Fri | Feb 23, 2018

Toll-free calls scamming consumers

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM


With a little examination of my recent Digicel landline bill, I discovered that I was charged for "Toll Free Calls". Questioning this with Digicel, I was told that all Toll Free calls are charged except theirs.

Appalled and confused at this, I contacted the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), which first advised me that all the other telephone providers do so as well. Complaining bitterly about the unfairness of the situation, I asked if the OUR would take up the matter. I was told that this matter is out of their jurisdiction. Pressing further, I was told to contact the Fair Trading Commission, which I did.

Fair Trading wants me to send a letter with my attached bill. An acknowledgement letter from them would take 10 days, after which it would be presented at a meeting for discussion. Who knows when and where this will end?

Mr Editor, this is not a personal matter, it affects all consumers and businesses like yourself which have Toll Free Numbers. Do businesses know that consumers are being charged on their landlines? If businesses know this, why list Toll Free Numbers when the charge is NOT free? Or, are both businesses and consumers being charged simultaneously by the providers? What is sure, is that consumers are being scammed.

I think this is a legislative matter and needs immediate investigation at the government level.

No government which cares about its people would allow this to happen. Unless, of course, this is another way to get more taxes out of us consumers.

Faith Samms