Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scammers and caramel

I just want to share a story....last Friday I received my phone bill from AT&T...I normally don't really look at it, I have it set up on autopay..but I always open it just to make sure the balance is the same month after month (we have a separate long distance carrier). Anyway..there were two charges on there that were weird (for lack of a better word) one in the amount of $15.74 for Nationwide Voice 1X set up fee and the other in the amount of $14.95 for Voice Mail Professionals VM monthly fee.....EXCUSE ME...I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN VOICEMAIL...I AM UNEMPLOYED!!
Both of these were separate charges with 2 different companies and the number for each was listed on the statement. I called the VoiceMail Professionals VM first, the conversation went like this with a customer service rep:
Me: hello, I am calling in regards to an unauthorized charge that was placed on my AT&T bill
Him: Well, we will see about "unauthorized"
Me: Well, I know it is unauthorized because I do not need voicemail and don't want voicemail
Him: Did you on (such and such a date) click on a ad online for some coupons?
Me: Maybe, who knows....
Him: Is you address....., your mother's maiden name........, your home phone.....
Me: Ummmmm did you know that?
Him: We received that info thru the internet. When you clicked on the ad for the coupons there was fine print in the ad to sign up for voicemail and we sent you an email to confirm this and on the email there was a place to click on a link if you wanted to opt out...and well you didn't opt out.
Me: I never received an email from probably went into my spam....what right do you have to charge something to my phonebill without my authorization?
Ok...this conversation lasted over a half hour and to save you all the details...I will cut to the chase...
He hesitantly said that he would "meet me halfway on this" and charge me half of it. Of course...I said absolutely not, that if he couldn't waive it entirely then I would talk to his manager. Then I told him that this is how class action lawsuits get started (that seemed to get his attention). He waived the charge, they already got in on my next bill, said he would waive that and that I sould see a credit in 2 to 3 months. He ended his conversation by saying that if I ever respond to any type of ad on the internet to never give out my home phone number, that they can link to all kinds of information thru that. GEEZ!!
The second charge wasn't as difficult to resolve, but it apparantly was accessed on the internet also using my home phone number. Both of these calls had me on the phone for over an hour.
Then next I called AT&T...of course was on hold for nearly 40 minutes before I spoke to someone...told her what happened and asked what gives anyone the right to add charges to my bill? Is there some kind of block that I can put on to stop unauthorized charges? She said yes we could and I set one up with a code word that must be used. I have always been extremely cautious what I access on the internet, but on occasion my computer is used by my kids and who knows what is being accessed. Just a heads up to everyone ~~~

Ok.....breath in, breath out, cleansing breath.....ahhhhh
now for a sweetie...

Yesterday I made Peach Crisp for dessert along with caramel.
My Mother-in-law passed this on to me for "caramel". Ok, now don't get scared...I know I did at first....but what you do is take a can (in my case I did 3 cans) of sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand Milk) place in a saucepan and cover with water, enough to go at least 2 inches over the can. Bring to a boil, turn heat to medium and let boil for 4 hours....yes, I said 4 hours....I have done this for over 30 years and have never had an explosion and my mother in law probably did it another 30 years before me. Not to say it can't don't hold me responsible. If the water level drops, just heat water in the microwave or tea kettle to add to the saucepan. When the 4 hours is up, remove the cans and place in the fridge until well chilled. Open both ends of the can and slice. This is very sweet and super rich. I was really too much for the peach crisp I made, but my husband who has a huge sweet tooth loves it that way. My mother in law used to serve it on a bed of graham cracker crumbs with a slice of pineapple on top (to cut the sweetness). I took a picture...but I have to warn you it looks a little like......well you know.....ok fine, here it is really is yummy ~~


Twisted Fencepost said...

It absolutely amazes me, the information available about anyone nowadays.
Thanks for the heads up!
That peach crisp thing looks delicious.

Kathy said...


Wow - the things people try to get away with these days. I'll be sure to start looking at my bills a little closer. Thanks for letting us all know about this scam.

Boil for 4 hours - now I'm going to have to give this a try just to check it out. (I'm not much of a sweets person but I could feed it to my Grandchildren right before they go home - just kidding.)

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

brneyedgal967 said...

Lovin' your blog and reading backwards.

You sound like you were extremely nice with the scammers and AT&T - I think I would've gone OFF.

Okay - the eagle brand milk thing has me wrinkling my forehead and it doesn't need to be wrinkled anymore, trust me. THIS process turns it from condensed milk into caramel? Really?