a corgi-dorable girl (athenagrace) wrote in bad_service,
a corgi-dorable girl

Yay for scams -- Phone Phun

Yesterday I checked my Bellsouth phone bill because it was about 60 bucks higher than I thought it would be. For the record, I do auto debit and don't usually check my phone bill line by line because I know what it generally should be, give or take a few bucks for text messaging. I accept reponsibility for this whole thing because if I had checked it sooner I'd only be out maybe 8.23 or 16 bucks or something, not more.

Well, the extra 60 bucks was from Bellsouth for something that was rather darn sneaky but it was technically one of those itty bitty lines on a service agreement that I agreed to, so I can't fault them. But then I noticed an extra 8.23 or so for "Third Party Charges" from Agora Solutions. I go back through my old phone bills and realize that I've been charged by Agora Solutions since Feb of this year.  In January I changed some of my services so I didn't really think much when my phone bill increased.  Again, my bad for not doing a line item check.

So I do a websearch on Agora. As you can see, they are complete scammers.

I give Agora a call and talk to "Elaina". For a company based in MN, "Elaina" has quite a heavy Indian accent. We muddle through the conversation. She says she has canceled the service. I ask what the IP address was of the computer that signed up. It's an IP based in MN . . . and I live in Georgia. She keeps repeating my full legal name and saying that I -- full legal name -- signed up for the service, but I NEVER use my full legal name unless I have to. It's on my phone account, driver's lisc, etc, but all magazines, other bills, etc are under my name, but not my full legal name. Oh, and the email address the confirmation was sent to? Never heard of it.

I call Bellsouth and ask them to block this service. The catch is that my cell phone is AT&T, so if I block third party billing I can't bundle my cell phone with my regular phone. The Bellsouth guy is rather nice and says that they scammed him too. Hmmm.

Call Agora back. I want to be fully refunded for every month. Elaina just keeps repeating that my service has been canceled. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Put on hold . . . and the call disconnects. Call and talk to Elaina again, ask to speak to the supervisor. Get to talk to "Shelia" who says they will credit my account for 3 months and it should show up in 1 to 2 billing cycles. I'm not holding my breath.

So I'm obviously pissed with Agora but am feeling let down by Bellsouth as well. If your own employees are being scammed, then why is the company still allowing random third party billing? I'm going to call Bellsouth again today to let them know, politely, that I'm dissapointed that they do not have an alert system in place. And I may be canceling my services with them.

Not really sure what I can do about Agora. A lot websites talking about how the company is a scam said they would file BBB reports, but I don't really see how that would help. It's not like Agora actually needs a high rating. I'm thinking about talking to some consumer reports people in local media.


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