Wednesday, November 23, 2005

 

Enhanced Services Billing Inc.

. . . is a company involved in all kinds of crap. I was all energized when they screwed me over the first time. Figured I would slam them here where no one would see it. Did some research. Actually slammed them on a Citysearch page for San Antonio. Unfortunately, either they don't post the reviews, or I can't figure out how to access them, and I didn't save it. When I called, and they're only open during business hours, so I had to call them from work, they said they would correct the situation. It seemed somewhat acceptable, so I dropped the whole thing. You did know I'm a lazy bastard, right? But why was I so hot? What was the situation? Let me go back a little.

My phone bill comes every month. Since I hardly call anyone, it is always the same basic amount. Until October's bill. I noticed I was being charged $14.95 for a service called "Total Protection Plus Vmail Monthly Fee" and $.45 in Federal taxes on this service. As mentioned, when I called Enhanced Services Billing Inc, I got a message telling me they are only open during their business hours. Once I'm home from work, they're closed, and I leave before they're open. So I did the next best thing. Even though I knew I needed to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc, I went ahead and called Local Phone Corp to express my righteous indignation.

I was duly informed that I would in fact have to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc in order to have this situation resolved. My contention was that I had been a victim of what some have called cramming, in which services you don't order are charged to your phone bill by this or that unethical company. An unethical company such as Enhanced Services Billing Inc.

A careless bill payer might pay for this or that service without realizing it. If my bill hadn't happened to be the exact same amount for the last several months, I wouldn't have noticed it. It was the sudden extra fifteen bucks that caught my eye. What if I was in the habit of calling information a lot, and letting them dial it for me, making my bill fluctuate? This could have gone on for a while before I caught it. Fortunately, I did catch it.

Back to Local Phone Corp. Yes, I understood I would have to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc. Fair enough. My question for her was . . . well, let me dialogue it for you (you'll forgive the imprecision of recall, but this is extremely close):

Me: How can they attach this charge to my bill when I haven't ordered it?

Local Phone Corp: As a public utility, we are required to attach charges to my bill when requested to do do by companies such as Enhanced Services Billing Inc.

Me: So even though I had nothing to do with this process, you went ahead and decided to attach this to my bill?

LPC: We're a public utility, and we're required to accept charges regarding utilities when submitted to us.

Me: But don't you verify that a company, such as Enhanced Services Billing Inc, that submits the bill actually has a service contract with the person you are forwarding the bill to?

LPC: We don't have a process for that; we just attach the charges to the bill.

Me: So you're saying that anyone can just call you, say they have a bill for someone, and you'll pass it along, process the payment, and send the money back to them, and there's no confirmation anywhere in this process?

LPC: (Something about being a public utility and regulations, and blah blah blah) . . . yes.


This was not a conversation that elevated my confidence in Local Phone Corp or federal regulations. I'd just have to wait til the next day to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc.

And who are these guys? I did a little bit of research while I was stewing in my own juices, waiting for the next day to get here. I guess I have a couple of tidbits of info. For example, here's some company details from November 2002 listed in a sample contract form:

Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. (“ESBI” or “Company”), a Delaware corporation, whose principal address and telephone number are 7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 200, San Antonio, Texas 78229-4898, (210) 949-7000


The San Antonio Citysearch linked above (probably more recent) gives this info:

Enhanced Services Billing, Inc., 10500 Heritage Blvd Ste 200, San Antonio, TX 78216-3631, (210) 949-7000


Different street addresses, but same phone number, and coincidentally, the same suite number. Of course, this local number for Enhanced Services Billing Inc is not the same as the toll free number 1-888-298-3724 that is provided for customer service.

And I found this site about cramming to be helpful. It even led me to this pdf file here. While I was there, I could read all about Enhanced Services Billing Inc, and the settlement agreement they signed. More specifically, I might note that it was a "Stipulated Final Judgment and Order For Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief." This enjoins the defendants (including Enhanced Services Billing Inc.) from "violating Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. [some squiggly "S" looking symbol I can't type] 45(a)." Where all the relevant parties have signed, I can see that a man named Joseph W. Webb, at the "John Smith" address above, is the president of the company. The agreement was likely signed by him either May 9th or May 10th of 2001, a date which also seems to fit with the "John Smith" address. You'll see his signature on Page 34 of the pdf. So thanks, FTC, I feel my tax dollars were put to good use.

The FTC comes through again with this article, also from 2001, about how the scam works. Turns out Enhanced Services Billing Inc is a billing aggregator. I'll let the FTC tell you what that is:

ESBI and BCI each served as "billing aggregators." Billing aggregators open the gate to the telephone billing and collection system for vendors, and act as intermediaries between the vendors and the local phone companies, contracting with the local phone companies to have charges on behalf of their client vendors placed on consumers' telephone bills and to have the local telephone companies collect those charges from consumers. Once the charges are collected by the phone companies, the billing aggregators, after taking their fee, pass the revenues back to their client vendors.


Referencing the pdf noted above, to which Enhanced Services Billing Inc stipulated, the FTC asserts the following:

-that ESBI falsely represented that consumers were legally obligated to pay charges on their telephone bills for web sites and other items they had not ordered or authorized others to order for them;

-that ESBI unfairly attempted to collect - or arranged for local phone companies to collect - payment of charges from consumers for web sites and other items they had not ordered and that consumers were unable to prevent ESBI from causing such unauthorized charges to appear on their phone bills;


Sounds familiar. Of course, government can't bear all of the burden. We have roles as citizens as well. Just ask Dr. Leonard Saltzman, whose eight year odyssey against Enhanced Services Billing Inc ended with an October 2005 settlement agreement from the company. To summarize, the fraudulent billings began in 1997. Enhanced Services Billing Inc got a claim for restitution dropped in August 2000. In October 2001, summary judgment was granted in favor of the company, because "knowingly receiving benefits from someone else's fraud was not covered under section 2 of the Consumer Fraud Act." Dr Saltzman appealed, leading to a reversal in June 2004. A fairness hearing for the proposed settlement was held on October 21, 2005. This information is from an attorney/law firm involved in the proceedings. I didn't find any more recent information. I'll keep checking.

Well maybe that was more than a couple of tidbits, but I was fired up. I did manage to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc the next day. The woman I spoke to was happy to credit my phone bill for that charge, and the next charge that was likely to have gone through since the time of the previous bill and my call to her. I asked her the same question I put to Local Phone Corp. How could this happen if I didn't order the service? Well, she says the order is placed not by name, but by telephone number. Chuck Somebody, who actually had ordered the service, must have accidentally given my number. When Enhanced Services Billing Inc sent the charge to Local Phone Corp, they identified the account by telephone number. The faulty phone number Chuck gave them meant I got billed. I was highly tempted to call BS on this, but the lady was crediting my bill. And I thought the matter was over and pretty much forgotten.

Forgotten, that is, until I opened my phone bill tonight. And there it was, right there in black and white, both credits do appear on my bill, $14.95 twice. And ninety cents back from the feds. Unfortunately, two lines below that was another charge, $14.95, and 45 cents to the feds. They billed me AGAIN!!!!! Well you can be sure I'll be calling them, and you'll hear the results here. And no holiday weekend is going to keep me from following up on this, even if I am a lazy bastard.
Comments:
Hello, found your post searching for similar info as I was billed similarly in March. So far I haven't decided between calling them and filling out their online "customer service" form (which might give them even more info on me)... I'll bookmark your site and try to remember to post an update.
 
I too have been scammed by ESBI. They started in October and continue through December. I have contact my phone company, ESBI and FTC. I have filed reports with everyone and have not received my credit. I did give the phone company hell for allowing unauthorized charges as this is a violation of Federal Regulations, but they assured me ESBI would credit my account. So far I'm out 24.69. Supposedly when someone is on your computer and clicks on an "Ad", you authorize this service from ESBI. Where's the authorization? Where's the email or telephone confirmation? I'll post an update next month...
 
ESBI placed a charge in November and December 2006 on my AT&T phone bill for "Members Edge Voicemail Monthly Fee" and there is NO VOICEMAIL on that phone nor did I order it! AT&T has removed the charges and said they would block them from charging me again. In the meantime, I have filed a formal complaint with the FTC, the Texas, Delaware, & Ohio (where I live) Attorney Generals as well as AT&T and Rip-Off Report.com.

Pam
 
I was billed also from ESBI also called my phone co.I was told charges had been removed.I did not order the viocemail on my phone. I was told by AT&T thay could not put a block on my phone it was agianst the law so thay can bill me again.My daughter called the 1800# that was charging me said anyone clicking on a add on the computer and giving a name and phone# that is where it is coming from it may say free but you are signing up for something else warn your chidren not to ever put there name or phone# for anything on the computer cause it is not free. It is being charged to your phone bill Do not put any personal info when it ask you.. Bad choices for kids to be doing and also for adults to on line to be doing this.I am calling our attorney generals.So if our kids are clicking on something and it is being added to our phone bills without a parents consent over the phone who is at fault here?We do not have a voicemail added to our phone line.And if I did I would like to know how to use this.This is just wrong for a phone co. to allow billing without consent from that phone number that is being billed.
 
I also was billed by ESBI in november 2006 was told i would get a refund after they insisted that i did authorize the charge well once they checked there telephone recording they heard that i did not authorize it they billed the wrong number i was told i would receive a credit which has not happen and it is march 2007 now.
the telephone operators are also very rude there
 
Well, now this company is charging everyone it seems, because they started charging me in February and I didn't read my bill until April so they are trying to get me to pay for two months and htey never answer thier phones. I had my local pphone company at&t (btw) block all third party charges which means no more crap companies trying to scam me. But my question is where is hte damn service?
 
I too was fraudlently billed by "Enhanced Services Billing inc". I looked at my at&t bill, and noticed that I was illegally charged $15.85 for a residential email service which I had never ordered. I called at&t and they conveniently said that this was a separate company, and that I would have to call them. I called, and they argued with me and insisted that I orderd the service. They said that they would cancel the service. This month, to my surprise, once again I am being charged for a service which I never ordered. I called to cancel again, and they have no record of my call to cancel the month before. They said that they will put in a request to cancel my service, and I should see a credit on my bill in 2 billing cycles, which is 2 months.
I'm surprised that At&t will allow such activity to take place. Is it possible that they are part of the scam that is called cramming?
 
How could this happen? I received the charge on my april bill and paid because i did not paid attention. They sent it again on my may bill. Do I still have to pay even though i am challenging the charge? Consumer protection really sucs.
 
I think your best bet is to call Enhanced Services Billing Inc. and advise them that you did not order this service. When I did that, they went ahead and removed the charges by placing a credit on my phone bill. I would go ahead and pay the phone bill, and get the credit later, just so you don't get marked as being late on your bill, which can damage your credit rating. Good luck.
 
Oh no. I had a major eye opener today when for the first time in nearly two years I looked at every single charge on my phone bill. Suprise, ESBI has been charging me since Oct. of 2005 for 12.95 a month for VM. This is what I get for just paying my bill without so much as looking at it.
I made the mistake of filling out the information on their website, I hope I don't get scamed further. I did call their customer service and was told I'd be credited $244.00 in four or five installments. It turns out the name of the person who authorized my service was a name I'd never heard of?
How is this happening nationwide and NOTHING is being done about it. I really want to file a lawsuit against EBSI for an astronomical ammount of money! Bar none they should be put completely out of business. This is scary.
 
I have had the same happen to me with this enhanced billing and members edge voicemail that I didn't order. Ever since I got my computer in december this has been happening. i called AT&T and was told that they could not put a block on these companies putting their charges on the bill and someone said that they were told from AT&T they could.I have been credited finally after 4 months and then the next month I open my bill and there is yet another charge. Now I have a balance of $60 from all of this. I am only paying my current bill that comes in because those are the services I signed up for. something has to be done. These companies should have their own seperate billo! Why are they allowed to be added to AT&T's bill? This needs to be stopped!
 
i just opened my bill and was charged 12.95 for Enhanced Service Billing Inc 888-298-3724...ESBI....how did this happen and what can we do????
 
i just opened my bill and was charged 12.95 for Enhanced Service Billing Inc 888-298-3724...ESBI....how did this happen and what can we do????
 
