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A lesson in futility

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-10-15 17:48:51 EDT
Rating: 1.88 on 44 ratings (44 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

Outrage is the first feeling to hit.
"How could they do this to me?"
"Is this legal?"
"I want their heads removed, eyes gouged out with wooden spoons, and their bodies impaled on my front lawn!"

Unfortunately, nothing ever happens to corporate giants, they're protected by powerful legal teams, boundless wealth, and corrupt politicians.

I was alerted today by my wife that we'd been getting billed for a voice-messaging service that we never applied for. To the tune of $8.23/month since January, a scam company named "Agora Services" has been having AT&T bill us for services that they ficticiously assert we've applied for online.

Apparently, by simply opening an email, you are automatically subscribed to their services. This apparently applies to all customers of AT&T or it's subsidiaries, meaning essentially, if you are their customer, you can never, ever open emails ever again, or you run the risk of being billed unknowingly for the privilage.

In the end, we had to jump through hoops trying to discontinue a service we never applied for in the first place because AT&T gives out your personal info to over 2000 3rd party billers.
We were robbed of $82.30, but the biggest loss was the illusion of security and the small comfort that it provided.

I don't think I delude myself into believing that the world is a feel good/friendly place, but I don't really put out much personal information (knowlingly), and I definitely don't go clicking on suspicious links or putting personal information into spam emails.

Regardless, if you use ANY PHONE COMPANY, check your bills to be sure you aren't also getting dicked around. We probably wouldn't have noticed if we hadn't also been billed for a modem we didn't order, thus increasing our bill by around $100.

I'm including an unusually large picture below, so if your see a big gap at the bottom, that's why.

And this is exactly what happened when I called BellSouth.JPG
And this is exactly what happened when I called BellSouth.JPG


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Submitted by sarongthong at 2010-08-05 20:39:20 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by Cracked_out_cali at 2010-08-05 19:59:36 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

You had me at Stewart beard

Submitted by ireallyhateniggers at 2010-07-28 17:05:45 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

this is so much better than reading about fagits and niggers.

Submitted by Tomorokoshi at 2010-07-12 20:09:13 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2010-04-25 14:44:04 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by lare26 (user info) at 2010-04-17 02:47:53 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Holy crap that was awesome! I love the pic. I hate big corporations...and medium ones...and small ones...
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You shouldn't necessarily hate the all the players, sometimes it really is just the game.

I work for a small, family owned corporation. We don't fuck people over, the employee benefits are ridiculously awesome for a construction business, even for those who aren't in the family, and we actively seek to employee new people, sometimes for flimsy reasons, simply to spread some of the wealth and help out with the current unemployment problem.

Submitted by lare26 at 2010-04-17 02:47:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Holy crap that was awesome! I love the pic. I hate big corporations...and medium ones...and small ones...

Submitted by Fucking foul at 2010-01-22 21:52:40 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-12-11 08:59:23 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Resolution:

Today, December 11th, 2009, We were finally refunded 3 months of this service we didn't ask for, so while we haven't gotten satisfaction by any means, we've at least managed to minimize our losses.

My only hope is that out of the 9k hits this has gotten, some if not most people reading this have checked their own phone bills for this type of thing, and will at least be aware of it for the future, and maybe even tell more people so that they can't keep getting away with it.

Unfortunately, I fear that's an overly optimistic outcome, but every little bit helps ya know?

Submitted by c1ndy at 2009-12-07 15:24:12 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by wardy at 2009-11-28 19:10:25 EST (#)
Rating: 2

fantastic.

Submitted by malefic at 2009-11-27 22:37:49 EST (#)
Rating: 2

LOLed as the picture kept going and going. Good one.

Can't you chargeback the funds on your credit card?

Submitted by Ducky at 2009-11-16 00:58:53 EST (#)
Rating: 2

wooooooooooooooooooooooooooot...something i submit finally makes it :)

Congrats on B@W

Submitted by antluvdog at 2009-11-11 22:20:55 EST (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by simple_catalyst at 2009-10-20 13:01:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Epic Win.

Submitted by Average_Dan at 2009-10-19 18:29:40 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Assholes


And I was just thinking of switching to AT&T. Thank you for disuading me.

Submitted by Brdn_Nkd at 2009-10-19 15:42:57 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

This one time, at my house, I noticed that my bill was abnormally high so i looked at the detail and found i was being billed $30 a month for some gay ass subscription services that I never touched or looked at or had even heard of. My twelve year old son on the other hand, needing more points for whatever facebook game he was playing, had provided his phone number on three sites thereby initiating service.

THIS is the tact you should have taken/story you should have told. It's actually true in my case but as soon as i said "twelve year old son signed up" they agreed to cancel the service and refund me the prior months to current. bastards.

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-10-17 10:36:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by X54 (user info) at 2009-10-17 10:13:58 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2
Don't let'em get away with it. The only reason Agori is still in business is because most people can't be bothered to deal with them. As much as I hate to say it, because I really fucking can't stand them, you might want to find some sleazy lawyer to file a class action suit against the phone company. They're the ones holding all the cards; if it costs them more to do business with Agora than they're making off them, they'll drop'em. Trying to sue Agora would probably be hopeless since they're probably not even a legitimate company.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You should check out the site I linked to below, it's basically a method the FCC has for essentially fining the phone companies so that it becomes unprofitable to do business with these types of companies.

The problem with a lawsuit is that going up against BellSouth/AT&T is like trying to fight a battle against any other large company.

1st, you have to find a decent lawyer who is WILLING to go up against them and their Montgomery Burns-esque legal team(s).

2nd, you need to have some method of contacting a minimum of around 100,000 other scam victims to even count as a class action lawsuit.

