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Bucks County Resident Charged for Phony Call

The Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection helps a Langhorne resident with a phone bill dispute.

Q.      My father has noticed a charge for a call on his latest telephone bill. After speaking with the phone company, we learned that apparently a third party 900 number service has charged him for a call that he never made. 

The bill listed a time and date of the call so I thought it would be easy to have the charge removed from his bill. As a matter of fact, not only was he not home at the time the call was supposedly made but he was in the hospital.

The phone company informed us, however, that they would not remove the charge and that he would have to resolve it with the 900# billing service.  They refuse to accept the fact that no one was at his residence at the time of the call.  What can he do?  R.G., Langhorne

A.      The first thing all consumers should do to prevent any such billings is to call your local phone carrier and ask for a 900 number block to be placed on the phone. 

If a consumer has a dedicated line for the Internet that number should also have a block placed on it.

Once we received your complaint stating your problem, our office contacted the billing service to determine if there was possibility that this was a data entry error.  They claim it was not an error but will consider reviewing your father’s bill. 

They would like to see documentation for the hospital stay and may ask for a notarized statement from his physician.  At this time we suggest you follow through with their request. 

It is a shame, but in today’s market place consumers must constantly set up barriers ahead of time to prevent possible problems from even occurring.  The 900 block is a perfect example.  Most consumers would feel they have no need for such a thing but it can prevent enormous headaches down the road.

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