Your first step is to check your last few phone bills, to see if this is the first time you've been charged. Find out how far back these charges have been going on. These guys count on the amount ($12.95) being small enough that most people will think it is the normal fluctuation of their phone bill and not notice they are being charged for this service.

Once you know how long you've been billed for this, call the toll free number you have there. You may have to wait for normal business hours to do so. Tell them that you didn't order the service, and they will most likely unsubscribe you and credit back the chargers on your phone bill.

Don't deduct the charges on your own, and send in a payment to the phone company for less than your total bill. Then, you may end up looking like you're making late payments or incomplete payments on potential future credit reports, especially if you let it go past thirty days. Make the payments, and get it credited back.

When you call the company, they will probably tell you that the service must have been ordered by someone with the same name as you. They might also say that when they were setting up a subscriber they must have gotten two numbers backward, like they meant to put in 555-1234, and instead, they put in 555-1243, which just happened to be your number.

There should be no problem with getting your money credited back on your bill. If they fight you, they risk bad publicity. Bad publicity makes other people check their bills. Some of those other people may have been cluelessly paying $12.95 for months now.

They give you your money back, you are satisfied, you are very unlikely to go through the hassle of filing some sort of complaint with your state Attorney General or Better Business Bureau, and these guys can go on sneaking money off of other people's bills. Plus, as you can see from some of the other comments, some people have made these complaints with nothing to show for it. I think it almost has to be a hobby, or a calling, or a second job, if you really want to ultimately see action.

As you might note from the comments, there is some question about whether or not the phone company can block these sorts of third party charges, or whether they are required to accept them. Perhaps this varies from state to state. My understanding from my experience was that they were required by law to accept them.

Good luck.
 
I opened my bill today and found a $48.61 line item from this scammer company. I called the 1-888 number which connected me to an India call center. The double talk was unbelieveable and the rep took advantage of a slip I made about my wife recently being in the hospital. So the rep made me think this was a hospital room phone charge of some sort. Further, that this charge would appear only one time. After reading these comments I now know it is certainly not a single time charge and it certainly had nothing to do with her hospital stay. I figured that my wife while on a game playing website must have supplied the name and phone information via one of those deceptive ads.
 
These people are still at it. I received a bill for $14.95. I called a number listed with my bill. They said someone who's name I could not pronounce signed up for their service with my telephone number. HA. Anyway they said they would give me a credit.
 
It does seem like a common practice. I don't think I trust them that they actually had that sort of mix-up, especially when these same sorts of mix-ups seem to keep happening over and over.

At least you are getting the refund. I think the prompt refund is what keeps these guys under the radar. Anyone who notices the secret billing gets a refund, and they don't feel the need to complain any further. They company keeps ripping off the dupes.

Pretty cheesy, but I just don't have it in me to go on a crusade. Someone else will probably do it, write a book about it, and get interviewed on all the cable talk shows.
 
Guess what they got me and it wasnt even my phone bill. This was billed to my mother-in-law's phone because they said I called and set up VM. Who can I call to rectify this situation? Because our Missouri phone co. said it would take 3 months to come off the bill and I am telling them Bull#$%^ they are taking it off or I am calling a lawyer.
 
Rules may vary by state. I'm in California, and my local phone company said I would have to contact ESBI and deal with them to get the charges removed. There may be different rules in Missouri.

On your phone bill, you should see a toll free number listed along with ESBI. On my bill, that number was 1-888-298-3724. My local phone company had me call that number. When I did, ESBI said it was a mistake, and they would remove me and refund the charges. Those charges ended up appearing as credits on my phone bill.

However, because of the timing on billing cycles, and when charges are submitted, the charge was already put through to my next phone bill. I ended up being charged for a second month, before seeing both the first and second month charges credited back on the third month's bill. That might be the three months they are talking about.

I am not a lawyer, but I would advise you to keep making those payments, just for the sake of your credit report. You may get short term satisfaction by not paying, but when your next car loan application shows a three month delinquency, you might regret not paying.

As for hiring a lawyer, unless it's a friend willing to send a nasty letter for free, it seems like it would cost much more in legel fees than you will be paying over the next three months, and those charges will be refunded to your bill.

Unless you are super riled up and want to make this a class action, going the lawyer route just seems like more trouble than it's worth.

Good luck.
 
I just read the copy of the judgement/settlement they reached with the FTC when the FTC sued them. The US DIstrict Court judge ordered that they have 2 months to refund or credit you. I will be faxing a copy of this in with my letter to them. I discovered today that I have been billed since July by ESBI and USBI (for Voicenet Telephone) and ILD Teleservices Inc (for Enhanced Voicemail and for PBA Services). I have never heard of any of these places. I have had Bellsouth (now AT&T) Memory Call for years and can access it from anywhere. It seems like AT&T would have some kind of flag in their system for this. Plus, ILD didn't seem to notice or care that they were billing me for TWO voicemail services. These places ned to be put out of business but it will take some people really rising up about it.
 
MyIproducts is based in Minnesota. I filed a complaint against MyIproducts, ESBI, and AT&T with the Minnesota Attorney General; and the Attorney General secured for me a full refund.

In addition to the complaint I filed with the Minnesota Attorney General, I filed complaints with the Minnesota, Texas, and Indiana Better Business Bureaus; and the Texas and Indiana Attorney Generals; and the Federal Trade Commission; and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

In order to protect ourselves and others from future victimization from companies such as MyIproducts and ESBI (aka USBI) we've got to get LOUD. Further, we've got to make companies like AT&T and Verizon accountable for their part in the fraud which they have allowed others to perpetrate against us via our phone bills.

Please file your own complaints with the agencies I have mentioned (including your own state's Attorney General, Utility Regulatory Commission, and the BBB).
 
Enhanced Services Billing Inc scammed me as well with Voice Mail express - which I never ordered. Boy am I pissed off they are closed today - waiting to call tomorrow. Thank you blog host for doing the research. I'd like to send cousin Guido to their office to discuss "misunderstanding"
 
Me too - I just got off the phone with my ATT cust rep. and she called the bastard company. They are cancelling the service and my rep got a confirmation number and the operator's ID number. ATT took the charge off even before we got in touch with the Devil company (yes I am pretty mad about this). Rep also said she is handling a lot of these complaint calls but until enough people call ATT cant do much else. So complain like hell to your phone company.
 
My last comment suggested this has been going on for 10 years--sorry--it's been going on for at least two and a half years.
 
Thank you all for providing information on this. Like many of you, I opened my phone bill this evening to find it $50 more than usual- a huge jump for someone whose bill is always under $70 TOTAL. It looks like the same company is scamming me. After calling every number possible to find out what was going on, I finally got ahold of someone at Intelicom Messaging- only to be told that since it's my boyfriend's name on the bill, and not mine, she couldn't disclose any information to me. Huh. Really.

By the time I got off the phone with her my local AT&T (gotta love 'em) customer service was closed. Until tomorrow! Thanks for arming me with information, and letting me know that I'm not crazy.
 
For 'search' purposes...A couple of lines that showed up on my AT&T bill this month of January 2008...

Enhanced Services 14.95
1 888 301-3724

TRAVELLER INFO SVCS-
TECH SUPT MTH FEE 14.95

I'm not looking forward to my own personal journey into resolving this crummy, or should I say crammy issue. Unfortunately, I have only seen one positive post of AT&T actually being of service in helping a customer get rid of this charge. Wish me luck...and good luck to you too.
 
I just got the same crap on my phone bill. One charge from ESBI and another from ILD Teleservices both for "voicemail services" that I know that I did not order. They both said that I signed up online and they could trace the order back to my IP address. I think this is crap, I did not order anything from these people and I don't have any voicemail on my phone much less two of them! ILD agreed to credit me the charges and gave me a cancellation number but ESBI refused to credit me saying that I ordered it so I have to pay for it. I threatened to call a laywer but the woman seemed unfazed by my threat. They did cancel any further charges but refused to credit back the charges already made. I called AT&T(in Michigan) and they put a block on all 3rd party billing effective immediately so hopefully that will stop this from happening again. If anyone has anymore detailed info on how to file a complaint let me know. I have never been so frustrated in my life!
 
Hi, Just got off the phone with AT&T and Enhanced Sevices both stating that I signed up for this voicemail etc...etc..etc.. I have never seen this web site. I never signed up for this.I have never heard of this. They refuse to credit back the money saying that I ordered the service through email. I said when someone orders a service they ask for a mothers maiden name or the last 4 digits of your ssn something I would think.I have been charged for 3 months now of 14.95. Is there a class act lawsuit? If so please let me know. I am switching my service from AT&T tomorrow.
 
This company is still at it and I just went through AT&T to have the charge removed. I'll see if this worked on the next statement. Next call will be to the Texas Attorney General's office.
 
The following text is my complaint filed today with the Ca. Public Utilities commission, directed at AT&T.
.......................
A fraudulent charge was included on my monthly telephone bill. "Enhanced Serv Billing Inc." is a scam company that posted a $14.95 monthly charge. I called their number(+18882983724) and asked to have the charges dropped and they cooperated, although the reversal of charges is still pending. I believe these are the bad guys but the problem I have is a process deficiency with AT&T. My complaint stems from my calling AT&T to ask that no third party charges get added to my bill. I was told that they could not do this. If I had an automatic bill pay established I may not have recognized the fraudulent charges. I have seen numerous complaints on-line that this is happening. Here is one link reporting the scam that has occurred in Florida: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/204/RipOff0204904.htm The problem is the openness of my bill to a company that has my phone number. Apparently it is very easy to use AT&T to bill me fraudulently and there is no way to prevent this beforehand. The action I would like is to be able to request that no third party charges get added to my bill without my consent. I would like it to be harder for fraud to find me. I am mystified why AT&T would not consider my request. I presume it needs to be elevated to a higher priority. I would appreciate it if you could help me do this. Regards, John Hoag. It was an easy e-mail form and you are welcome to copy and paste it if it helps you word your complaint. Good luck to all- John
............
A fraudulent charge was included on my monthly telephone bill. "Enhanced Serv Billing Inc." is a scam company that posted a $14.95 monthly charge. I called their number(+18882983724) and asked to have the charges dropped and they cooperated, although the reversal of charges is still pending. I believe these are the bad guys but the problem I have is a process deficiency with AT&T. My complaint stems from my calling AT&T to ask that no third party charges get added to my bill. I was told that they could not do this. If I had an automatic bill pay established I may not have recognized the fraudulent charges. I have seen numerous complaints on-line that this is happening. Here is one link reporting the scam that has occurred in Florida: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/204/RipOff0204904.htm The problem is the openness of my bill to a company that has my phone number. Apparently it is very easy to use AT&T to bill me fraudulently and there is no way to prevent this beforehand. The action I would like is to be able to request that no third party charges get added to my bill without my consent. I would like it to be harder for fraud to find me. I am mystified why AT&T would not consider my request. I presume it needs to be elevated to a higher priority. I would appreciate it if you could help me do this. Regards, John
 
I too was RIPPED off!! I like many don't read every line of my AT&T phone bill. Enahanced Billing Services, Inc. has been charging me since July 07--( I will now read every line every month!!)
I called ESB and also talked to someone from India...She was reading my account info to me and advised that a Kimberly Acorn had ordered the service---Now that is not my name nor do I know this person...They advised that Kimberly ordered on-line and transposed the numbers and entered mine....This customer service Rep advised that she would be crediting my account in the next 7-10 working days, and I would see the credit within the next two billing cycles...
Come to find out she was only going to credit me for the month--I advised that they were going to credit back to July--Right??? I was put on hold and she had to talk to a supervisor....Yes in fact I was going to get credit back though July...OK NOW I am fire mad and demanded that credit coming within two billing cycles was not enough..I wanted them to cut a check ($109) and send it to me..I kept getting canned Customer Service word tracks...blah blah blah...So we'll see if/when I get anything...
I called AT&T next...I advised them what was happening..I was told they had no control, BUT they put a flag on my account and advised me to make payment deducting the ESB chages and I would be flagged as " past due " ( again we'll see " They also shared that I can BLOCK 3rd parties from charging to my line..BUT advised not to put add the block until you recieve the credit--You guessed it..If you put the block on before the credit is issued--The credit will be blocked.....SO I appreciate everyone sharing info here..I wish I would have read this before I made the calls...This is a bunch of CRAP and it needs to be stopped..They haven't heard everything from me yet...I still have energy..I want my credit and then I am going hunting!!! Let's Get Em'
Good Luck to all!!!
 
