A bit of hope here for some of you folks, hopefully.
I, too, was the victim of a dialer program. Up until today I had never heard of such a thing occurring, until I looked at my phone bill and had a $40 2 minute charge from Integretel. WHAT? $20/minute? I was livid, and I immediately googled the 900 number I supposedly called, and found the above post, so I knew it was a problem. I called Qwest, my phone company, and they told me I had to call Integretel directly to discuss the matter with them. And they said if it wasn't resolved, then I should call Qwest again and they'd get both Integretel and I on the line and we'd discuss it together.
So I called Integretel and was immediately put through to somebody after giving my phone number. He asked after my full name and my phone number again and that was all. Then he asked what the problem was. I explained that I had a $40 charge on my account and he went through his totally robotic, well-rehearsed scripted speech about how my phone number called the 900 number. I said I had never called a 900 number, then he told me that it had gone via my computer. I said I would never have dialed a 900 number on my computer. He said that they use ANI recognition, the same as 911 uses, to identify what phone number is making the call. So it was clearly my number that had called.
Throughout the call I ended up interrupting about three times to growl at him and he was totally unfazed, and simply said that he needed to finish his statement before we could resolve anything so I had to listen to his rubbish speech about how it was clearly my fault that the call had been made. I told him that it was not my problem if his company supported fraud by endorsing clients who used spyware direct dialer programs to sneak phone calls off of my phone line, and I would not be paying the bill. He said they do not have clients who use spyware and that a window pops up asking if you accept the terms, conditions, and charges, and that you have to press accept in order for the call to be placed. Ha ha ha, yeah right! I told him that I had never viewed such a window, nor would I have pressed 'okay' and given away $40 if I had. I was so mad I threatened to file a complaint with the attorney general, Better Business Bureau, and FCC in one breath.
At this point he offered to reduce the charge by 50%, to $20. I had read on other websites that this is Integretel's practice with an angry person calling, and I told him exactly that. No, I have read that you try to reduce the bill by half, and I do not accept that. I will never pay you anything, now remove the charges. So he said, "Miss _____, since you state that you have no knowledge of the calls placed, Integretel will remove the charges and place a block on your number from the 900 number client. We recommend that you call your phone company and asked them to block outgoing 900 calls from your phone number." Yeah, a fat lot of good that blocking my phone from calling that one particular client would do -- they probably have 4,999 other clients just chomping at the bit to have my computer spaz out and call them. I will definitely be calling my phone company after this and having them block 900 calls.
Looking back, I distinctly recall the day that the call was made, because my computer was having problems. The problems were, of course, with Internet Explorer suddenly crapping out popup windows like there was no tomorrow. Furthermore, webpages I went to had certain words now changed into links for "sponsors" at other sites. For example, I went to look at my bank account and the Wells Fargo says, "Brokerage is offered through Wells Fargo Investments," and something like the word "investments" would have been changed by the spyware to be a link to some shady investment website. This was, fortunately, taken care of by AdAware and AVG, both of which I recommend like there is no tomorrow. I have not had any problems since. I'm pretty sure the spyware came from one of those quiz sites (you know, like 'What Ninja Turtle Are You?' or whatever).
I know $40 is chump change compared to what I have read by some of you others on this post alone and I am so sorry that you guys have to deal with that, but I hope it gets resolved for you in a satisfactory manner (that is, the fraudulent company is forced to shove their bill where the sun don't shine, and you don't have to pay anything).
One more thing: Integretel's number is 1800-736-7500. If the company who charged you is them, I have fairly high faith that if you call them and argue with them enough, you can get the charges removed. Don't settle for 50%!
Edited by kyleers, 19 August 2005 - 01:47 PM.