3rd party billing from AT&T [telecom]

In the past months I started recieving 3rd party billing from never demanded services from USBI. The actual company seemed to be Onelink Communications Inc. It was $6 a month.

After some phone calls to the AT&T customer service they reversed the charges and told me that they would not allow 3rd party billing to me anymore.

The 3rd party billing stopped for two months. However, this month's bill comes again with the same [problem], and the company is even the same: USBI/Onelink Communications.

Is there a way to stop this nonsense? Can I control 3rd party billing online or [by] writting by letter to somebody? Speaking to people in call centers is most of the times unsucessful; the last time I needed to speak to many of them until somebody [agreed] to reverse the charges. Most of them told me that AT&T could not do nothing.

Also, is there a way to see my bills online? I have lost track of this matter and possibly I need to reverse some more charges appart from this month.

Many thanks.

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Don't waste any time with AT&T. Send off letters to your State's Public Service Commission, with cc's (not that most will do anything, but it's only 45 cents) to the FCC, FTC, and your State Attorney General.

While these "third party" folk may, emphasize "may", have a valid argument that they should be able to use AT&T's billing system courtesy of deregulation, it's been about time, for a decade now, for AT&T and all the others to have a simple paragraph in their access agreement.

Something like: "if the billback rate is greater than two percent, then this agreement is null and void."

Reply to
danny burstein

You don't say if this is a POTS or wireless.

There was a rash of 3rd party SMS cramming recently to AT&T wireless accounts around the Minneapoils/St. Paul area (enough to make the local news on several stations).

Both of my AT&T wireless lines got hit.

AT&T instantly took off the charges, and I asked for 3rd party billing blocking on both lines. They assign a PIN and email it out. And the cramming supposedly isn't possible then.

Supposedly AT&T will only opt-in cramming on wireline service (although that might not start until August). But AFAIK, wireless is still opt-out.

Reply to
Doug McIntyre

[Moderator snip]

Switch to VOIP. The VOIP companies don't allow third party billing.


Reply to
Fred Atkinson

Most business have a "In case of questions about your bill" mailing address printed somewhere on the invoice (it may be in fine print). Indeed, this may be mandatory.

It may be helpful to send a Certified Letter with your complaint to that address. While it costs a few bucks to do so, the recipient must sign for Certified Mail and this is proof that you submitted a complaint. Businesses tend to be more responsive to such letters, and you may get a phone call from someone more empowered to assist you.

Businesses these days are encouraging their customers to switch to email/online bills since it saves them printing and postage. It also gets the bill out to the customer faster which may result in a faster payment and thus better cash flow.

Unfortunately, some businesses use your email to send you ads from time to time.

IMHO, conventional hard copy bills are better. I've heard of people seeking to see older statements and they weren't available. Some businesses abuse the email ads, sending out stuff frequently. If you change your email address--as many people do often--you will lose your statements.

Reply to

It's strange to see Verizontal flip-flop on this. See, their skim on such billing was VERY profitable. At one point ~10 years ago, third party billing was a bigger profit center to Her than intraLATA toll.

I've successfully blocked cramming on lines, but for years it was like pulling teeth to get Her to do so.

Reply to
David Lesher

I chose one year ago the wired telephone (POTS) with AT&T for my apartment. The deal was that AT&T gave me the telephone service and they would not complicate my life. I knew from the very beginning that their service was outdated and overpriced, but some extrange force inside me drives me towards obsolete technologies, like wired telephones or usenet.

AT&T has gone too far away, and I will switch to VOIP, as Fred suggested. VIATALK sounds good and they offer BYOD, so I can use the hardware that I want. I think I can even port my local telephone number to them. What I really want is a clear billing and to be able to setup the features of the service online, with a non-bloated webpage, not needing to spend countless time speaking to call-centers.

I have internet with AT&T u-verse (there is no choice in my building). The maximum speed is 12 Mbps download/800 kbps upload (u-verse max). I hope this will be enough for VOIP.

Finally, some useful links I found on the cramming:

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PS: thanks to the moderator for letting my original post pass and even correcting my grammar.

***** Moderator's Note *****

I'm trying to lighten up on my tendency to nitpick, so I'm going to edit fewer posts, but thanks for the compliment. :-)

Bill Horne Moderator

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