I too had actually 2 unauthorized charges, luckily caught right away! One for the enhanced voice mail and the other for an email address. My phone company gave me credit for these charges, $27 and put a block on third party after I threatened to do away with a land line as my family all have cell phones and I could get my internet elsewhere. I became angry at ESBI so I am posting their toll free number everywhere for people to call. I hope it ties up their lines and racks up a big phone bill. Maybe go to pay phones and call them then leave the phone off the hook!
 
I used the consumer complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/ to lodge the following complaint:

(Product Name: fraudulent cramming charges) Despite its settlement with the FTC requiring it to get out of the cramming business, ESBI made fraudulent charges of $14.95 to my Verizon landline bill (for two consecutive months). When contacted about the charges, ESBI claimed to be unable to find them, even when provided with 100% of the information on my Verizon bills that showed the charges. Finally, when I called back with a Verizon representative on the line, after double and triple checking ESBI "found" the charges (claiming they were authorized by someone whose name is unknown to me) and agreed to initiate their reversal. This is shameless fraud, in violation of the spirit of ESBI's settlement with FTC, and it's going on very widely (http://sharingthesecretoflife.blogspot.com/2005/11/enhanced-services-billing-inc.html). It's time to shut down ESBI.

Please, if you're being ripped off by ESBI, take the trouble at least to fill out the online FTC form, which will just take a couple of minutes. (Unfortunately, the FTC hotline set up to deal with ESBI seems to be defunct, or at least I only got a busy signal.) Several state attys. general are on this as well, if you have more energy to pursue this.
 
Look's like we are all in the same boat.Inhanced Services Billing Inc.must have a license to steal.The Federal Trade Commission had these crooks in court in 2001(http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/08/billing3.shtm)I filed a complaint with the FTC on 05/07/2008 and it look's like more than afew of you have also.(since 2006)I also have filed complaints with the Attorney Generals office in every state that i can link them to.Here is some info that i have not read about here,this is from http://www.bankrupt.com/tcr,the last paragraph states that the company had revenues of 141 million as of 12/31/2004 the 2 paragraphs abve that states that "THE COMPANY MAINTAINS CONTRACTUAL BILLING ARRANGEMENTS WITH LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANIES THAT PROVIDE ACCESS LINES TO,AND COLLECT FOR SERVICES FROM,END USERS OF TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES",so you can forget about getting any real help form your local phone co.My next step is to file a complaint with the UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERALS office for wire fraud,ISBI meets the definition@http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm00941.htm.I am also trying to locate an attorney online that will do a class action on these low life scum,my email address is lagrangjack@peoplepc.com this is an invitation for anyone that would like to join me in this attempt at a class action suite.
 
I just caught this, too! This is for some MP3 download service and they told AT&T I gave them my birth date when ordering it. Funny, I started getting billed for this service before I even rec'd an MP3 player for my birthday. They had already billed me for one month prior to that??? So far have only been billed twice and I have to call the service rep tomorrow. I am happy I have your blog to refer to when I begin the battle. Gee, if I knew I had ordered such a service I wouldn't have wasted my time plugging in so many Diet Pepsi codes for free MP3 downloads. I told my husband I had wanted an IPOD! Thanks again for the information and the ability to vent!
 
Another victim! This is the second time Ive been charge for a service I did not authorize. Again on my AT&T bill (amazes me that theres no recourse against them) by the ESBI billing service for voicemail on a second line I own. First time I went to the Better Business Bureau and had the matter resolved immediately. This time I will do so again! Thanks for all the posts, its quite the eye-opener!
 
Wow, we haven't checked our phone bill for a while... VoiceXpress Voicemail /Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. what a fraud! Thanks, i'll be taking your advice on this crammin' case! grrrrh!!!!
 
same here I was getting biled for voice mail when I called the company to have the charges taken off they added some more charges to my bill. I am not understanding why At&t is letting them add charges to me bill either. I wil be call the Better Business Bureau to have them investigated for the charges they are putting on people phones. This is ridiculous. I have argued with At&t and Enhance Services and it's not seeming to do any good. So I am going to let the Better Business Bureau handle this situation.
 
Who is Joseph W. Webb is what I want to know.

I googled the name and found a man with the same name that seems to be a big wig in telecommunications. I dont know if it is the same guy, but wouldnt surprise me.
 
Seems like this is an ongoing problem since the early 2000's I have found a charge on my bill for 14 bucks and it seems as if it is the first one. I am angered by this whole thing and also with the fact that AT&T is allowing this even after numerous complaints about this company!!!! I have seen posts all over the net as far back as 2002!

fightin mad in Florida...oh no I am not letting this go....first the gas prices now....STEALING FROM MY PURSE?!
 
I live in Chicgo, IL. and just opened my bill and found a charge of $32.19 for the first time from ESBI. What right do these people have billing us for costs we are not aware of. I am going to talk to my phone company AT&T and have them put a stop to this immediately. Then call the number for ESBI and let them know my feelings on this also. This is an outrage!
 
This is ridiculous. I too noticed a bogus charge of $12.95 on my bill. I called Verizon and got referred to ESBI. They said someone ordered voicemail on my account. I asked how this could have happened without my authorization, and they asked if I knew "John Smith". I said no. Now I find out that John Smith is part of their address! We are going after these scammers too!
 
Same thing just happened to us. Their action in our case is in violation of the FTC vs. USBI settlement. Don't forget to use the FTC complaint assistant (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov) as well as your state attorney general, and state BBB. With enough complaints perhaps a criminal investigation will be initiated. I imagine that the number of posters here is only the tip of the iceberg.
 
Someone named John Smith also supposedly signed me up for MYIProduct Imail Voicemail - $14.95. I missed it last month, but caught it this month. I called the 800 for ESBI - they said they would take the charges off. Then I called AT&T - gave me the same line that they had to charge me. AT&T did tell me to take the charges off my bill, which I did. Can't believe this has been going on for so long!
 
I just noticed today that I was charged by the same company on my att land line. What worries me is that I called att wireless last week to have charges they claim my daughter authorized on our cell number. She's 13 and all her phone will do is text. Strange that she was able to access with web and sign up for services huh! I will try again to call tomorrow. This is not the first time something like this has happened. I suppose we should just all cancel our services!!!
 
How consoling to discover this page. ESBI crammed $15.37 onto my Verizon fax bill for "1Email A Day Mnthlyfe" (no, I did not order email service from anybody!). Fortunately, when I called Verizon about this, a very pleasant agent told me I could remove this charge from the bill, as Verizon has sent it back to ESBI. Which doesn't necessarily mean it won't reapper inanother guise, but I can be just as persistent as those who are unjust. Every little bit helps to protect us all.
 
I was billed also from ESBI also called my phone co Verizon.I was told charges had been removed.I did not order the viocemail on my phone. I was told by Verizon they could not put a block on my phone it was agianst the law so thay can bill me again.This is just wrong for a phone co. to allow billing without consent from that phone number that is being billed. I have just copy paste from this forum, how bad is that.
 
Additional charge on bill for $39.95 for My Local Reach SEO MOFEE through Enhanced Services Billing Inc. They took advantage of my mother. A recording of the conversation appeared to get her to agree to services that she did not even understand.

They played back a recording and I verified that it was my mother. I spoke with my mother. She remembered the telephone call, but she had no idea what she was agreeing to or that she had agreed at all.

The Enhanced Services Billing Inc. representative was nice enough, but it took a long time to resolve. Pretty pathetic that people resort to this trickery to rip honest people off.

Scammers.
 
I too have been charged 19.99 by ESBI. When I called them they said that I fill out a free survey online and signed up for their service. I do remember filling out a survey online but do not remember seeing anything about them billing my phone bill for INET BUS advisors-ISP/Webhost. She did tell me that she has now cancelled that and put my phone number on the do not call list so I will see if that is on the up and up next phone bill. I am usually very careful about what I do online but I guess they are just waiting for their opportunity to charge someone. All I can say is be careful and watch what you do online. Hopefully I'm done with ESBI.
 
i just noticed that i have been charged $14.95 for the last
3 months from a company called MYIPRODUCTS for some voicemail service i didn't sign up for. at&t told me to call them and cancel. i canceled and got a full refund, as well, i had at&t notate the account. the only excuse they would give me is that someone who actually ordered the service must have keyed in the wrong number. i think they are slamming this on people and betting on them not noticing .
 
Have had same problem twice in six months. Have emailed congressman. Wanted to mention at&t has a form you can fill out to block any further charges from ESBI. I have asked for this and hope it works.
 
i was told i would be refunded and i was but then they charged me twice as much the next month and then the following month i cannot get this charge off my phone i am thinking of cutting out at&t just to get this charge to stop at&t has to stand behind this it is rediculous
 
Portland, Tennessee Blog
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November 02, 2005
Scam

I just noticed a $16.67 charge on my BellSouth bill from a company called "My Info Guard" providing me with "Voice-mail service with ID theft protection."

Since I have never heard of this company, I called BellSouth. After a 15-minute wait, they told me that they "partner" with various companies who can automatically submit charges to BellSouth. BellSouth has no control over what their "partners" submit.

It was up to me to call My Info Guard and tell them to cancel. I did, and they said they cancelled the charge. However, they also said I now have to call BellSouth back and get them to set aside the charge so I don't have to pay it.

This brings up a couple of issues:

1. Others in the Portland area may be part of this scam. I suggest you check your phone bill carefully.

2. It seems bizarre to me that BellSouth can say it's not their responsibility to correct this sort of thing. After all, it is a BellSouth bill, and BellSouth sent the bill to me. Bellsouth should be ashamed.

Posted by admin at November 2, 2005 10:33 AM

Comments
Just read this entire page and I am sick! I was going over my Embarq phone bills online to see if there might be a way to lower my bill, anything to try and cover the price of gas these days. I went back one year and found this BOGUS charge from ESBI for $13.70 a month.. for an entire year!!! I opted sometime ago to turn off paper bills and now I regret that decision as I would have found this much sooner. I am out $191.80 as of this months billing due to the unethical business practices of ESBI!!! Today is Sunday so of course I can't get hold of them or Embarq, but you can bet tomorrow morning I will be burning up the phone lines with this rip off!!! I will also complain to the BBB, the Attorney General, FCC, and anyone else I can think of! I am going to demand a FULL & TOTAL refund and if Embarq isn't willing to assist me I will cancel my service with them. I have been a loyal customre with Embarq (formerly Sprint) for 30 years and can not believe they would allow any company to randomly bill me to their bill without checking for authorization. We all need to band together and think about a Class Action Suit or something. I am sure there are hundreds, probably thousands of others out there with the same issue.. and some may not yet even be aware. We need to get the word out to family, friends.. everyone we know and watch this company sink to the bottom of the ocean!! Talk about unethical business practices and the fact the supposedly reputable phone companies allow third party vendors such as ESBI to attach charges to our bills. Anyone interested in pursuing a suit against this company? I reside in Central Florida and I am PISSED and ready to take these guys down!!!
 
I just got this same crap on my phone bill. Almost $90 worth of "services" (in total) from EBSI and ILD -- which, of course, I never ordered!

Maybe I'm lucky it was such a large amount. Of course, I noticed it!

There were six separate "companies" I had to call -- all of which agreed to cancel the service and credit my phone bill.

(I also got either cancellation emails from them or a cancellation number.)

I also got my phone company, Verizon to put a block on my account -- no more billing from third parties!

It burns me up though, that they put these charges on my bill in the first place -- without any authorization from me!
 
Our company was being billed for these charges. As the telecom specialist i called, and spoke to their customer service dept. Told them we didn't order service, and they said someone, whose name sounded like "akrjdgnk ajbvlrkaejb" (but with fewer vowels) ordered it. I told them we wanted it taken off, and were told we'd be credited from December to June. You can call AT&T and ask that your phone be blocked from all 3rd party billing companies, and these things "shouldn't" happen, but it is AT&T so...
 
