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#17786 - 02/10/04 12:13 PM Phone Scam?
ga peach Offline
Have any of you boarders had a problem with being ripped off when making phone calls home while in Central America? I was in Costa Rica last month. My brother had a heart attack while I was there and I had to make several calls home and returned early because he had to have bypass surgery. I made 4 collect calls and 4 credit card calls and spoke less than 4 minutes for each call. I have been billed a total of $421.88 for these calls. Not to mention that Delta charged me $1221.21 for a one-way ticket to Atlanta. I flew over on a charter. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem? Thanks, GP

#17787 - 02/10/04 01:31 PM Re: Phone Scam?
ChrisW Offline
I thought airlines were supposed to give special deals to hardship cases? Delta charging you that much for an emergency situation just isn't right. I would complain.

Hope your brother is doing better.

#17788 - 02/10/04 01:32 PM Re: Phone Scam?
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
More than US$13 a minute sounds pretty high! However, many hotels, not just in Costa Rica but around the world, often add huge surcharges to long distance telephone calls, and of course collect calls always cost an arm and a leg. US$5 a minute for international collect calls is not unusual, even without the hotel surcharge.

It might be worthwhile complaining to whatever company did the billing, but it probably won't help much.

My sympathies.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#17789 - 02/10/04 01:44 PM Re: Phone Scam?
Chris Offline
I was in Miami a couple of years ago. I stayed at a Days Inn. I made a 45 SECOND phone call to my wife here in Belize. $14.49US for the call. So, a 4 minute call would have cost more than my hotel bill for the night!

#17790 - 02/10/04 01:59 PM Re: Phone Scam?
ga peach Offline
Thanks Chris, my brother is doing very well.

#17791 - 02/10/04 02:02 PM Re: Phone Scam?
ga peach Offline
Lan, actually all the calls were made from a pay phone at the resort because I was never able to get a call through from the room. The sad part is that I was planning to return to Belize as soon as lobster season starts up again, but now I probably can't afford it until I pay for all this.

#17792 - 02/10/04 02:30 PM Re: Phone Scam?
klcman Offline
yup - ya gotta watch those streetside pay phones......they're frequently hooked up to non-descript tlelecommunication companies......never seen one in BZ ( of course with BTL monopoly laugh ), but Mexico, CR, Ecuador, Venezuela.........

Not looking good GA, you've probably just learned an expensive lesson. frown

Best wishes for bro!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#17793 - 02/11/04 07:17 AM Re: Phone Scam?
seashell Offline
I went down to Puerto Vallarta with a bunch of friends. We all travelled different ways as suited our lives and schedules. One gal flew through Los Angeles and called her family from an airport phone. By the time she got to PV, her husband had already been contacted by their phone company. Her code had been used for something like $5000 worth of illegal calls all over the world.
If you must use a pay phone, make sure you can cover yourself as you enter the codes. And keep in mind that those that are stealing the codes, are very savvy. They know how to watch you enter them. So your hand must be totally blind to outsiders when you enter on the keypad.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#17794 - 02/11/04 01:05 PM Re: Phone Scam?
ScubaSnack Offline
Hello Peach:

If you really feel like you've been victimized/scammed, don't stand for it.

If you paid with a credit card, you can dispute the charges and usually prevail. The key is to be aggressive and get a paper trail started. DON'T PROCRASTINATE. Over the years I've made credit card companies eat all kinds of charges and/or backcharge merchant/scammers.

You can usually dispute charges with your phone company too. Start the paperwork and get the charges into dispute resolution. That will get you several weeks to settle. Typically you can offer a reasonable amount and most carriers will take it and backcharge the scammer.

You really have nothing to lose... And maybe if more of us reject being victimized we can put these Telescammers out of business.

#17795 - 02/11/04 01:48 PM Re: Phone Scam?
ga peach Offline
Thanks ScubaSnack. You are absolutely right. I am going to dispute this with both the phone company and my credit card company. This is totally wrong and I am going to stand up for myself. Even if I don't win I can know that I tried. I am also going to write a letter to Delta and see if they might give me a refund since it was an emergency situation.

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