Long distance carrier change – slamming

Years ago I paid my phone company, Windstream, formerly Alltel, $25 to block, and have paid them $4.99 a month ever since, simply to NOT have long distance on my landline. Imagine my surprise when I opened
a phone bill to find $5.63 for “carrier change charge” and $19.37 billed from ILD Teleservices on behalf
of Reliant Communications”, both companies I had never heard of.

After arguing with Windstream for awhile, they finally credited my account, but advised me I’d have to contact ILD Teleservices to prevent further billings. So starts the process of my spending several
hours on the phone fixing something that wasn’t my fault. ILD Communications was fairly easy to deal with, but they advised me that I also needed to talk to Reliant Communications who was the source of the billings.

The woman at Reliant Communications was just plain obnoxious. She informed me that “I” had agreed to change to their long distance services and she had a recording. I informed her no, she did not, and I’d like to hear “me” agreeing to it. Eventually she said the recording was of xxxxx with xxxxx company agreeing
to the change. Thing is, there is nobody here by that name and I’d never heard of the person. She was still insistent I was responsible for the change. ( She eventually did send me a copy of the sound file several days after I spoke with her.) What part of ‘that is not my name, I’ve never heard of this
person’ couldn’t the idiot understand….

I researched, tracked down and called the person on the recording. It turned out he had two phone numbers and thought the telemarketing call he received was from Windstream and that he was
canceling long distance on his phone numbers, not changing carriers. A zero in his number was keyed
in as a nine, which triggered the change to MY account.

My biggest issue with this is that Windstream accepted billings to my account at the drop of a hat – an account that had long distance blocked so would have had no need for a long distance carrier. According to Windstream this was MY fault. They told me I should have locked carrier changes and it never
would have happened. Nobody ever told me that. And, since I paid $25 and had paid $4.99 a month
for years to NOT have long distance, shouldn’t that have been done automatically? I feel I’ve handed over
$4.99 a month to Windstream for all this time – for nothing.

>From my internet research, ILD Communications may have had issues in the past with billings and has been fined by regulators. It’s sad that Windstream will bill their customers for things from a company like this.
Clerical error or no, this was an inconvenience to me and should never have happened.

As a result I took everything off my landline except basic service and will probably soon have that disconnected. We’ve signed up for a voip plan – $12.95 a month including all fees and it supports
E911. The sound is much clearer that my landline, it has more features and is certainly priced better than
the $55 I’ve spent per month for Windstream “service.”

You may say “but if the power goes out…..if the internet goes down…” Well, we have cell phones and anyway, for awhile now, when our power would go out, we had no phone service anyway, even on the non-cordless phone.

Check those bills closely each month, you never know when you’ll find yourself slammed, accidental or not.
Something more needs to be done to protect consumers from things like this but I’m not going to hold my breath.

One Comment

  1. I am so sorry that you had problems with your Windstream billing. Please give our office a call at 1-877-316-4077 and we will be happy to review your account to determine what happened and why. We appreciate your business at Windstream.

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