411 Rip Off
For as long as I can remember, directory assistance calls have been free, even advertised in the first few pages of the phone books. With the advent of the cell phone however, all bets are off. It is a new way to rip off customers.
We have had the same cell phone carrier for about seven years with no problems or complaints. Our bills are paid automatically by credit card on a monthly basis and we receive a paper copy of the charges. Recently I could not find a listing for a particular business in either of our phone books. On my cell phone, I used the 411 number and thought nothing about it until the bill came in. There was a charge of $5.97 for directory assistance calls, at $1.99 per call. I was billed for two calls, one of them double billed. This means that identical items were charged twice. My charges should have only been for two 411 calls or $3.98. I figured it was a simple mistake, not worth fussing about.
That “simple” mistake grew to a whopping $23.00 worth of directory assistance calls the next month. Four of the calls had been double billed and I had made none of the calls at all. My carrier was quick to clear the erroneous charges from my account.
Like myself, I’m sure there are many seniors out there who just don’t realize that using directory assistance on a cell phone can be costly. Check your bill and know what you are paying for. Many of us “assume” the honesty of the bigger and long established cell phone service carriers, but bear in mind that like every -one else, they are in it for the buck. An erroneous two dollar charge on enough unsuspecting customer accounts can make a company millions.