Are You Sure Your Long Distance Service Was Canceled?
Have you recently contacted your local telephone company to request that your long distance service be discontinued? If so, there's a possibility that you may still be in your long distance service provider's database, and may, indeed, receive an unexpected and unwanted bill.
The Georgia Public Service Commission learned in a recently-settled case with a telecommunications service provider that several consumers who had called their local telephone company to cancel long distance services were still in the long distance company's database. As a result, these "former customers" were billed a monthly recurring charge even though they did not make any long distance calls through the former carrier.
Consumers are advised to do the following to avoid receiving unwanted bills and to make sure they enroll in services with a telecommunications company that best fit their needs.
- Call your local telephone company to cancel your long distance service. Follow-up with a call to your long distance service provider within a few days to make sure your service has been canceled and that your account is closed.
- Monitor your telephone bill in the following months to make sure the changes were made. Always check your telephone bill for accuracy. The longer a billing error goes undetected, the harder it may be to get the erroneous charges corrected.
- Consider calling your local telephone company to place a long distance block on your line or request that no long distance carrier be associated with your line to prevent long distance charges. (Check with your local telephone company to see whether these options are available. You may be required to pay a fee for opting not to have a long distance company associated with your telephone line).
- Evaluate whether your calling pattern has changed. If so, contact your long distance service provider to discuss plans that are available which may be more suitable for you. Also, ask if there are plans available that do not include a monthly recurring charge. Request a copy of the plans in which you have an interest. Selecting a specific long distance calling plan may help you avoid higher per minutes rates and monthly recurring charges.
- Get rate information from several providers so that you have a comparison before making your final decision.