One of our customers forwarded a copy of a bill received from UST for $425 for a "telecom maintenance agreement". They called to ask if we knew anything about this as we are the vendor for their IP Phone System. We did some research and found out that this is a scam coming from a CA based company. This is from the Better Business Bureau and explains it well.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning area businesses about a questionable invoice from a California company. The phony bill is actually a solicitation.
Local businesses have reported receiving an invoice for $350 for “Telecom Maintenance 1 Year warranty” from UST. The business is located in Ontario, California and is also known as UST Development, Inc. and US Telecom.
The business has an “F” rating with the BBB in Los Angeles, California. BBB reports receiving 143 complaints against the business with claims that the business sends fraudulent invoices for services never rendered. The company states that the invoice is not for services rendered but instead for preventative telephone system maintenance for the year to come. The company also states the invoice includes a disclaimer.
BBB believes this invoice is misleading and does not meet solicitation requirements set by the U.S. Postal Service.
Because the best protection against phony bills and invoices is knowledge and vigilance, BBB offers the following tips for businesses:
- Be on the lookout for solicitations disguised as bills. Bogus invoices are sometimes marked with the notice “This is not a bill.”
- Carefully review all bills and invoices from companies, especially companies that you are unfamiliar with.
- Keep a list of regularly used vendors.
- Establish effective internal controls for the payment of invoices.
- Verify all invoices with the person who gave purchase authorization.
- Check the BBB Business Review on any business that has contacted you before signing anything or giving out any payment information.
If you have an unresolved issue or believe you have been misled by this business, you can file a complaint at www.bbb.org.
We called the 800 number on the invoice from UST and sat on hold for 30 minutes, then were dumped into a voice mail box. We left a message asking for call back and are now holding out breath....We all work too hard to let this happen.