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What are you paying for? - Checking your phone bills for unnecessary charges

By CAROLINE GABLE

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Little Falls woman recently went to a Verizon store to upgrade her plan, only to discover she'd payed $300 worth of "miscellaneous" charges since 2009.

Before now, Allison Maricle never questioned the miscellaneous charges because they came with a New York State tax which made the charge look legitimate. However, after taking a closer look, she found something wasn't adding up.

"When we called, they wouldn't tell us what we were being charged for," Maricle says of her phone call to Enhanced Services Billing Incorporated (ESBI).

Maricle wants to know why ESBI is charging her $15 to $30 a month on her Verizon bill. She says after calling the company, they wouldn't even explain what they do. So, NEWSChannel 2 picked up the phone to ask our own questions.

ESBI directed us to "One E-mail a day," a company ESBI bills for. It turns out, "One E-Mail a day" is a company that Maricle has never even heard of, but they've heard of her. The service they've allegedly been providing her - extra e-mails. That's something she doesn't need or use.

To fight the charges, Maricle had to first ask Verizon to block future charges, and then ask ESBI to terminate the service. They both agreed, but she's only being reimbursed $29 out of the $300 she's paid.

This is a service ESBI hasn't been able to prove she ever signed up for.

Now, Maricle is planning to join a class action suit, because she's not alone when it comes to miscellaneous charges from ESBI on her Verizon bill.

"You have to be careful, just looking at your bills and making sure you're paying for what you are getting," says Maricle.

While this Little Falls resident has had to learn that lesson the hard way, she hopes her story will keep others from becoming a victim of unnecessary charges.

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