I also just noticed this "cramming" on my bill from Verizon and was told the same crap as you guys. I called the scam com and got a foreign speaking person who I could hardly understand. I hope some govt agency gets them for these crimes.
 
Me too got 2 of $14.95 charges by thie Enhanced Billing services through ATT on my June bill. ATT told me that they must charge customers for anyone who can post charges to use, by law. If such law exists, it is too ridiculous, especially in America. It seems so many people have been their victims for many years, and this business practice is still on going. I'd really want to do something to stop this if I know how.
 
Charlie said. I billed for for $15.25 for SBO-online org. Survival kit monthly fee + $14.95 for Intelicom MSG LLC-Voicemail Monthly fee + $2.56 Gov. Fees and Taxes; ALSO $9.99 for Uncredidfind-Credit Repair SVC Mo. Fee + 85c Gov. Fees and Taxes. How can this happen after AT&T already knows that this is just a ripoff. I had a letter signed at BellSouth for NO ONE to credit me on my phone bill unless it was in writing qnd signed by me. I'm rasing the devil with AT&T about the situation. My email address is cpmassey@gmail.com. I believe there should something be done about this. It no telling how many older people went ahead a paid this.
 
Well I have just opened my AT&T bill and it is $37.35 higher than normal.
ESBI got me for $13.73,The Billing Resource also for $13.73, and ILD Teleservices,Inc.for $10.59!
My first call was to AT&T to have my land line cut off,and just vent my anger at them for alloying these charges to be added without my consent.But while I was being told how they couldn't stop such actions I realised that AT&T must get a percentage for their part in these scams.
 
try contacting the attorney general,state of Florida,file a cyber fraud complaint .
https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx?
also contact the BBB for state of florida
http://data.westflorida.bbb.org/index.php?A=pf_login&SA=login&alt=1&PID=26e8206403&bbbid=0653&bid=0090040838.
i contacted AT&T,they tell me they can not block 3rd party billing! good luck
 
AT&T has to accept the charges and it's up to you to call the internet company and request that they send a credit.

.....However, I just called AT&T and asked if I could block all third party charges from now on and they said YES. I asked if this will prevent the credit from coming through and they said no (I hope that was accurate).

.....So with my AT&T account, blocking future 3rd party charges is possible.
 
hope you are right,i asked them on two different occasions, and the answer was no!(under the current law they can not block 3rd party). these rats are busy scamming people,here is another site!

http://blogs.mcall.com/bill_white/2005/08/cramming.html
 
For what it's worth, I actually asked the person on the line from EBSI where they are located. She informed me that they have an official base in Texas but that they are physically located in the Phillipines.

Took the charge off, or at least said she did, and I'm following up with the BBB.
 
They locations in Florida ,here's one:


Email Discounts, LLC - Enhanced Services Billing, Inc.
Phone: 800-410-5781
Fax:

8201 Peters Rd., Ste, 1000,
Plantation, Florida, 33324
U.S.A.
 
I got the same billing on my At&T account that I did not request. I did convince them to take the charges off while I was on the phone. Who in the world allows customers to be taken by these dishonest companies?
Marilyn
 
I am also a victim and got similar responses from Verizon. So far I have been hit for 16.92 from EBSI. I think the phone companies are getting kick backs from these scam sites...that is why they do not assist their customer.
 
We just received our ATT bill today. My wife noticed the $14.95 plus GOVERNMENT fees and taxes. I called ESBI at 888-298-3724 and the most pleasant lady said that my wife ordered the coupon services. When I said that she had not the lady most pleasantly said that she would take the charge off the ATT phone bill. Will she? Who knows. It looks like the FTC knows about this company and has an injunction against them but......How can they still be doing this?
 
this should not be happening in such large scale in this country,this is just nuts!
i was charged $19.99 on my Aug. phone bill through AT&T,then again sept. for another $19.99. when i complained back in Aug. i was given a reference number and a promise that the charge would be reversed and stopped ,guess i was wrong.
Can anyone tell me if the "Enhanced Billing Services" is the Billing arm of the "Web Hosting Services" or are they a separate entity,i am trying to locate the guilty party here! i see offices in texas ,california and folorida ,where do we complain?
 
Ahhhh...it's amazing that this has been going on for years. They USBI et al get sued. Pay up and still continue to ripoff the comsumer. Must be makin' millions to continue unabated. This was the first month for my bill with Cincinnati Bell to change. So..I noticed the charges right away. Fradulent E-mail and long distance service....$14.95 x 2 plus fees/taxes. I called both 800 numbers and they "promised" that the charges would be removed. I then called Cinti Bell and the lady I spoke with said that she was familar with the companies and practices. She said that I could just pay my Cinti Bell charges and ignore the bogus billings. Since I had the charges removed...that is what I'm going to do. She also put the appropriate blocks on the account to, hopefully, prevent this from happening again.
 
We got a charge for 19.99 plus tax on our ATT phone bill. My husband works for them and checked into it for me. He disbuted the charge with ATT and I called Enhanced Billing services to find out what it was. It turns out my 9 year old joined skype and when she filled out the form she also signed us up for somekind of business services highspeed internet. I let the lady know they cannot charge me for something my 9 year did and she gave me a cancellation number. I took skype off my computer. I had a talk with our daughter.
 
Got a charge from Coast to Coast Voice LLC of $12.95 billed to ATT through Enhanced Services Billing Inc. Spoke to a Mario at Coast to Coast at 1-888-301-3724 who began screaming as soon as I mentioned I had not ordered voice mail service. This behavior seemed odd so early in the call when I had not expressed any type of emotion. They said they would cancel service and provide credit. We will see. Evidently my name and phone number was provided online, but I certainly did not sign up for anything.
 
Ok I found this on my phone bill last year around about this time of year,so they are still at it.How can the FTC keep allowing this.AT&T said they could not take the charges off,the company that placed the charges on the bill has to take them off.Now how is this, it is my bill and I did not authorize this bill and I cannot have the charges taken off even though I am the one who pays the bill.I know that I am rambling,but I am mad.For a year I have been subtracting the same bill,and I am not going to pay for something that I did not order.
 
This is apparently not a small (group of) companies that is ripping everybody off. Here is their building on john smith drive in San Antonio. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=7411+john+smith+drive,+san+antonio.+tx&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.275297,76.552734&ie=UTF8&ll=29.512133,-98.584421&spn=0.011111,0.01869&z=16&layer=c&cbll=29.507089,-98.58538&panoid=oGDRLvdtR22lTq7xCGkfuw&cbp=1,321.56598705722825,,0,-24.41318637979371
 
I also was billed $12.95 by ESBI on behalf of Coast to Coast Voice, LLC, for "vmail mthy fee". I called and the polite operator told me she would give me credit in "2 to 3 billing cycles". I asked her why I was billed, and she said (conveniently) that their computers were down, and she couldn't tell me.
 
I JUST REALIZED EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON...

I was on a legitimate site, and two pop-ups came up. One was for Netflix. The other was for a "quiz." I'm embarrassed to admit that I started answering the questions on the AD. Then it asked for just my name and phone number to get my quiz results. I did what (apparently) most people do- I entered a "fake" number. When I clicked "next," there was very small print that indicated I was signing up for ESBI and I would be charged monthly. I did not click next again, and I immediately X-ed out of the screen.

I do not think that I submitted the unlucky person's phone number that I made up. But, those above this posting haven't been so lucky.

Please don't blame the ADD, bored, fake-phone-number-enterers (like me)! ESBI is the crook. In a world where I have to sign to get my free grocery store plastic savings keychain card, how can a company successfully and continuously charge someone just because someone entered their phone number was entered into an AD?
 
Just went through this same thing today for my mom who did not understand why her bill had increased even though she had changed no services - good old ESBI at work! I was told a third party block with AT&T could be placed so this doesn't happen in the future and she credited back three months but a balance of $22 still shows. It just amazes me that they can still get away with this crap and for YEARS! I do believe AT&T must get something out of it as well, thieves of a feather... Plan to file complaints with the attorney general, call the thieving %^&^&* at ESBI and demand credit for every month they have fraudently charged for this bogus service and complain to the FTC. Given a number of 800-215-1961 for ESBI/thieves. Thanks to all for posting and sharing your advice and commisserate on the misery!
 
I had four charges on my At&t phone bill,a total of 67.62 dollars.oneemailaday,first rate services,familycontact911 and info dial usa. I didn't subscribe to any of these services and haven't got them although I'm being charged for them. Two of the days I was charged I was at work. Two of these charges were billed through Enhanced Services Inc,and the other two were from ILD Teleservices. I called AT&T and they said they would remove the charges but I would have to get ahold of the companies and cancel my account and get them to refund the money. One company agreed to refund the money,one agreed to cancel the account but I would have to pay the charged. The other two I can't get in touch with,and these are monthly charges. I am going to call the phone company this week and see if they can put a block on all charges other than my regular bill. These companys are thieves.
 
I just filled out the ESBI online form, sent a copy to my phone company, and will follow up with a phone call tomorrow to both. I think the solution is VOIP such as Magic Jack, $19.95 a year. I have a very short fuse when it comes to such frauds and get very vindictive. I really appreciate your posting your experiences. Thank you for this wonderful service.

Here's what I wrote to ESBI:

I DID NOT order any services from your company. The charge that appears on my bill is FRAUDULENT. I want this total charge of $12.95 plus any applied taxes removed IMMEDIATELY. You have already been sued and agreed to discontinue such fraudulent "cramming" practices under an agreement with the FTC. I did NOT make these charges, I do NOT want any future charges on my telephone service, and I do not want to do business with your company now or in the future. These are fraudulent charges:

Itemized Charges and Credits
Item
No. Date Description
Billed on Behalf of COAST TO COAST VOICE
3-01 9-03 COASTTOCOAST VOICE,LLC-VMAIL MTHY FEE 12.95
# New services provided and billed.

Total Enhanced Services Billing Inc 12.95


Please remove these charges by close of business on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. I have already filed a formal complaint with my PIC and with the FTC, and will pursue this matter vigorously.

I am also asking for unspecified compensation for invasion of my privacy, harassment, attempted wire fraud, attempted credit card fraud, fraudulent business practices, disregard of a court ordered settlement agreement, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other non specified charges.

IF ANY CHARGES BY ESBI are billed to my credit card, I will dispute those charges and have them charged back to your company.

There are multiple citations and postings on the Internet about your fraudulent practices, cramming, and numerous other complaints.
 
If you were charged on your local phone bill for third party services and subscriptions (i.e., voicemail, email, Internet access, web hosting, caller-id and other premium services, etc.) that you never authorized, share your story with other consumers:

http://classactionconnect.com/consumer-complaints/ild-teleservices-inc-telephone-bill-complaints-unauthorized-phone-charges/

You can also contact class action lawyers who are investigating unauthorized telephone bill charges:

http://www.classactionconnect.com/?q=node/733
 
I got hit by ESBI as well, but mine didn't show up until I cancelled my AT&T account so it was pretty obvious. Turns out my 13 year old had entered our phone number on some kind of pop-up window. I'm supposed to see a check within 7 days. We'll see.
 
As the fallout from the "Bailout" will intensify: I have been reviewing my budget; line by line.

On my AT&T phone bill. About a year ago I received notice that my statement from AT&T would begin arriving in a "new format". This notice was presented as though AT&T had adopted an easier to understand billing format. However: AT&T was NOT the one changing the format. AT&T had conspired with "Enhanced Billing Services Inc." to add a FRAUDULENT charge of %15.95 A MONTH for my "New Enhanced Bill" to already over rated services from AT&T.

My wife had clicked on a coupon and innocently gave out our phone number to these criminals. When I called "Enhanced Billing Services" at 1-888-293-3724 they said they will credit me for the $130.00 they and AT&T had conspired to FRAUDULENTLY obtain from me for non-existent "services".

I called AT&T at 1-888-757-6500 and informed them that I am aware of their fraudulent conspiracy with "Enhanced Billing Services" to demand they stop billing me for something I never received or wanted.

The rep I talked to asked if I or my wife had "read the fine print" on the coupon? That: shows me that AT&T is well aware of the perpetrated fraud and is ALSO A PARTY TO FRAUD.

