TELCO TELEPHONE SERVICE

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TELCO

Almost three years ago my long distance telephone service provider was a company called TelCo. About two years ago, I ended my relationship with TelCo because of their double billing practices and shoddy record keeping .
About three months ago, nearly twenty months after I had completely ended my relationship with TelCo, TelCo started submitting a service charge against my account to Bell Atlantic, my local service provider. In case you don't know, all long distance telephone providers do not bill their customers directly. Some bill their customers indirectly; that is, they send a bill to the local telephone company and the local telephone company passes the bill on to the customer. It is important to note that when the local telephone company receives a bill from a long distance provider, the long distance provider does not have to prove that the charge is a legitimate one. This is important because, if a dispute should arise, the burden of proof is on the customer, not the company.
When TelCo sent a charge against my account to my local company, the local company passed that charge on to me. I told the local company that I had not had an account with TelCo for two years. My local company removed the charge from my bill, but said if TelCo submitted another charge, I would have to either pay it or get TelCo to make the correction in order to keep my account in good standing.
What that means is the following: A long distance telephone server can make unauthorized charges against your account and you will be obligated to pay those charges or possibly lose your local telephone service. The huge injustice is this: A long distance server does not have to prove the bill it submits is legitimate. Once it submits it, the customer is obligated to pay for as long as the long distance server refuses to admit that the bill is wrong.
My question is the following: "Why will the local telephone company readily accept the word of the long distance server, but refuses to give the word of the customer equal weight?" If this country is "of the people, by the people and for the people," why don't "the people" get the benefit of doubt when a conflict arises between a customer and a business?
The answer is simple: The system is stacked in favor of business interests. Therefore the system tends to defend the interests of businesses first, even if that business has a history of not functioning reliably. And the people? The rhetoric says they are special, but the reality makes it clear that they are just human fodder.

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