Enhanced Services Billing Inc.

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AT&T Rip Off
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- Charges appear on your phone bill that you did not authorize, it called cramming, company's can simply charge ATT for services you never ordered, never requested and you have to pay them or your phone will be disconnected for non payment. One of the biggest scammers or crammers is:

ENHANCED SERVICES BILLING INC. Phone: 800-570-0269
7411 JOHN SMITH DR. STE. 200 SAN ANTONIO, Texas, 78229 U.S.A.

ATT says they are powerless to do anything to stop this and must collect the charges, even though they know they are fraudulent charges.

It showed up as enhanced services on my bill $12.95. I thought for months it was the 3 way calling, call waiting and call forwarding I had on my service with ATT.

To try to stop this according to ATT. You must call the company and tell them that you did not order service, do not want service of any kind and want the charges reversed. The company then must agree to this and authorize a credit, give you a reference number for your refund or charges.

Good luck, the numbers will usually say they are closed or your put on hold and never pick up again.

I was told by an ATT employee who thought it was the consumers fault that this type of problem was because people did not vote or pay attention to the FCC. She said she hears complaints like this every day.

Said it was not ATT's fault, that ATT just billed for these services, over 200 hundred different companies and made no money what so ever for these services or the billing of these services. When was the last time ATT gave you something for free??

She did say, if you called and could not reach the crammers, that you could then call ATT back and dispute the charges, again, and that they could put them in a pending file and you would not be charged. However, if you don't pay the charges and do not have authorization to not pay for services that you never ordered. The company Enhanced Services Billing, could then send you paper bills and even turn your account over to a collection agency for the amount not paid.

How is that for a business, free billing by ATT, you get your phone service cut off if you do not pay, and you get sent to a collection agency if you dispute the bill. Only in the USA would the FCC and the PUC get together to allow a business that must be the best scam going on in America today.

Now it is possible for you to use a pay phone, yes they still have these, or you may accept a collect call, a few ways these are legitimate charges. But, this would be a one time event. These people have been ripping me off of for months and many other people.

ATT claims no responsibility, yet will cut off your phone for not paying, that's great. ATT is helping to perpetuate the scam.

Anyone capable of capturing a consumer's telephone number can cause charges for a product or service to be included on that person's phone bill. Using Automatic Number Identification (ANI), a system similar to "caller ID," they can capture the phone number from which a call to the party originates. Thus, the only thing needed by scam artists that have ANI is a method of inducing you to call them.

You don't even need to divulge credit card or other account numbers in order to be billed. Similarly, phone numbers can be obtained, without high-tech equipment, through purported sweepstakes that require a phone number on an entry form, or even through simply drawing numbers at random from the telephone directory.

The FTC, which accused San Antonio Texas-based New Century Equity Holdings Corp. and two of its subsidiaries of "cramming" or hiding unauthorized charges for Web site design and "other enhanced services" on the phone bills of thousands of unsuspecting consumers has settled its complaint.

New Century and its subsidiaries, Billing Concepts Inc. and Enhanced Services Billing Inc., agreed to a settlement of the complaint which alleged that the companies attempted to force consumers to pay for Web site design services and calling cards that the consumers did not ask to receive.

It was noted that New Century and its subsidiaries did not sell the services in question, but rather acted as "billing aggregators," serving as intermediaries between the fraudulent vendors and the phone companies.

As such they provided the portal into the telephone billing system, without which crammers would have no way of placing charges on consumers' phone bills. The FTC has also filed complaints against several of the crammers who used New Century's services

Tips to help you avoid cramming scams.

Be aware that your local telephone company may bill for services provided by other companies.

Be especially wary if you're told to enter codes, leave your name, or answer "yes" to prompts. Unscrupulous entertainment providers may use this ruse to send you a bill.

All 900 numbers cost money, even if you're calling to claim a "free" prize. All 900 numbers that cost more than $2 must give you a brief introductory message about the service, the service provider, and the cost of the call. You have three seconds after the message ends to hang up without being charged.

Consider getting a 900 number block; it stops calls from going through to 900 number services. Blocks also are available for international, long distance, and local toll calls. Call your phone company for details.

Examine your phone bill for recurring monthly charges. These charges typically appear as "Miscellaneous Charges and Credits." They may be so small, or described in such general terms, that they're easy to overlook or confuse with valid services you may have ordered from another provider. Watch for fees described as "Min Use Fee," "Activation," "Member Fee," "Voice Mail," or some similar phrase.

If you find an error on your bill, instructions on your statement will tell you whom to call or write to dispute the charge. Follow up any phone conversations with a letter, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy for your files.

This is a big scam going on since 1998 on the research I have done.

