith and to
maintain service until this matter is resolved.
At first, I was upset that the rep I spoke to on 5/27/03 assured me that the new plan I chose that day would cover my minutes used for the period
ending that day. I was subsequently charged for 564 additional minutes, even though I had increased my plan anytime minutes from 600 to 900, and had
tried to get an unlimited plan to no avail. I knew I was using my phone more in May, but not that much more. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an
e-account at that time to check my minutes so I had to rely on the rep, and eventually a supervisor named Doug who was less than helpful.
Then, on 6/5/03, at 6:28 pm, I received a call from an unidentified young Hispanic adult sounding male asking for “Olivia”. I asked what number
he had dialed, and he laughed, saying “XXX-XXXX”. My caller I.D. showed the number that had called was YYY-YYY-YYYY. I recalled then that I had
some strange calls for an “Olivia” or some other Latin sounding female name back in February or March and had reported then that I thought
something was going on with my phone. I received a second call for “Olivia” from an unidentified young Hispanic adult sounding female on 6/6/03
at 2:01 pm. When I asked her what number she had dialed, she made a sighing sound and hung up on me. My caller I.D. showed the number that had
called me was ZZZ-ZZZ-ZZZZ.
I again spoke to Cust. Svc. At 4:55 pm on 6/6/03, and requested connection to the Fraud Dept. Again your rep was less than helpful, and the Fraud
Dept. was closed. What are the chances that two different people calling the same third person would both dial the same wrong number? Look at a
phone key pad and try to hit 8-5-0 while dialing 9-2-4. It is nearly impossible in both instances. I called back the three numbers I now had; first
ZZZ-ZZZZ and reached a Hispanic sounding male with limited English after many rings; then YYY-YYYY and reached a voice-mailbox with four male Hispanic
names detailed by a male speaking Hispanic accented English; then XXX-XXXX where what sounded like a young male Hispanic answered and said there was
no “Olivia” at that number, confirming my suspicion that it was a bogus number to begin with. It then occurred to me that “Olivia” is the
street name on my billing address.
Taken together, along with the fact that my minute usage pattern had changed in May, using up the cushion of minutes on my calling plan, these
factors add up to compelling circumstantial evidence that my cell phone was/is being used to take incoming calls for someone using the name
“Olivia”. The problem started after we purchased new phones at the Wireless store. When the new phones were activated, we found that we
couldn’t receive calls on them unless the old phones were turned off. If the old phones were on, they would ring and not the new phones.
I demand a complete accounting of all my incoming calls since February, and an explanation of what is going on from the Fraud Dept., as well as any
credit I am due arising from their investigation. I will not pay the outstanding balance on my May bill or let this matter rest until then.
Needless to say, I got zero cooperation from CS and ended up having to pay my entire bill to protect my credit, then dumped that company and went
elsewhere for service.
Somehow, I feel that I'm not alone. Any other similar experiences out there?