This illegal charge was never verified with any confirmation whatsoever. They just started the billing process in the hope that they would get away with it.

If I don't get my money back in a reasonable time: I will set up a computer with a modem to speed dial their toll free number at "Enhanced Billing Services" with thousands of "hang-up" calls to cause damage and disruption for those thieves.

"Enhanced Billing Services" is committing wire fraud and AT&T is a willing participant.

I am canceling all of my AT&T "services". Getting a cable internet connection and "Vonage" as my telephone service. And: that choice is much cheaper, and of higher quality than what AT&T provides.

This raw deal has actually helped me find a much better deal elsewhere.

Ditch AT&T! you never know when they will screw you!
 
I received a 14.95 fee + tax from this Enhanced Billing Services, they are supposed to be refunding, after a long conversation where they verified most of my information, claiming I had signed up for this service on July12 2008 and was just completing my free trial period. I did not sign up for this service Easy Yellow Pages, I don't even know what it is. It is extremely disturbing for someone to have 99% of your information and you have no clue how the got it or who "they" are.
Disturbed in MD
 
I just got off the phone with Enhanced Billing Services after finding a $14.95 charge on my phone bill. They claimed I signed up for some email service and have a bogus email address for me @gmail.com. I don't have any email account at gmail. They supposedly processed the refund and cancelled "my account" and sent me an email to confirm this. I probably shouldn't have given them my real email but I wanted some type of written confirmation. Now we'll see if this is the end of it.
 
Have recently discovered being victimized by AT&T with charges from Enhanced Services Billing, ILD Teleservices and OAN Services, to the tune of several hundred dollars. AT&T directed us to the respective "vendor" numbers which we spent an entire day arguing with. AT&T claims can put 3rd party block on your bill, but also says these outfits will just bill you directly. I am a 17+ year paralegal in Alabama. I am LIVID and ready to file a class action suit. I suggest each of you, in your respective states, go about doing the same. In the meantime, file your individual complaints with the FCC, Public Utility Commission, BBB, and your state's attorney general. THIS IS THEFT BY DECEPTION, internet fraud, illegal as hell and AT&T (and your company) are complicit in and getting kickbacks for same!!!!!
 
I was just paying my bills tonight and opened up my phone bill from AT&T. For some reason (because I don't normally do this), I happened to look at the "charges from other companies" listed. I clicked on it and saw towo charges from OAN and Enhanced Services Billing, Inc.

I have never authorized these charges. I am LIVID that AT&T has allowed this. I will be calling first thing tomorrow to find out what the hell has happened. I will not pay AT&T these charges. There will be no "refund" from these scammers because I will not being paying one cent of those charges on my bill.

If pushed, I will file complaints EVERYWHER. I'm floored that this is allowed to happen.

Sad, so, so sad!
 
I, too have been suffereing at the hands of this company. Not only should THEY be stopped, but the companies that are sending the information to them should be stopped. They are all in cahoots with each other, and the people who don't check their bill each month are making them rich.

Cincinnati Bell has the ability to stop outside miscellaneous charges. Thank God! or I would be making calls every month for credits. There is evidently a long list of company names that they can continue drawing from to bill you.

Barb, Ohio
 
So very glad you took the time to post about this bogus crooked company and they bill for more than themselves. What a scam and they get your phone by the internet when you enter contests etc.... I use a special email as to know what and who is behind any scams and never use this one for other than questionable sites. I called ATT and I am in CONN. and this is the second time they try this. First was a few years ago and now. Why doesn't someone amke any more efoort than lip service in attempting to catch these crooks???
So, this is happening to many many people and thanks to your site we can find out that iot is not just us. Thank you very much for your time and concern.
 
I just wrote a comment about the attempt by this same company to try it twice to me and I just finished writing a complaint to the FTC and suggest we all take a secong and bonbard them with the truth of the time and extent of these fearless crooks. The phone companies have their addresses to give to law enforcement as the funds need to be sent to them and they have a phone number and must supply and address to be billed.

Another suggestion is to just call your phone company and refuse to pay that fraudulent portion of the bill as I did and make sure they take note of your complaint.
Another idea is to pay with a credit card and then call the credit card company and file a complaint as they will supply the lawyers and forms to help you legally not pay the illegal amounts to the phone company if they are not helpfull. Just an idea. But I think if moere people wrote that maybe, just maybe they might look into to it with more effort. I hope fpor all our sakes and others that missed the charges and for the future victims. Go for it and take 10 seconds and write can't hurt and just may wake someone up????
 
For the last two months my AT&T phone bill had an extra charge of $12.95 for VOICEEXPRESS VOICEMAIL MONTHLY FEE, billed on behalf of VoiceExpress Inc 1-800-367-8006 . The first month I didn't even notice it (I have voicemail fron AT&T @ $8.95 per month). This time it caught my eye and I called about it. What a total scam Enhanced Services Billing Inc is!!!
 
I just received my AT&T bill and noticed that the amount was higher than usual (because of the plan we have with AT&T my bill is the same every month). I noticed a $15.85 charge from Enhanced Services Billing 888-299-3724/800-286-4455. They claim that my husband ordered their service in October and he was sent a confirmation email. We checked every folder in his email account and did not find any email confirmation from the company. When I asked them what the email address was they gave me one I never heard of. Of course they said "as a courtesy" they were going to credit my account but that it would take 3-4 billing cycles (3-4 months) before I would get the credit. I then called AT&T (I live in Connecticut) and the customer service rep was the nicest. She immediately took the charge off my account and opened up an investigation so if the charge appears again in the future I wouldn't have to pay it. Unfortuntely she did tell me that they as a company have to leave their billing open to other companies and have no control over the charges that come through. EBS relies on those people out there that don't check their bills every month or don't have the time or patience to do anything about it. That's how they make their money. Fortuntately for me AT&T in Connecticut is aware of this and will do everything to help you. She did suggest that I lodge a complaint with the State Attorney General's office.
 
I've had $39.95 charged to my AT&T phone bill for some bogus website hosting fee. We have a completely different company we use for our website so I knew it was wrong. The same thing happened when I called ESBI. They were persistent that I ordered the service and I told them absolutely not and to please remove the charges. They said they would and credit me on the next bill. We'll see. My lesson to everyone is be VERY aware of paying bills before looking at the itemized listings. Can you imagine the amount of money companies like this are making because of people just paying their bills without looking at them? Hey, we all do it! SUCKS!
 
I am in California, and received excellent help from ATT's fraud department when I discovered ESBI's fraudulent activities today. For months, I thought ESBI was part of ATT, that they were doing billing services...well, of course, this is a sham by ESBI. ATT's fraud people told me: 1) my account was flagged now, and to only pay the ATT bill; 2) they were well-aware of ESBI frauds; 3) that, if the ESBI billing appears next month on my ATT bill, to contact FTC. I also called ESBI, demanding they refund me for money paid for services never ordered. They claimed I signed up via an internet $1000 coupon (?) in 2006 -- not true, of course. They also insisted I would be sued by them. I laughed, and asked to receive the legal papers ASAP, so that the local BBB and DA could meet with them in court. I doubt I'll received $$ from ESBI in San Antonio.
 
I just caught the added ESBI charge on my most recent ATT bill. I was a bit confused by the new charge since our phone bill is always consistantly the same amount. This charge was for voice mail on our second line which is used exclusively for fax. My husband does all the phone changes, etc. because he uses it for his job and gets reimbursed so therefore has certain restrictions. I confirmed with him that he had made no new changes without my knowledge so he set about calling to find out what was going on. He spent hours on the phone this morning clearing it up. We thought our account with ATT was already locked with a password that only he knows to be able to make changes. But he found that an additional safeguard was needed to prevent what ESBI did. I had not paid the bill so therefore, had no issues trying to get reimbursement. Thank goodness. But I realized that this event accurred when I started to answer a survey to receive coupons. When I realized that there was a purchased of some sort required, I canceled the survey which should have canceled out my info. But it didn't. I will definitely be more careful in the future. I am amazed that they can continue this criminal practice.
 
I was signed up with my authorization also. I just found it on my phone bill today. I had been charged for it last month also, but hadn’t noticed the charges.

I contacted ESBI (AKA SBO-online) and talked to a MaryGrace Adulog, ext. #142251, at their support line in the Philippeans. She said that she could only cancel my service. She told me that I had authorized their service by accepting an e-mail from Tag.com. She said that I had been sent an e-mail from them which I could use to cancel their service. I checked in my sent box and found that I had replied to their e-mail, I had forgotten about it. I told them then that I hadn’t signed up for their service and wanted them to remove my name from their system. She said that they hadn’t received the e-mail. I asked her how she knew that and she said that she didn’t have a record of it. I still have the sent e-mail. I tried to talk to her supervisor, but she said that her supervisor was in a meeting. I have asked her to have someone call me in the next 4 hours to have the charges removed and refunded.

I then called Qwest. The representative told me that she has received a lot of calls about that company. All that she was able to do was to remove the current charges from my bill.

I would like to see a class action against ESBI and Quest both because Quest allows companies like this to bill without prior authorization.
 
Enhanced Services Billing Inc. working conjunctively with at&t, verizon and other corporate giants are defrauding customers out of millions of dollars.
I too was violated by at&t & Enhanced Services Billing Inc.
I set up a segment on my website about this problem.
If anyone would like to entertain a class action law suit contact me via the site.
http://www.lakeworthfl.net/

Thank you
 
My wife and I live right outside of Chicago, IL and we just received an AT&T bill which included ESBI charges for "My Email Defender, Inc". Glad I found this website because at first I thought this was an identity theft issue. After all the years that this has been going on, you think AT&T would not allow this company to continue doing business with them.
 
Well, Thought I's put my two cents in. I admit I was looking for a voicemail & 800 number service on the web and may have clicked on something 6 months ago. I have recently called ESBI and AT&T. You all know the story from the previous posts, same story here. I will be checking my bill monthly now. I would not have noticed if I had not made a long distance phone call and checked to see my charges. I have yet to file futher complaints at this time. Thanks to everyone for posting.
 
My story's a little different.

My boyfriend and his father share the same name. One's a sr. and my b.f.'s a jr. My b.f. has never ordered anything off the internet untill dec. 08, from my computer. It was through amazon .com. He paid for his purchace thru a gift card. I made sure he followed the proper channels. I only have a cell phone, no land line, nor does he. I get a call from his father today. He tells me that on his att land line bill their's a charge for 15.85 from esbi. He called att to find out what it was for. Of course they couldn't tell him what it was for but it was purchaced in MY NAME, FROM MY IP ADD!!!!! His father asked att if they would remove the charge and they did so, no questions asked! We were racking our brains to try and figure out what it could be! So i did a search of esbi and found this worderful blog! I will pass on all this info i've found on here to my b.f.'s father. I'll make sure he blocks all third party charges, or better yet, CHANGE PHONE COMPANIES!!

Thanks to everyone who posted...:)
 
Here's one more they got. I got my phone bill from AT&T and guess what I found. I've already called ESBI twice. They said they would credit my account, and send me an e-mail but I haven't gotten the e-mail yet. So I guess it's all a load of BS. Hubby says he's not paying the bill and he's mad as hell, so there goes our credit rating. I would be one of the first to sign up for a CLASS ACTION SUIT, How's about it folks. Can we get one going? I also want to get rid of AT&T as my phone and internet provider, you'd think they (AT&T) would consider their customers valuable and wouldn't want to lose them. I don't need AT&T's phone service, I can do nicely with a Prepaid Cell Phone (I did it for years before I moved to TN) and I primarily use the internet for recepies and other minor projects, which I can also get if I go to the library. And besides my family and friends have internet access, needless to say I can do without AT&T. If they can't value me as a customer and look out for their customer's best interest and allow this scam to continue then I don't want to give them my hard earned money (that I have to make stretch in this terrible ecomomy). Finally I DON'T CARE IF THEY HAVE MY WHOLE AND REAL NAME, I THINK THIS WHOLE THING SUCKS.
 
