WorldWebPages telemarketing scam

worldwebpages.net scammed me. I hate that they scammed me, because I think I'm pretty good at resisting telemarketing techniques. Here's what happened. Beware.

Around August 27th, 2007, they called our small business with the pretense that they were updating a directory at the request of our phone company, Verizon. Then they asked if I had the authority to make billing decisions. I said yes, because I thought I would save my boss some time. I was assured that I had to go through a recorded voice-mail session to be out of their database so they wouldn't call anymore. The recorded script said that I was signing up for a service, some kind of web site or web listing, which was free for the first month, but there-after cost $9.95 to set up and $34.95/month, charged to our phone bill! The first time through I said "no, I don't authorize this", and then hung up when the marketer tried to convince me I should complete it. He called back, and assured me that I was not signing up for anything, that they would fax us information about the service that we would have to confirm, and that the fax would be sent immediately. I wrote down two phone numbers, one that was supposed to allow me to immediately cancel this service. I told him I would complete the voice-mail recording only with the understanding the I didn't want to sign up for the service, and that I wasn't signing up for the service. Against my better judgment, I completed the voice-mail session the second time, and said "yes, I authorize". I got a confirmation number.

I immediately regretted it, and my blood pressure rose each time I thought about the calls. I waited a day or two, no fax. So I called the cancellation number. It was disconnected, invalid. I called the customer service number. It immediately dumped me to a "all agents are busy, please leave your name, company and phone number so we can get back to you", without identifying the company. I chose not to leave a message. At this point, I had no idea who the company was who had called. I searched for the phone number, 888-244-6692, without success. So I let it alone.

Today September 24, 2007, we received our "welcome letter", telling me that I had signed up for a web-site with worldwebpages.net, and that our trial period would run from Sept 3 to Oct 3. So in 9 days, they would charge us $45, for a service the telemarketer said I had not signed up for. I had to hand the letter to my boss so he could write a letter that said stop all services immediately, and don't charge us anything. Very embarrassing.

I believe that my boss is filing a complaint with our Attorney General. For now, I figure a post like this might do more good. If you have had experience with these people, I would appreciate hearing from you.

FWIW, they did put up a completely generic web site that says we deliver products and services, and that we are #1 in our industry. So they delivered a service. It's not one that I would value at $34.95/month. If they retract the site without charging us money, then the company is doing what its recorded voice-mail system said it would. However, the tactics and dishonesty of the telemarketer that brow-beat me on the phone are inexcusable. On that basis, I encourage you to avoid worldwebpages.net, and perhaps file a complaint if you are similarly treated.

Sigh.

Update: My boss got a call to confirm that we were discontinuing our service. Yep. We await our next phone bill with trepidation.

Comments

amandablake1122 said…
same thing happened to me!
Maggie said…
This happened to me also. I was offered a refund but am also working the Atty General's office to try and document these and get this stopped! I encourage everyone to work with their states Atty Generals office Consumer Complaint divisions so we can hold this company accountable for their actions.
Bonnie said…
Same thing happened to my store. My employee did exactly what you did, thinking she was "verifying" information they already had. It turns out we were signed up for world web pages and the charge appeared on the next month's phone bill. So far we have been able to get them to refund the monthly fee, but can't get a refund for the set up charge and taxes on the whole amount. I am furious!!! When I called Embarq to complain that they had allowed unauthorized charges to be made, the lady asked for my last four digits of my SS#. I was incredulous that someone could charge my account with no hesitation on the part of Embarq, yet for me to complain about it Embarq needed to verify my social security number. What a joke. We have been scammed!!!!!!
aron said…
I'm glad I posted this, so that I know, and the others know we are not alone. I really hate the deceptive practices that this scam uses. The only good thing I can report is we were not charged any money, because my boss acted immediately to cancel the account. But bonnie's store got caught with the setup fee, which is probably what they are hoping for! Sorry!
Philip said…
I just got the same letter and scam. How do you get rid of it. They used the Same trick.
aron said…
Hi Philip,
My boss takes some pleasure in telling people like this to buzz off, so he handled it. If you follow the instructions in the letter to cancel the service, they will cancel, and your phone bill will not be charged, I think. Do it right away, and let them know how unhappy you are! 2 years later, same scam.
Mel Rallo said…
The scam is still happening!! We have been scammed too. An employee in our sheet metal shop answered the phone and was told the same story. I have 3 separate phone bills for different offices and numbers. My first call to ILD was successful, the rep said she would remove the charges. I then noticed it was on two other phone numbers which are on another bill. The 800 I called previously gave me another 800 number directly to World Webpages and they refuse to remove the charges. The nasty man said this was authorized (named an employee that answered the phone) and he told me that he has the conversation on tape so there is nothing I can do about it. I will not let this go and will file a complaint!!

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