I noticed a charge funneled by ILD for Compufix Tech support & computer repair Mth of $12.95 with the taxes of $1.45 for a total of $14.40. I checked with family members. No one had clicked anything, signed up for anything, or had ever heard of this California base outfit. It's url is compufixonline.com Here is their address
11271 Ventura Blvd. #217, Studio City, CA 91604
I called ILD's 800 number 800-433-4518 and got the voice message everyone apparently gets that says, "We'll call you back." Right.
So I called Verizon to have it taken off. They said, "Why don't you call ILD?" I let them know I did but I'm not in the business of trying to deal with fraudsters when Verizon obviously knows exactly who these people are. Just Google ILD and you'll pull up hundreds of complaints of fraudulent charges over the past several months for a variety of major carriers, many involving Compufix, a small store front operation in a strip shopping center in Studio City, California. Compufix claims to provide tech support, anti spyware online, etc. and they can "fix" your computer over the internet. They claim they provide "five hours of consulting" for just 12.95 a month. Really? Do the math. And based on hundreds of complaints of fraudulent charges of 12.95 in which people have never even heard of Compufix Online that seems highly unlikely.
ILD piously claims to take every precaution to screen their third party billers. Obviously not!
Hint to Verizon: you want my continued business, file complaints with the California attorney general against Compufix and protect your customers.
ConsumerAffairs.com has a whole page on them
The unhelpful suggestion of Verizon was, well just deduct that and pay the balance to us. Of course then they hound you for insufficient payment for several months.
Here is a similar complaint from one person on consumeraffairs.com
Just found an extra charge of $12.95 monthly plus tax added to my bill by ILD Teleservices for Compufix Inc. I never heard nor dealt with either of these companies before. Called the ILD number and they referred me to the Compufix toll free number * *** *** ****.This is normal for Compufix. This is how they make their money.
They say ther reversed the charges, then I called Verizon to block third party billing on my account. Per FCC rules Verizon must allow thrd party billing un;ess you call them to block it.
When Chip Smedley, a staff writer for Lancaster Online called to investigate as a "watchdog" he reported:
The watchdog called Compu-fix and talked to a supervisor who would only give his name as "James." He explained the company advertises widely on the Internet through e-mails and pop-up banners and the $12.95 fee buys five hours of consulting time.Sorry Chip! James sold you a line. They had gotten my son's name, but he never clicked anything or called any funky 800 or 900 numbers. This out-of-the-blue scenario is the most common complaint. People who obviously never asked for any tech support or heard of Compufix, or clicked on pop ups are getting billed by them. FCC rules foolishly require all third party billing to be processed.
All that is required to sign up is a name and telephone number, since all charges are added directly onto the phone bill.
"It's very easy to sign up," he said.
He said a common situation they encounter is that someone in the household, "like a son, who does have have a credit or debit card," will experience computer problems, see the online banner, call Compu-fix, provide their parents' names and phone number, and get their problem solved.
In your typical 10 or more page phone bill it's easy to miss the sudden charge. That exactly what Compufix counts on! Unlike your credit/debit card, there is no identity theft protection with third party billing. You are simply out of luck. If the scum who bill you don't remove the charge it stays there forever. If you don't spot it, then you are out the money. That why it's a small charge of only $12.95. They hope you won't notice. And they make it a monthly subscription so it recurs.
And let's think about it: "five hours of consulting time" for a measly $12.95?? Who are they paying to do the consulting? Let's see, that works out to a gross of $2.59 per hour for their professional consulting advice. Watchdog, do the math! No way! It's a pure scam.
Oh, and Compufix Online of Studio City also says they'll give you downloads to "fix" your spyware and viruses on your computer. I bet. I wouldn't download anything from these crooks.
You can read the Watchdog report at:
FOLLOW UP May 18, 2011
I got Verizon to adjust my bill and remove the charge. I had called Verizon twice and insisted on getting in writing the adjustment to my bill, less the 14.40 for my records. I also forwarded the basic info from above on CompuFix and suggested Verizon protect its customers in such notable cases.