• Last modified 3160 days ago (Sept. 23, 2010)


Beware of 3rd-party fees on phone bill

Marion resident Erick Brunzell feels he was taken advantage by AT&T and wants others to be aware of unnecessary charges.

Brunzell pays his monthly telephone bill online. When he went online to pay it Friday, he noticed there were charges of $25.90 for services he didn’t order — I.D. Life Guard.

He called AT&T to find out about the unusual charges.

“It sounded like a pizza kitchen,” Brunzell said, “with a lot of background noise.”

He was told to call a different number since it was not an AT&T charge. He called the number given to him.

“The people were very inept on the other end,” Brunzell said.

Finally, he was given a confirmation number for canceling the service.

“They could not provide any information about how they were able to obtain information to bill my AT&T account,” Brunzell said.

According to AT&T spokeswoman Marissa Giller, the company does have contracts with third-party service providers, which are billed through the telecommunications company.

“Anyone who has a service by mistake and wants to have the service discontinued should contact the third-party biller to have the charge removed,” Giller said.

The service contract bill is on a separate page from the AT&T bill, Giller said, as a way for customers to distinguish it from AT&T.

If the provider does not remove the charge as requested, the customer should contact AT&T.

“Less than 1 percent of bills have errors,” Giller said.

Customers also can request blocks be placed on their accounts, she said, which would prevent any third-party provider from automatically charging customers.

Last modified Sept. 23, 2010