TAMPA - Downloads from Hooters, another from a site involving high school girls in a locker room, along with ring tones -- all billed to Margaret Smith. "I use it strictly as a phone," said Smith. "When they told me these are downloads, I said 'What are down loads?'"
The 73-year old showed us how -- month after month -- her phone bill hovers just over $80. "October, $86. November another $86 and December $86.
But in January, her $86 bill exploded into a $1,500 shocker. "I almost had a heart attack. I did not know what it was."
Chuck Hamby with Verizon Wireless can't explain how the downloads wound up on Margaret's phone but does admit human error may have played a part. "We go back and look and if there is no history, maybe a mistake was made."
Margaret says she tried for months to convince Verizon that the downloads were not her doing. Then I contacted Verizon Wireless and ask that they review Margaret's account and usage history. Two weeks later, Verizon offered to remove all the charges. The news came as a relief. "It is like a weight lifted off my shoulders."
There are two places you can go go to dispute a utility bill. You file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org , and you can also report it the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 800helpfla.com .
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