27 Second Local Phone Call Costs $17.55

When I discovered my cell phone wasn’t working I went to a pay phone. After it took $1 in change from me for a call that didn’t go through I used my debit card to make a local call. Today I discovered a charge of $17.55 against my bank account for a phone call that lasted only 27 seconds.Here are the details:

Last Sunday a friend gave me a ride to the Walmart store in Gardner, KS so I could do some grocery shopping. I needed his assistance because my truck is broken down and having been off work over a year due to medical issues and living a subsistence existence on disability insurance I have been unable to pay for repairs. Since my friend lives nearby, and I was going to be in the store for a while, the arrangement was for me to call him when I was ready to leave, and he would come back to get me.

It seemed like a simple arrangement until I attempted to make the call and discovered my cell phone was not working. I promptly found a pay phone in the customer service department, but I had no change. After waiting behind a man who was getting a refund I asked a clerk to break a dollar bill so I would be able to use the pay phone. He informed me he was unable to help me.

I then moved to a checkout lane and requested change from a cashier. While I waited and other shoppers backed up behind me the cashier called a supervisor who after explaining it is against Walmart policy to give out change to customers reluctantly helped open the register and gave me 4 quarters for a dollar bill .

Returning to the pay phone I attempted to make the needed call, and the phone took my 4 quarters for a call that did not go through. At that point I was frustrated and though concerned about unknown charges used my debit card to complete the call. This time everything worked, and my friend came to take me and my groceries home.

This morning I checked my bank statement and discovered a charge of $17.55 for the call I made from Walmart. I immediately called the 800 number listed along with the charge. After asking a few questions I was told the company responsible for billing me was I L D Corporation of San Antonio, TX. Research I have done since indicates I L D Corp is located in Florida, not Texas. I believe I was talking to a person in a call center.

The friendly person in the call center indicated there was nothing unusual about the charge and offered to give me a breakdown. He was able to quickly pull up the information on the call and told me the following:

Although my call lasted for only 27 seconds they bill for a minimum interval of 3 minutes at a rate of $2.23666 per minute for a total of $6.71. Added to that is an automated operator charge of $7.50 and a service fee and taxes at $3.34 bringing the entire charge to $17.55.

When Walmart says “ALWAYS  LOW  PRICES  –  ALWAYS” it obviously is not referring to charges by outside vendors providing services in it’s store.

I also phoned the Walmart store where I made the call, asked to speak to the manager and was transferred to a lady who identified herself as Jennifer Mason. I explained the situation and asked if she were aware of the outrageous charges on the phone in her store. She said she wasn’t, said she would look into it and would inform her boss when he arrived.

A quick Google search of ILD Corp reveals numerous reports of scams by the company and complaints against it. I will be adding my complaint to the scores already lodged against this company with Better Business Bureaus, State Attorney Generals and the Federal Communications Commission

Further I would suggest that Walmart and other companies who use the services of this and similar businesses need to be careful who they are affiliating themselves with to protect the customers who support them.

To anyone else who suddenly finds themselves without a cell phone, no change and a need to make a phone call I say, BEWARE!!

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To learn about problems others have had with ILD Corp click here.

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Your feedback is always appreciated.  To leave a comment click here.

Images and text Copyright 2010 Dave Michael.  No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the author.

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