Zero Plus Dialing/AT&T Complaint - I Can't Believe This Can Be Legal: $42.00 For A 45 Second Local Call!!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I had a friend that was having car trouble, and was trying to direct a tow truck to his location. His cell battery was dead, so he called me collect from a pay phone(the tow driver was then calling me as he couldn't call the payphone). There were four calls made in about a 40 minute timespan. All were less than a minute long, and the payphone was in my area code, about 2-1/2 miles from my house. My AT&T bill stated them as 6.0 minutes each, and charged $31.56 PER CALL-THAT'S $126.12!!!! I called AT&T and was told it was not their charge, to take it up with the service carrier, 'Zero Plus Dialing'. I e-mailed them (thru 'Custom Teleconnect' and 'NCIC',who I was 'billed on behalf of')politely and got no response at all. I called them (Zero Plus) and got a trainee with an apparent script for calming down "irate callers" that only succeeded in making me irate. I could hear he had my call on speaker phone and his fellow employees were having trouble stifling snickers, as did he once or twice. (I didn't care about any of that at the time, in retrospect it seems rather amateurish and rude) and after repeatedly asking to speak to a supervisor, was transferred to a "we're sorry-out of service-" dialtone. Nice.
I called back, hopping mad, and demanded to speak to him again. This got me, instead, the floor supervisor, who eventually began offering me "one-time courtesy credits" starting at $12.00 and, after a long pause, increasing by $12.00 increments. Every time I responded by stating how much this still stuck me with. She finally topped out at $72.00(total), which I informed her was just over half of how much I'd been ripped off for, and she informed me that she'd be documenting my decline, and asked me if I wanted her to put in a statement from me. You can guess what I FELT like saying, but I said "ask your higher-ups if they feel right and fair charging a dollar per second for a call that would be 50 cents in coins deposited, without warning EITHER party of the impending thirty dollar booby trap. How do they sleep?".
This company hides behind the skirts of AT&T, billing through them, causing my phone service to be cut off if I refuse to pay the WHOLE bill(normally about $28.00/month). I can't believe that AT&T would let a company do this. Once upon a time in this country, business practices like this would have been considered criminal.