TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: MCI Billing Fraud Class Action Notice

Re: MCI Billing Fraud Class Action Notice
Sun, 07 Aug 2005 07:04:15 -0700

Shows how woefully inadequate are so-called federal consumer
"protectors" are. It is absolutely disgusting.

Girard, Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP wrote:


> San Francisco - The law firm Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP
> has filed a class action complaint on
> behalf of telephone customers nationwide who were unlawfully billed by
> MCI, Inc. for monthly service charges despite the fact they were not
> MCI customers. The complaint alleges that MCI assesses the monthly
> fees directly or through consumers' local phone bills.

> "MCI has been charging non-customers minimum usage fees and other
> monthly service fees without authorization even though MCI provided no
> service to these persons," said Daniel Girard, one of the attorneys
> for the plaintiff. "Consumers who mistakenly paid MCI or paid in
> response to a threatening collections notice should get their money
> back."

> The case was brought by Shary Everett, a Goodyear, Arizona resident
> who repeatedly was assessed monthly service charges by MCI even though
> she had a different long distance carrier and had terminated MCI
> service at a former address several years earlier. MCI refused to
> reverse the unauthorized charges and threatened Ms. Everett with a
> collections notice for failing to pay. To stop MCI from continuing to
> bill her without authorization, she was forced to restrict all
> long-distance service on her telephone line.

> The complaint alleges that MCI enrolled non-customers and former MCI
> long-distance subscribers without their knowledge or consent in the
> "Basic Dial-1 Plan" or another MCI calling plan that carries a monthly
> service fee. In 2002, MCI began charging a $3.00 or $5.00 minimum
> usage fee (MUF) and a $3.95 monthly recurring fee to consumers who did
> not have active billing accounts with MCI and whom MCI has no
> reasonable basis to believe are current MCI customers.

> The class action lawsuit against MCI was filed in federal district
> court in Phoenix on July 18, 2005 and asserts claims against MCI for
> violations of the federal Communications Act and for unjust
> enrichment.

> The complaint alleges that MCI's policy and practice is to reverse,
> refund, or credit back unauthorized charges only to consumers who
> threaten to bring legal action, lodge complaints with regulatory
> authorities, or take other action. According to the complaint,
> consumers who do not pay the unauthorized charges are turned over to
> collections agencies.

> Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP is one of the nation's leading firms
> representing individuals in consumer fraud class actions and investors
> in securities fraud litigation.

> If you've experienced this or a similar problem and you are interested
> in sharing your experience with us, please print out and fill in the
> form below, and mail or email it to our firm.

> Name:

> E-Mail:

> Telephone:

> State of Residence:

> Message:

> I would like to receive updates concerning this problem or
> other class action news:

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I ran this entire legal notice again,
along with Tim's response since it is important that _everyone_
reclaim their money from MCI. Long-time (twenty or thirty year) phone
users understand that MCI by and large was built on fraud from its
beginning in the 1960's. It's crowning glory, if that term is
appropriate came this summer when it's chairperson, Bernie Ebbers,
got sent away all the while he was wringing his hands and claiming to
know nothing of the deceit which built that huge empire. By all means,
if you have as little as five cents coming from MCI, go through Gerard
Gibbs (or whomever will administer the class action and get your
money back. PAT]

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