I just received my bill for my work and noticed this charge on there...Only they went further when I called and played me a recording of me "supposedly" saying YES to authorizing this. I said Yes to my address and to being over 18 but then they went on a whole sales pitch about what it was about and stuck my yes from another question in there as a yes for that! I remember the call as clear as day and KNEW that I couldn't make any changes as it is work phone but they manipulated my recording! Has this happened to anyone else??
 
My story is the same as everyone else's. My phone provider is Embarq and the charge that appeared was for $15.25 plus a .76 communications sales tax. The charge was from ESBI for SBO Survival Kit. Called the company and after going through all of the same who did what to whom and telling her that I wanted the charges removed and to never appear again, she reluctantly said that the charges would be removed and gave me a confirmation number. I then called Embarq and told the rep that if I ever saw another charge like the one that appeared on my bill, that I would cancel my account with Embarq. The woman that I talked too said that she had been dealing with this kind of complaint for ten years and sympathized. She gave me the credit immediately and put a block on my account that will prevent this sort of charge to ever appearing again. What a crazy world we live in.
 
Hello,

ILD Teleservices is a leading payment processor for transactions between merchants and consumers. Through contractual relationships with telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon, we give merchants the opportunity to let consumers charge products and services such as long distance, internet access, and collect calling directly to your phone bill.

As a result, instead of purchasing these items with a credit card or opening an account with the merchant, you can have a transaction billed directly to your phone. When you do, the merchant sends your transaction information to ILD, and ILD adds the charge to your phone bill. It’s a service very similar to what credit card companies provide.

If you have a charge you believe is incorrect, or if you have any other questions or concerns with ILD, please let us know. We want to address any and all issues you may have. To contact us, please email us at askild@ildmail.com. If you would prefer to call us, please call our hotline at 800-953-7765.

Thank you, and please let us know how we can help.

Ilona Olayan
ILD Teleservices
 
I was billed on my business phone bill by ESBI on behalf of My Local Reach. My Local Reach is a total scam. They call into companies, record the calls and then doctor the recordings to make it appear as if you are in agreement. Thank you all for sharing your information. I am now going to report both companies to the FTC, state attorney generals, and anyone else I can find. These people are crooks!
 
I have had two bills with the ESBI charge. I noticed it last month and tried calling Qwest, and they transferred me to another phone number. I never got through, and gave up out of frustration. The first phone call to Qwest didn't explain much.
My phone call today did, but they pretty much said it was out of their hands and that I would have to call ESBI to get it removed.
I did TWICE! Each time, just as they were verifying that they would remove it and refund my Qwest account their phone went dead. The second lady said they were having phone problems.
I will be checking my phone much more carefully each month!
 
Did everyone enjoy the sincere concern offered by ILD's Ms. Ilona Olayan above? That's hilarious. Leaving it to someone else to commit the fraud and raking in the fees while securing the stolen money for those folks is down right honorable, don't you think? I know that when I had to hunt down the fradulent charges I was being billed through ILD, by a 'Voicemail Direct USA', the ILD agent was incredibly helpful in telling me they had no part to play in reclaiming the stolen money. Classic. Thanks for the love ILD. Sleep well! (see ildtelecom.com for more chuckles)
 
I just hung up speaking with EBS in ref. to two $14.95 charges on my AT&T phone bill. The jerk I spoke with told me I orderd a toll free ph. no. on 01.05.09 @ 9:39 PM and he had my electronic signature dated 01.08.09. He provided me with "my" toll free no., which I called and it ask for my pin no. Hell I don't have a pin no. and certainly have no use for a toll free no. He also said I placed the order through Comcast Cable. I don't have cable I have Direct TV. I told him I did not care what he showed. I told him to credit my account and never charge me again. He did say he would, and he gave me a confirmation no. I looked in the history and cookies and guess what there was no access time even close to 9:39 PM for either date. These creeps have to be stopped. I work for the Federal Gov. and I will make a call to the FCC on Monday. And yes I did play the "Fed. Gov." wild card on the jerk. My AT&T Rep. did tell me that you should never fill out a survey online and be careful when you register for prizes on paper or online. I will post a note after speaking with my Contact with the FCC.
 
Might I propose that every one of us invoice ESBI for our time spent dealing with this problem, and if we do not receive our payment within the legally allotted time, we should then report them to the credit agencies for failure to pay. Perhaps a little "fight fire with fire" would at least draw some attention to this issue.
 
Make reports to (1) the Federal Trade Commission: http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/cmplanding.shtm (2) The Better Business Bureau (ESBI has an "F" rating...not suprised)http://centraltx.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=40&bbb=0825&firm=19621 and (3) Write a letter to the newly appointed CEO of BSG(formerly Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. or ESBI), Mr. Gregory Carter at: 7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 1500
San Antonio, Texas 78229
USA

Phone: 210.949.7000
Fax: 210.949.7101
http://about.bsgclearing.com/home/

These people are bad and need to be out of business. I work for a California state agency and we got hit with all of these services: Key Club Save, LLC, My Voicemail Network, My IProducts IMail, Solo Communications and VoiceVox Voicemail Services.

The amount of time spent trying to get back money owed and calling the 1-800 numbers is unfair.

Greedy corporate bastards.
 
Got billed by ESBI through VERIZON, $20.95. Called ESBI, they said I signed up for some (unknown to me) service through the web and gave my email address and my mother's maiden name!!! I demanded this info, and sure enough the operator gave me totally false, made-up email and name. Thanks to your blog I now know that this scam has been around for years. It's a shame that nothing can stop the scoundrels...
 
Same here. Got charged by "Email Discounts LLC" (via ESBI) for $14.95 plus a couple of taxes & fees.

I can't believe in a time when everyone has to watch their dimes, no one (government, AT&T, anyone) is doing anything about this.
 
Hey, I'm on your bandwagon!

When I called the number for ESBI on the phone bill, I got a company called "CallWave" from callwave.com. It turned out that in November someone opened an account online under our name, and the only information given was our name, our phone number, and a fake e-mail address (which they claimed to have "validated").

CallWave would not authorize refunding more than 2 months of charges, and even to get that I had to go through their collections department. I called AT&T back (I had the same problem--they wouldn't/couldn't take the charges off the first time), spoke to their fraud department, and POOF! The charges are gone and we'll be refunded.

Now here's where I think it gets weird--AT&T was billing us $5 a month for "busy call forwarding," the service offered by CallWave. So, basically we were getting double billed for a service we never ordered.

Can anyone else say, "Class Action?"
 
I am in Alabama, similarly situated, and furious. I met with an attorney last week who pointed out that AT&T has a mandatory arbitration clause which precludes anyone from filing a class action suit!! There have been previous ones, however, in Georgia and California, etc., which likely caused AT&T to come up w/the arbitration clause. I am still looking into taking some kind of action...whatever is available under their suffocating contract!
 
I carry on the battle with a post on my blog:

http://notes.kateva.org/2009/04/at-is-partner-to-phone-scams-that.html

These blood-sucking lice went after my elderly aunt and uncle.

We need to tear a large hunk out of AT&T. A $200 million class action judgment would be a nice start.

We have a new administration, and a revitalized FCC. Let's encourage them to rend, rip, and tear.

The same culture that gave us AIG and Melamine in pet food has given us 12 years of phone cramming.

It needs to stop.
 
About six months ago, my ATT phone bill also contained unauthorized third party charges. My call to ATT just fell on deaf ears because their attitude was it was my problem. My next step was to file actions with the California Public Utility Commission. About two later, ATT left me a voicemail message that they would reverse the charges. I assumed the the issue was resolved, and had no further conversations.
This week, my April 2009 contains a third party charge billed by "OAN Services" and again without knowledge or consent. ATT's position, they are not allowed to do anything and can't help me. I contacted OAN and Estella requested that I fax her my bill. The number she provided, 210-6921887, was (in that sequence) Googled, and came up with services involving "Enhanced Billing Services" . My next action will be thru the FCC, FTC, and California PUC. From stories I've read, it might be more constructive if I went outside and talked to the "moon", because nobody's been able to achieve any help from our Federal Government!
But then Bush and his Texas "banditos" are now being replaced by someone who really will do something! ( I hope)
 
We need to pressure ATT so they pressure their pet senators to change federal law. At the state level we need to go through the attorney generals office.
 
I'm reading these posts with incredulity - that AT&T would accept this kind of blatant fraud to be perpetrated in their name. And to those who've said to tell their children not to just click on ads - that's sound advice, but that's not what happened here. I asked what IP address was used when this ad was clicked on, and I was told an IP address that wasn't anywhere NEAR what my static IP address is at either work OR home, the only two places I access the internet. I never clicked on an ad - someone stole my identity - my phone number - and used that to obtain services fraudulently. Or did they? How the hell do we know that any services were actually offered? How do we know that one of the aggregator's clients doesn't just generate random telephone numbers to bill to? We're just unlucky enough to have been hit with their scam. This is pure BS and where the hell are the authorities who are supposed to be keeping us safe from this kind of crap??? Asleep at the wheel, as per usual.
 
ESBI is still at it and I got charged 16.11 on my AT&T bill. After several phone conversations the fraudulent charge will be removed and AT&T is providing me forms for "lock down" my account so this shouldn't happen again. But I do not trust corporate America. Everyone who reads this should bombard their state and ffederal legislators and demand that our phone bills be blocked against this deceptive practive. You should NOT have fo fill out forms to secure your account, it should be secure by default and this gross consumer injustice must be stopped WRITE TO THOSE WHO CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. DEMAND IT BE DONE.
 
I was also scammed by these rip-off losers. I caught it on my second bill, but the phone companies who continue to put these charges through are just as accountable. I directly asked the AT&T rep when I called to get the charges canceled if they had similar complaints and she denied getting other calls - very hard to believe! They are very aware of the fraud perpetrated by ESBI and by continuing to charge their customers should be held equally acountable. I am in SoCal.
 
I just got off the phone with ESBI - I fought with them and it seems like I was able to straighten things out. My father was lucky enough to notice the charge the first month and I called to cancel the service (that we never ordered in the first place). They told us to pay the bill as is and they would credit us back the following month. Surprise, surprise! Our bill this month did show the credit but they did not cancel the service and were still charging us. So I called them again today, they told me that "we" had agreed that I would only be credited for one charge and I informed them that I would've never agreed to that simply because I never ordered nor used their service to begin with. I agrued with the service rep and told them I did some research about their company and called them crammers and that I'm sure they get calls like this all the time (having found this site) and asked her what she was going to do to solve this because I wanted my refund for both bills not just one. She placed me on hold ( this is a brief pause customer service reps use to make it seem like they have to get approval from their superior but in reality they have the power to simply give you the refund - I've been in customer service to know this) when she came back to the line - without hesitation she said ok we're going to give you the refund. Simple as that! I hate companies that try to scam honest people. Get your hard earned money back...all of it!
 
Unfortunately, I've been hit by ESBI also. Last month and this month's AT&T Monthly Statement for $16.22. Foolishly I paid last month's charge thinking it had something to do with my new AT&T DSL service. I've sent an e-mail from AT&T and waiting for them to call me. I've filed a complaint with the FCC. I think I will file another one with the FTC. I wish I wish I would have been aware of this company. I've warned all the people on my "friend's lists".
 
