Although I normally verify each and every charge on my credit card bill, in April of 2003, the bill was large and there were many, many charges due to my husband relocating to Iraq. So, that one month, I did not check the bill so carefully. Wouldn't you guess, that was just the month where the first charge from Direct One for $61.02 was placed. The next charge from Discount LD Nicosia CY for the same amount appeared on my June bill. This was exactly the time when my hubsand had told me he got satellite TV.
Communications were/are exceptionally poor and very unreliable. And, well, let's face it, those in Iraq had and still do have quite alot to do. I didn't hear from my husband for quite some time. I assumed that the $61.02 and later on $62.80 was for the satellite service. When I DID hear from my husband, the last thing on either of our minds was the credit card bill!
I didn't think much of the company's name listed on the bill because I have no idea about satellite systems in Iraq....who would? The name of the company went from Direct One to Discount LD to D Long Distance. It stayed "Direct Billing" for several months and just my last bill, changed to Galway Telecommunications.
What finally alerted me to this scam was my husband moved locations AFTER A YEAR and sold his TV so, obviously he wouldn't need satellite anymore. But the bill kept coming. In his new location, emails are a bit more frequent and so when I asked him what to do to cancel this for him, he notified me that he did NOT have a contract of any kind for anything...TV or phone.
I called the number listed on my bill. I reached a "customer service" call center. When I asked for whom they did customer service, the woman told me that they were a billing company. I asked what exactly Galway Telecommunications did. She said that they offer state-to-state phone services... something I would never need in the first place as I do not live in the States and haven't for 16 years!
I explained my situation the the customer service rep and she said the charge was removed... gave me a confirmation number for the transaction and everything... but to stop the payment permanently, I would have to contact Galway Telecommunications directly. I immediately called the 800 number but got a very strange recording that the call could not be completed as dialed.
I called customer service back to verify the number. I did, of course, have it correct. The operator said she would dial it for me and, low and behold, she got someone! Of course, I couldn't really understand what the "person" said but supposedly I was told to call back in an hour. Of course, I have no way to verify what number customer service called and I, to this date, am told that the number cannot be completed as dialed.
Well, to sum up this horrible experience, my credit card company is wonderful and completely supportive. And I have learned to always, always check the bill...no matter WHAT is going on. My husband continues to work in Iraq... no TV... and I am grateful for everyone's support. I cannot say that I will not order online again. From what I've read concerning the company's I've named, it doesn't seem to even have to be an online thing. I will, however, be more aware and careful.