3rd and finally, you have to have the money to retain the lawyer, and fight the legal costs, and courtroom battles, as well as switching your phone/internet companies. (I have one other option where I live, Satellite internet/magic jack, both of which have provide worse service, as well as problems of their own.)

As much as I hate it, I just don't have that kind of time or money.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-10-17 10:17:14 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by X54 at 2009-10-17 10:13:58 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

"Either way though it's an undeserved hassle. I'm just glad they didn't take more of it and we caught it soon."

Don't let'em get away with it. The only reason Agori is still in business is because most people can't be bothered to deal with them. As much as I hate to say it, because I really fucking can't stand them, you might want to find some sleazy lawyer to file a class action suit against the phone company. They're the ones holding all the cards; if it costs them more to do business with Agora than they're making off them, they'll drop'em. Trying to sue Agora would probably be hopeless since they're probably not even a legitimate company.

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-10-16 22:27:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

As it turns out, we called up Ma Bell, and told the fat old bitch to give it up.

We ended up getting them to take care of closing out our never applied for account, and upon contacting the scam company, was told by them that they'd "reimburse us for the last 2 billing periods....within 3-4 billing cycles..."

I seriously doubt that we'll be able to recover our money from them, or that we'll even see the 2 months of billing they said they'd give us back.

I am in the process of finding out if my situation applies to the process known as "slamming", and am currently filling out a complaint form with the FCC regarding these little practices, which they have a fancy-schmancy site about here:

http://www.fcc.gov/slamming/

Either way though it's an undeserved hassle. I'm just glad they didn't take more of it and we caught it soon.

Submitted by X54 at 2009-10-16 21:21:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Excellent! Berty's right, though. Your only recourse is through AT&T.

Submitted by GroundHorse at 2009-10-16 19:18:58 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I wouldn't mind seeing this at that b site.

Are you listening, bart?

Submitted by CaptainThorns at 2009-10-16 18:58:32 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Picard auto+2!

Submitted by lungfish at 2009-10-16 18:38:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by paxilliona at 2009-10-16 17:56:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I would never pay money I dont owe. Why would you?

Submitted by joedaddy at 2009-10-16 15:36:21 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Soyware (user info) at 2009-10-15 20:10:50 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

I used to work for verizon and gave countless people the same hassle you went through.
***

i fucked that company out of $170.00 and a few others who have tried to fuck me

how do i do it ??

i'm old, wise and can fuck harder than any punk who trys to take my $

Submitted by apollo88 at 2009-10-16 13:42:50 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

hhahah

i've tried to cancel a sprint wireless card I bought two years ago that never worked yet I've been billed $60 every month for two years.

I even cancelled my card at one point but somehow they just started billing the new one.

I've still not figured that out unless they are in cahoots with amex.


Submitted by august_sobriquet at 2009-10-16 08:52:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Reviews, excellent
Post, WTFin'H is that all about?

Submitted by Berty at 2009-10-16 08:48:30 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

After doing a smidge of reading, the legal term for this is aquiesance. This is different from consent as, basically, you have not given your express consent. My understanding of the law (which is very crude) is that if the company were to do something to your account, say they were to change your billing schedule, that affected them but not yourself directly then that is fine but there are issues involved in doing something that directly affects you.

Now I've owned shares in companies that have been taken over and offered deals which would be put through unless I specifically objected, however in those situations that was because the broker whom I traded through was consenting the deal on my behalf. It may be a similar case with AT&T and yourself with AT&T acting as an intermediary, but I do not know. I'm not an expert.

Basically, I reckon you should call AT&T and get very, very, bald with them and they will probably give you your money back.

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2009-10-16 08:45:11 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Dude, fucking pure awesome.

Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2009-10-16 08:42:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Bastards.

Submitted by BranDo at 2009-10-16 05:15:52 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

We had a nice encounter with BT International over the last weeks.
They are being billed for services we provide for them and those bills were going through Amsterdam.
We then received the invoice back stating we should now use their office in Brussels, okay no sweat.

That invoice came back too asking for the use of their Prague office, we can do that too.
No no no, send it to the Prague office but use the Brusels office as the billed party, WTF?

10 minutes after that message the phone rang and we were asked to re-send our bill to Amsterdam...

At least we're getting paid, we think.



Submitted by pandora at 2009-10-16 02:37:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm too drunk to read right now; +2 for the pics

Submitted by cheerios at 2009-10-15 23:37:01 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

fucking scammers.

Submitted by Ducky at 2009-10-15 21:21:25 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I loved this so much.

Submitted by TuTs at 2009-10-15 20:47:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

For asshole phone companies. I just got charged $170 for using the internet on my mobile.

Submitted by Shlongy at 2009-10-15 20:35:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

That looked like a lot of work.

I made it almost halfway through before I lost interest.

I won't ruin your rating...for now. I'm feeling nice.

Submitted by Soyware at 2009-10-15 20:10:50 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I used to work for verizon and gave countless people the same hassle you went through.
Forgive me flying spaghetti monster, for I have sinned...

Submitted by forensicgirl3 at 2009-10-15 19:57:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Borg

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2009-10-15 19:41:15 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Perhaps if you read through your username, you may find an appropriate course of action.

Submitted by HurtByTheSun at 2009-10-15 18:22:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Win.

Submitted by JonnyX at 2009-10-15 18:09:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

what's next, a rant about the high price of Metamucil?

Submitted by GroundHorse at 2009-10-15 17:59:15 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Uber is dead. lol

Submitted by AshK at 2009-10-15 17:58:32 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

well that sucks a bunch of rancid cock
the bill, not the post


the post in no way blew

...that i noticed,


I didn't want a hokey second wedding like those ones on TV! This one's
for real!

-- Homer Simpson
A Milhouse Divided