Unauthorized Charges on Your Local Phone - Utility Bill?
How to Find Them, Eliminate Them & Get Your Money Back!
If your business still gets its phone service through the old "AT&T and Verizon, etc" local phone company (as opposed to one of the newer competitive phone providers) then you need to double check your phone bill each and every month for charges you did not authorize. You may not know it but the local phone company allows other companies to bill you through your local phone bill. And while the local phone company allows other businesses to bill you through your local phone bill, the local phone company does not verify that the charges being billed to you by the other company are valid. When these unauthorized charges fraudulently appear on your phone bill it's called "cramming". Unfortunately you as the business owner or manager are the only one that can spot the unauthorized charges and if you don't comb over your bill every month to spot these unauthorized charges - you'll pay for them.
Why does the local phone company allow other companies to pass charges onto your phone bill? "Third-party billing" is supposedly a great convenience in that you only have to pay one bill instead of separate bills for obvious authorized phone related charges like yellow-page advertising in the "real yellow pages", 411 information calls and long-distance calls from your chosen long distance carrier. Over the years though, some less-than-scrupulous companies have realized that most businesses rarely scrutinize their local-phone bills. To take advantage of this, these companies have come up with elaborate schemes to place
unauthorized charges on your phone bill that you'll end up paying for without even thinking. Unauthorized
charges you can end up paying for include charges for unwanted (and unused) email accounts, web sites,
directory information calls, directory advertising in obscure publications, voice mail accounts and other
services.
In theory, before these charges can be placed on your phone bill, the company that is originating the third-party billed charges is supposed to have a verification of the order like a voice recording. In reality though,
all the company needs to do to initiate the charge is submit your name and phone number to the billing
entity. The verifications are only required to be produced if a complaint is filed.
To prevent these charges from appearing on you business phone bill it's helpful to understand the four
parties that make unauthorized third party phone charges a costly reality. Party number one is any
employee who can answer your business phones. The unauthorized charge is rarely random and it usually
happens after one of your company employees gets a telemarketing call. Employees should be instructed to
document and report any overly aggressive telemarketing calls they receive. Party number two is the
telemarketing company that originates the unauthorized charges by trying to get your employee to accept
some service for which you'll be billed through your local phone bill. Party number three is the third-party
billing company that has billing agreements with your local phone company. The name of the third-party
billing is the one that is prominently displayed on your phone bill. After the third-party billing company's
name is the name of the company that is originating the unwanted charges. Party number four is your "former Ma Bell" local phone company that collects the unwanted charges (keeps a share for "Ma") and then passes the rest to the third-party billing company (who keeps a big share) and then passes the balance on to the company that initiated the unwanted charge.
Following are some of the top third-party billing names and unauthorized charge originators you'll find on
your phone bill. If you see these names on your phone bill you'll want to call the toll free number listed next to the charge to confirm it's a charge that's been properly authorized to be placed on your bill. Following are actual examples that we've recently found while auditing business phone bills.
We recommend customers should review any utility bills issued by deregulated utility companies. (In most instances today, consumers are paying higher charges to the deregulated gas and electric supply companies).
All Utility - Energy, gas, electric and water bills should be reviewed for proper reading and tariff.
If you suspect that you have been overcharged ask for detailed explanation and or file a complaint with your State Utility Commission.
Compiled by: Jay Draiman, Utility & Telecom Auditor
 
My story is like all the others..and I am outraged that this is a legal business. I have called the numbers and noone is reversing any charges, posting credits etc. Each month, the charges appear again, and this month 2 new companies. AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! from California.
 
I also have been billed by ESBI (on behalf of Key Club Save, LLC) and by USBI (on behalf of Voicenet Telephone) through AT&T. I didn't order any services, but at least one service provider has a "letter of authorization" with my name, address and phone number' but the date of birth and e-mail address are not mine at all. Both companies "canceled" the accounts and I have received credits for the charges. I have also spoken with the California PUC Consumer Affairs Bureau -- they need you to call them so that they can have enough verified complaints to get the FTC back into action. I called 210-949-7000 for ESBI and asked to talk to their general counsel, whose name is Kelly something. She is supposed to be following up. I recommend that others call her as well. Maybe if she gets enough calls, she will get the companies ESBI bills for to clean up their practices; but I am sure that there are lots of people who can't take the time I have and just pay the bill. It has taken me all day, and I'm a lawyer!
 
I have just been through similiar experiences as have been stated previously trying to get ESBI charges taken off my phone bill and further billing stopped. QWEST stated through numerous customer reps that I could not block all third party billing, just call them if I have a fraudulent one and they will take it off. One rep did suggest that I make a formal complaint through the FTC or FCC, she is probably tired of handling these matters. I had read on other complaint sites that ATT and Embarq would do so, when I mentioned that to her I was transferred to another representative who agreed to block all third party billing. She tried to confirm that I wanted all third party long distance billing or changes blocked but I stated that no I wanted any third party billing blocked. I suspect exact language makes a difference in how these things are handled, if the exact request is not made and confirmed all third party will not be blocked, the companies will use any little loop hole that they can to get their cut. Hopefully all is taken care of now and this will help others.
 
Just got my phone bill today. You guessed it.........$14.95 charge for voice mail service that I never signed up for Thanks ESBI I love spending hours trying to straighten out this crap.
 
For what its worth, check your phone bills for "Email Discount Networks, LLC" and for "United Tel, LLC". Both have been pulling these unauthorized billings on me now for the last three months and there doesn't seem to be any relief, just run-arounds and mostly in some form of English that this misplaced West Texan can't understand. AT&T has been absolutely useless and when talking to the UT or EDN or ESBI folk (Yes there are three of them all billing me right now.) they insist they must know all my personal info such as SSAN, DOB, street address etc before they can identify my account. I refuse to give them anything more than my name and telephone number and they respond they can't help me. Does it seem odd to anyone else that all they need is a name and a telephone number to begin charging us, but to establish our identity so they can stop billing us they need more info -- PHISHING!!!!! rk
 
Another unsatisfied customer. Just got my first bill with a Key Club Charge of $14.95. I couldn't get through to an actual person using the numbers listed but did get through to a voice mail system. Boy what a lousy Voice mail system that Key Club has when you have to wait listening to Elevator music for 10 minutes before you can actually leave a voice mail. I would suspect that noone would actually be willing to pay for lousy service like that. Meanwhile I got AT&T to drop the charges from my current bill, but I need to contact the provider to get them to stop charging me every month, otherwise I will have to call my phone company each month until I get it cleared up.

One of the numbers I get for Key Club is 1-800-347-0854, but when you dial that number, it doesn't even ring. The other number is useless as well, because it apparently just forwards you to the Key Club voice mail. Makes it kind of hard to get a reference # for the credit if you can't get ahold of anybody.

I think that it is a great idea to allow the utility company to be able to bill you for third party company, but they need to be able to approve the third party before just accepting charges. And maybe the phone company needs more than just a name and phone number to be able to bill stuff for third parties.
 
Add another victim! Noticed the voicemail charge for the first time last month from Voicevox for $14.95. Whaaa? Called and learned I had been charged since November. Only agreed to credit me back 3 months. Just got my next bill, see the credit but there is also a new charge, though when I called again it shows cancelled. AND new charges from VIPCelebrityaccess for $13.82 - someone signed up for webmail. Just called on that and they said they would send a copy of the application form. They are supposed to cancel and credit but I am OVER this. If ATT says they cannot block, I will cancel immediately. If anyone knows of a class action lawsuit about this, let me know. I don't care about making money but this needs to stop. I wonder how many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) are continuning to not notice at all?
 
I checked my local phone bill charges today, I was very suprised to find a total of $43.95 in charges from E.S.B.I., they'd been billing me for two months for two different companies,SBO-ONLINE.ORG SURVIVAL KIT & DIGITAL VMAIL,INC-VOICEMAIL, I'm having no luck trying to contact anyone at the phone # listed on my bill 1-877-768-3666, however I did try calling the # listed in previous post, Only to be put on hold and listen to elevator music until I could take it no-more. I've contacted my local phone company and had the charges removed and my line blocked for third-party billing. My next step is to contact the F.T.C. and place another report against this company, any other suggestion?????
 
Enhanced Services Billing Inc. is not the culprit in these cases. They're just the middleman between the phone company and the people who are actually getting your money. You need to go to THOSE PEOPLE and stop the charges.
 
This has SOO got to STOP! they're scamers and all day they sit at there desk dealing with upset customers very FEW times have they recieved real customers inquiring about the services they offer! I should know I used to work there my DR. said I couldn't do it while prego due to high stress levels fighting with consumers that they did something they CLEARLY never did! absolute rip off they all know it but steal your money to pay their bills. how bout getting a real job. SERIOUSLY needs to STOP they don't desirve it and wont tell you how long you've been charged even if its a made up name and address if you billed for 2yrs they'll only do you in for a refund of few months. absolutly WRONG-WRONG-WRONG-WRONG!
 
Similar to the story of everyone here: I found an extra charge in my AT&T bill from “Enhanced Serv Billing Inc” for a company called MYEMAILDEFENDER, INC. I have experienced that several times and as usual it becomes a big waste of time and effort between calling several companies, each of them passing their responsibility to the others! As usual, AT&T claimed that they cannot stop this! While ESBI, they just forwarded me to MYEMAILDEFENDER without even talking to me or giving me the option to block future charges. At least before, a similar billing company allowed me to do this blocking, but it seems ESBI is getting smart and saving even the effort of talking to you!
 
hi i seen this while checking out esbi and i to got scammed by these jerks. i have had it. i was charged over 200 dollars last summer by these criminals and thought it was over, even had a block put on my phone and here we go again. well needless to say i was not very nice to the operater at this criminally minded company because she is working there and my thought is she is acting for the company so who cares. they dont care one bit if they take someones last dollar so i let her have it. tomorrow i will be calling att and letting them have it for accepting without my permission. just sick of it.
 
Well its October 2009 and no matter how many complaints and law suits these SOB's are still at it. I went to pay my home phone bill on line as usual and thought why is it so high.. I pay for the all inclusive service (local, toll and long distance in USA) and my internet DSL line actually went down months ago and there are been NO interntional calls so I read my bill and I'm already fuming at all the various taxes that are created to tack on from the city, county, state, feds and so forth and then I get to this section with big bold letters ESBI and out of my mouth was WTF is this.. my daugther laughs and says WHAT ?.. she reads it and says WTF and WhoTF are they.. my instinct was scammers and sure enough type ESBI into google and page after page of the complaints and scam reports come up.

Its makes me sick that living my whole life as an honest hard working citizen that pays all my bills and askes for a handout from NO ONE I have to put up with this crap and have NO, absolutely NO recourse in any of this. This damn goverment from the city to the federal level that bends over backwards to protect every criminal and form of criminal act in this country is beyond infuriating and we still have to be the ones to take matters into our own hands since none of the people charging us will take any credit for allowing it !

Off to call the other scammer on my bill and then to read AT&T Illinois the riot act, call the Attorney General of Illinois and then onto the FTC to give them another earful on this group.

Unbelievable.. just unbelievable
10/19/09 in the Socialist state of Illinois, Crook County.

Denise K.
 
AT&T now has mandatory artibtration due to the onslaught of class actions suits--and they continue to put the screws to us. Sickening.
 
In January 2009, I signed up for automatic bill pay with AT&T. Bad move on my part and shame on me for not looking at my bill after that. Didn't think I had to, my bill never changed. It was always around $53.00. I actually looked at my bill this month and it had increased to $127.00. This prompted me to look at my other bills closely. February is when my bill increase. Is this a coincidence? I had 4 companies charging my phone bill which came out to $592.09 in fraudulent charges. The companies are: ESBI; USBI; HBS Billing Services, and PaymentOne Corp. I will probably never see this money, but I am not going to give up without a fight. I have filed a complaint with the FTC on ESBI, because they refuse to reimburse my account. I am also going to report ESBI to the PUCO, BBB, and the attorney general. I will do the same on the other companies if they do not keep their word and reimburse me in full. I am willing to do whatever needs to be done to stop these criminals from scamming anyone else. If you want to get a class action going, I am all for it. You can contact me at schoppn@yahoo.com.
 
I just got my Qwest bill and found my first charge. I am calling tomorrow. This company is making millions of dollars and the phone companies and the FTC are the ones to blame. It makes you wonder if they are getting kick backs. Where are the lawyers when you really need them?
 
This month's AT&T bill was about $30 higher than expected so I started combing through the bill. And, sure enough, I came to the very end where I found two charges from ESBI. I had to call two different toll-free numbers to (suposedly) get my account cancelled and get two credits for these fraudulent charges. We'll see how long this takes. Then, I called AT&T and spoke with someone who was very helpful. She put a block on my account and suggested I file a complaint with the Ohio Public Utilities Commission which I was able to do online. I also plan to file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General. Reading all (well, many) of these posts was very helpful -- thanks to all of you !
 
I too have been charged by ESBI for the second time this year for bogus internet listing charges. Don't bother with the ridiculous overseas call centers. You need to call them directly at:


Phone: 210.949.7000
Fax: 210.949.7101

I did some research. Here are the names of the main officers:

Gregory Carter
Norman Phipps
Abraham Reifer
Donald Philbin
Thomas Ratchford
Christopher Smith
Tami Ellis

Flood the switchboards and let them know how angry you are at this company's despicable practices.
 
