I almost used the words “fraud alert” in my post title, but that’s a little strong for something that hasn’t been proven in a court of law. In any case, if you’re a business owner, you need to know about this company’s tactics.
Over the past week, I’ve been right in the middle of a huge can of worms. Thursday evening last week, I sat down to pay my phone bill and noticed a third-party billing service item that I didn’t recognize. www.paymentone.com had put through a $34.95 charge on behalf of “netopus.com” for something called “NetOpus Silv er Mnthly Fee” (sic). I attempted to call both my phone company and the phone number listed for NetOpus, and both were after hours. And the website netopus.com states this: “If you recently received a letter from NETOPUS.NET concerning services that you did not order, please direct your inquiry to NETOPUS.NET. This domain is NETOPUS.COM and we have nothing to do with the company operating at NETOPUS.NET although we are getting a whole lot of people contacting us incorrectly in response to the letter from Netopus.net.”
Because I couldn’t get it taken care of right then, I began to do some research online. I found incident after incident posted by other victims. Victims claim that the telemarketer who calls asks the person who answers the phone to simply verify business information for their directory, then afterwards doctors the recording so that the victim agrees to a monthly service that they’ll be charged after a 15-day trial period. From what I gather, the service is for website hosting. Huh… why would I agree to website hosting when I already have a website and hosting that’s vastly cheaper than $35 a month?
My phone company has taken the charge off my bill and the third-party billing company has also agreed to do the same if it continues to be an issue. But that’s not enough – I would really like to protect other unwitting small business owners.
I hesitate to post much more than this… just that the telemarketers instruct you to say “yes” for their recording. Don’t agree to anything until you ask for their terms in writing and be wary when verifying any information, even if they have only information that’s in the public domain. If you want to know more, contact me directly.