To fight it. Hit ATT with the fact that you did call the listed number for the company, send the company a letter and demand that ATT put these charges in the disputed file.

Contact the FCC and PUC to see what can be done.
Think of how much these people are making. 1 million customers, which is a minimal figure would be worth 12 million dollars in just one month and this has been going on for years. Nothing is free and I am shocked that the telco industry, and this effects internet users, cell phone users, would allow this to continue.

So you can be assured if ATT allows this to go on for 8 or 9 years, they are making money somewhere for billing for these services or we would not have it. I told them I was going to get Vonage ,they said fine go ahead, so they don't care. I have just put over 3 hours in to researching reading, talking to ATT over a $12.00 bill for this month. However it's an illegal business that is worth billions and no one, no one but us, the people being robbed will stop this HUGE scam.

Geez who needs to do anything illegal to make money, just get some phone numbers and send them to ATT and put some charges on them. The numbers can come right out of the phone book.

What a scam.
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User Replies:
nstigator39 on 11/23/2007:
I stopped using AT&T and Cingular for these types of reasons. The billing is just awful, always messed up and trying to get them to correct them only contributes to my high blood pressure. Now they are in my community offering their U-Verse cable television, all on a combined bill for internet and all, well good luck with that, Not for me.
tnchuck100 on 11/24/2007:
You have a lot of good information here. But, let me correct one thing. They are not supposed to cut off your phone service for not paying 3rd party charges. As for the AT&T rep indicating the charges had something to do with not voting or paying attention to the FCC, that was a joke!
Consumer Rights Activist on 08/14/2008:
If you were charged on your local or residential phone bill from Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. for third party billing services and subscriptions that you never authorized Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. to bill you for, share your complaints with other consumers:

http://classactionconnect.com/consumer-complaints/enhanced-services-billing-inc-esbi-aka-billing-concepts-bsg-billing-services-group-unauthorized-local-phone-charges/
Antioch_Shopper on 01/18/2009:
The Commission has set up a hotline for consumers to call with questions about the case or the refund procedure. It is (202) 326-3060.

The Commission vote to refer the complaint and settlements to the Department of Justice for filing was 4-0, with Chairman Timothy J. Muris not participating. The complaint and proposed consent judgments were filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 1,2001 by the Department of Justice at the request of the FTC. The proposed settlements are subject to court approval.

Pell on 12/04/2009:
It's not just AT&T. I have had phone service with Qwest for 10 years and just found a charge from ESBI "on behalf of Laurentel". I googled them, emailed them through contact us and told them I had never heard of them, did not knowingly sign up for their services, and told them to cancel any account they had set up for me.
I changed phone companies, bundled with cable/internet but on my closing bill with Qwest the $8.23 charge was not only still there but had doubled!
Qwest could do nothing about it, I told the Qwest operator I was not going to pay it and give me my total minus the charges from Laurentel ESBI ETI whatever they call themselves.
I paid and closed out my Qwest account minus those two monthly charges. However, this leaves $16.46 unpaid bills floating around "out there" somewhere.
I called the ESBI toll free # and after a series of automated departments I was put in touch with the party who billed me, I am assuming this was Lautentel. I told the lady that this had been going on over 2 month billing period I had e mailed them and cancelled even though I never signed up and this was my SECOND call to them. The lady was very nice, rattled a few papers and then said her records show that they had sent a $16.46 refund to Qwest who had rejected it, ??? hmmmmm...
The outcome of my conversation was that she was going to put in a request to have a check mailed directly to me. Oddly enough she did not know my name or address, though both can be accessed by looking up my phone number. Hopefully I will receive a check and not a bunch of junk mail.
Here is the phone number for LAURENTEL - from Washington state- I'm not sure if they differ from state to state. 1-800-627-1310.

I will post again when/if I get a result.
Pell on 12/04/2009:
p.s. ESBI have previously been found guilty of this sort of thing and "agreed to settle" They must make millions if they can settle and still keep doing it!
Lifemates on 10/05/2010:
This is bad, very bad.
Bill Priff on 06/08/2011:
6-08-2011
I just got my AT&T phone bill (page 1 of 3 it says), with $14.95 added ( 97 cents sales tax) for a total of $15.92 total added!!!

"#New services provided and billed" so it says on ESBI's page3, and "Provider not affiliated with AT
Bryan girl on 07/17/2013:
I worked at a call center while being incarcerated at a federal correctional camp. We handled calls to enhanced service billing and reimbursed the people that would call in. I was always getting in trouble for reimbursing charges that weren't brought up by the caller. I was in this place for committing a crime and ESBI was also but legally getting away with it pretty mind blowing to me!!!
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