This site helps. We are a victim, too. We thing they called and talked with our son and somehow got a "yes" from him.
Disputing AT&T bill. Attempting to call company.
I guess we can always cancel our phone service -- we have other options for phone, internet these days. Take heed AT&T.

T in Ky
 
I too have been a victim of ESBI. In my case it wasn't entirely their fault, but I did have to escalate the problem to a supervisor to get it resolved. In my case I had just added additional services to my phone and when I saw an increase in my bill I wrote it off to installation charges. It wasn't until the next month that I actually checked the bill and discovered the ESBI charge. The first rep I talked to informed me that they had already billed AT&T for the following month and she could only credit me for 2 months so I would not be creditted for the first months billing. I insisted on talking to her supervisor and he agreed to credit my phone bill for all 3 months. I just went through this yesterday so I haven't seen the credit yet, hopefully it shows up. When I asked how this charge was added to my bill he informed me my ex-wife had authorized the charge. I informed him that I had a block on my phone service to prevent any changes without my consent and he told me the service had been ordered on line. The person ordering the service supposedly has to check a box that says they have permission to add charges to the phone bill. This bypasses my block on changes to my phone service. AT&T has informed me that they cannot block these third party charges and the only way to protect myself is to check the bill every month. So much for consumer protection.
 
I had fraudulent charges appear on my phone bill from Enhanced Services Billing Inc. (listed as Residential Email LLC). Unfortunately I had not noticed until 7 months of charges had been collected. I called AT& T and they said it was not their responsibility (ridiculous, since it it billed through them!). So I called the toll-free number for Residential Email LLC and talked to someone there to cancel my service, complain and ask for reimbursement. At fist they said they said they could cancel the service but could only reimburse me for 3 months of past charges. After more complaining, they came back on the phone and offered to reimburse me for 6 months of past charges; but not for the 7 months that I had been scammed. On top of that, I just noticed that they charged me for another month, just after I called and cancelled. At least they offered the 6 months reimbursement! I'm still waiting for the reimbursements on my phone bill; we'll see.

This seems blatantly criminal and, looking around on the internet, it seems they've been pulling this scam for several years. I'm sure I never ordered this service (and no one could've requested it on my behalf). Where is "law enforcement" when you need it?
 
Wow!!! We got our AT&T bill today (2-4-10) and on it was two months charges (12-31 & 1-31) by ESBI.. I called the customer service number for them and spoke with a lady. She informed me this was authorized over the internet with all of my husband's correct information. I told her no way we would have ordered Digital Voice mail service as we are down to basic phone service and use our phone in an emergency as mostly everyone contacts us via cell phone so there would be no need for us to order any type of Voice Mail service.
She said she canceled the service and as a courtesy would refund us only for the 1-31 charge. I told her I do not think so I want the full charge refunded and she kept telling me so sorry we can only do the January charge.
I told her full credit or I would report them to the BB, AT&T, & any other government agency I could find an address for to write to.
She goes are you familiar with the (________) email address? I said yes but that has been closed for 7 to 12 years. Then she goes oh well since it has been closed for that long of a period of time we will issue full credit.
I called the company that eventually bought out the internet email address that was used and they informed me that the account is no longer in their system and should not even be able to be used to process internet orders for anything as it is NOT a valid email address.
This is not the first time this has happened. In either 2008 or 2009 we got a 3rd party voice mail from ILD services (I think) and again that same email address was used to sign us up for services.
Well I now have proof that email account was closed in 2003 so anymore charges to any of our bills and used by that email I can safely say oh so sorry that email was closed in 2003 I called them on 2-4-10 and they told me it is no longer a valid email address so there is no way anything could be authorized.
Well.. At&T is sending us out a form to sign to stop 3rd party charges.
We shall see if that stops them or not.. Thought we filled one out the last time (2008/2009) but guess we didn't.

Good luck everyone and when you call the 3rd party you may wish to ask them "hey what email addy was used to sign up for the service?"
 
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I too was crammed when I called ESBI for the bogus charges on my bill at first they give me the run around but then after future research from this article I called back and was assured I would get 100% off all charges credited got a confirmation number and the employee ID number of the person I spoke with. I als asked for the cramming company's name and number and was told it was Orbit Telcom.888-458-3724 which was the number I had dialed. Here is the article for those of you who need help. http://www.bottaboom.com/fight-phone-bill-cramming/more info on what to do.
 
This must be the longest-running scam ever. What crooks! They added the charges to my Fairpoint bill for months before I caught on. At first the phone company said I needed to deal with ESBI. But when I called them and was only offered 3 months "free credit back" and asked to write, fax or e-mail more personal info to the company, I decided to contact the NH public utility board. Within hours of making my complaint I was called by Fairpoint and told that I was being credited back for 100% of what had been fraudulently billed to my account.
 
We got the charge from Enhanced Billing Services Inc. on our AT&T bill this month. They claim through our IP address and phone number, "Greg Garret" was authorized to sign up for services through them through AT&T. The service we were billed for is Celebwebaddict LLC. Never heard of ESBI, Celebwebaddict, or Greg Garret. Called AT&T, and they said they put a block on our account to prevent future charges from third party service providers, and they removed the charge from our account, but say we may still be billed for it by ESBI. Called ESBI/Celebwebaddict LLC and they "closed" the account and blocked us from future "services" and charges but refuse to put a refund of the $14.65 we were charged on our account. They said they don't bill directly, they only work through the third party billing company (ESBI), but it's really all the same thing. The rep claimed our IP Address is like our social security number?!?! We were also told that a late fee can be assessed by AT&T for not paying the AT&T bill. We'll see what happens. It's the biggest scam ever!!! We've contacted our Attorney General and lodged a complaint with the FTC.
 
I also found an ESBI / SBO-online charge $15.25 on my AT&T phone bill. Spent practically the entire day dealing with this. I initially called the 1-877-726-4222 number. I spoke with a female representative who asked for the 10 digit phone number associated with the account. I provided my phone number to her. She then stated my correct name and address and asked me to verify that they were correct. I said yes. I told her I've never heard of SBO and wanted an explanation of who SBO was, told her I was falsely signed up for it, and wanted my money back. She smarted off by saying I wasn't falsely signed up because they had my correct information. She was willing to cancel the service and tried to verify my email so she could send a cancellation email. Problem: the email address she stated was bogus! She lied and said the service was only charged to my bill twice and gave me a confirmation number for that refund. I ended the call and went back and found all my past AT&T statements, turns out it was actually 3 months worth of "service". Next, my husband calls AT&T, they confirm they will have the two months charges removed but that we have to deal with SBO to get the other one removed. During this time I am worried that I have been a victim of ID theft, which is probably what SBO wants you to believe. So, we call SBO back and ask for some more details. We find out the date that I supposedly registered, and that there was an advertisement on www.ihirenow.com for SBO that was clicked on. They also said that the only information that was needed to register was a name, phone number, and address. My husband then asked if anyone can just type in anyone's public information to open an account. That alone is absurd and began heavily turning our suspicion away from ID theft and onto SBO.
 
(cont.)
My husband asked to speak with the supervisor, still attempting to get our additional $15.25 refunded, and was put on hold. The same girl came back on and gave him the confirmation number for the other refund. Just out of curiosity, I decided to visit SBO-online.org myself and discovered that in order to register on their website you must answer the security question "last four digits of your SSN" and provide your date of birth. I'm really starting to get tired of being lied to by these people at this point. I call back this time accusing them of lying and demanding for them to tell me what information of mine they have. The girl I was speaking with Susan told me my birth date making me 3 years younger than I actually am, bogus again! She also gave me an IP address that I traced on Google to the United Kingdom. She assured me that they did not have my SSN because back in March they did not require that information. I said, "so you're telling me that three months ago your company did not require a SSN, but now they do?" She said "yes". I asked "why" and she said "for security purposes". I'm pretty sure that a website asking for your SSN should send up major red flags. Anyway, I wasn't satisfied at all because now I'm really beginning to question the legitimacy of SBO. I demand to speak to her supervisor, or someone in management. I am put on hold. Then I get to talk to Gordon. He contradicts the previous girl’s story about the SSN issue. He said he didn't know how someone was able to register for an account with them without providing the SSN. "I don't know how that happened." He went on and on about how it isn't their policy to give credits or refunds but "as a courtesy" he had refunded all of the charges. When I spoke with AT&T again I was told that they are required by the FCC to allow third party billing. I have been in contact with my state's attorney general and am filing a consumer complaint. I have also been in contact with my local authorities. After all of this, my husband gets on the internet and searches SBO-online fraud and boom we find this website and realize we are just one little fish in their sea of scam!
 
I have also been ripped off by ESBI (Enhanced Billing Services) in the amount of $134.55 and OAN Services for $44.85. At no point did anyone in my household ask to have these charges put on our FAX machine/DSL line! (We don't even call out on that line.) I have contacted the FCC http://www.fcc.gov/, Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org/ and the California Public Utilities Commission to complain. I am just aghast that AT&T will accept 3rd party billing on my AT&T account without verification and then won't even allow me to block ALL 3rd party bills. I can only block a bill is I have already been scammed, not before I have been scammed. ESBI has many umbrella companies and I want to list all of them to be blocked, but AT&T will not do so currently. Complain folks! We need to be heard, and those companies need to go out of business!
 
I was ripped off by them and got my money back eventually. A man called AS AN AT&T REP to see if we wanted to make changes to our listing in the Real Yellow Pages phone book which was going to print in about 2 weeks. I started getting billed for a website on www.MyIBA.biz - Internet Business Association. They charge $39.99/mo. ($42.35 w/ fees) for crappy websites no one would ever find. We have google, right? The web guy can't even spell - see: http://www.pedartricanastesiaassociatespc.myiba.biz/
The FUN part is when you call to complain they let you HEAR YOURSELF agreeing to pay this. I heard myself talking to an automated female voice. I remember hearing a female voice in the background, as is normal in a call center. They put my actual conversation with another recording to fabricate this. THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED. Afterward, I searched the site for other businesses in my community and called them all, told them to check their phone bills - it took a few days. Checking today I see they have a lot fewer businesses they are scamming. YEA!
 
I do not know Sbo-Online's previous strategy but now they are providing really good services now and customer care is very helpful.
I am using Sbo-Online services for last 3 months, still no problem is there.
 
And it continues...ESBI is STILL doing this.... just got my phone bill today with the $14.95 charge on it for TOTALPROTECTIONPLUS which, ironically, is an identity theft protection plan.

Called the number... yadda yadda yadda call backduringbusiness hours...so I'm stewing until Monday. Grrrr.
 
I called the number from my ATT bill ESBI today 08/10/2011. I have been charged for 21 months. The lady was nice and said she could only credit me back 2 months and i would have to fax/mail/online a letter to the company on my bill under the ESBI. Mine was Coast To Coast Voice. The way I understood it is ESBI is a billing service company only, but they are still part of the problem. so these other companies (ie Coast To Coast Voice) that are billing you are the ones cramming. I am faxing for my additional credit today, so we will see if I get my two month credit and see what happens with the additional credit. I will post again after credited (hopefully)
 
Nice written post. Thanks for sharing.
Regards
Occupational therapy billing software
Physical therapy billing software
Web based medical billing software
 
This is March 22, 2012. I have the same problem that I have been reading from people going back to 2005! What has the FTC, BBB, FCC or ANY FEDERAL/CONSUMER AGENCY done to stop these thieves? Absolutely nothing!! Yes, there was a lawsuit filed and a judgment rendered, but what good did it do? The scam/cram robbers went home, had a good nights' sleep, came to work the next morning and never missed a beat. When the evidence just slaps you in the face, it's time this company was put out of business. I was like several other posters who used AT&T auto pay with EFT from my bank. I assumed my sons had sent some extra texts or got a ring tone, etc. When I went back to my account and researched the start of the $12.95 fee, it had started in October 2010. That is 233-10 I have given to them for NOTHING. Just another way the 99% is getting screwed by the 1%. We don't have accountants and lawyers to do line item examinations of our bills! I guarentee AT&T gets $1 to 2 on each of these transactions. Why would they try to stop this?
 
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