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Friday, October 05, 2007

Beware Aggressive Search Marketers

Two months ago I received a call from ZipWeb about online search marketing services. Since I already advertise on a number of local search directories for my wife's business and am happy with the paid and natural search results, I told them I didn't need to spend any more on search marketing.

But the telemarketer insisted it was a risk-free 30 day trial and that we would have great placement on MSN, Google and Yahoo. I'm wary of these "something for nothing" free trials having been burned several times, but since I wasn't asked for a credit card numbered I figured it wouldn't cost me anything.

Surprise! This month my phone bill -- my phone bill! -- had a charge of $49.95 from PaymentOne.com, whom I'd never heard of before. I called the 800 number and was told that I had authorized the charge from ZipWeb during my phone conversation. I do not remember this, and certainly never told my phone company (Qwest) to place third-party charges on my bill without my permission. Qwest told me I had to opt out of third-party billing, which I did, but that they couldn't refund the charges. PaymentOne likewise told me I was SOL. Also, the "free" ZipWeb promotion didn't help the business attract new leads. September saw the fewest Internet leads for the business in over a year.

So be very afraid when you answer the phone from search marketers. I've also been getting more direct mail from Google and heard several spots on the radio about Yahoo local search marketing. Search marketers are going offline to try and inform and recruit a broader audience, but be careful.

By John Gartner at 09:22 AM | Comments (57)

(57) Thoughts on Beware Aggressive Search Marketers

These clowns have no business marketing themselves in this way. Make sure you contact your state's Attorney General office to file a complaint. There could be recourse for you; don't quit without a fight.

Comments by Matt Keegan : Monday, October 08, 2007 at 03:51 PM

I've tried to get my business listed on search engines, and it's not as easy as many people think. Somebody that could help me get listed is not a terrible thing, especially if it lets me focus on the business. $49.95 seems like inexpensive advertising to me, in the scheme of things...

Comments by Jeremy Stanton : Monday, December 03, 2007 at 02:52 PM

I get calls from these guys who call themselves ZIPWEB every single day. The company I work for has several local access numbers across the United States (like in every large city) so I get reps from ZIPWEB (I assume they are in India because of the accent)calling me at each of this numbers all day long. It seems they pick the first business listing in each category, in each major city and offer you a free listing that will appear first in Google's local searches.

I do online marketing (search engine marketing to be specific) and I can tell you that these guys are not offering you something worth even trying. Someone probably had the "clever" idea of creating a dirty cheap outbound call center to target small/medium business and scam them with their pseudo online marketing services for 50 bucks each. It is probably working...

I have fun with them though because I already memorized their script so I know what they are going to ask based on my answers so I like to mess with them and play jokes on this guys when I have the time and keep myself in a good mood.

Hey maybe someone should write a post on how to play pranks on telemarketers...

Good day!

Comments by G. Biffulco : Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 09:30 PM

Just like Mr. Keegan they got me too. Back in Dec 2007, I received a call from these Zipweb telemarketer and after insisting about this promotion or whatever they called it. I agree to the tryal for 30days. My surprise was that the charge just appeared on my Jan phone bill under a company call USAB internet solution with an 800 number I called to find out about the charge and my surprise they are charging me for something they said I agree to it. I been fighting with their customer service and they just keep telling me that they won't issue me a credit. Be careful with telemarketers offering free tryal.
I run a small business from home and $49.95 plus taxes it cost me $54.95 for a scam call.

Comments by cecilia B : Tuesday, February 05, 2008 at 04:29 PM

I called verizon wondering what this was. They said they'll issue a credit for the $54 to my account and add a block to any 3rd party billing.

After speaking with them, I called zlocalhost.com and then found out this was about the several calls from zipweb in November. I had no idea I was getting automatically enrolled in a service, and wouldn't receive any info from them at all.
Although they claimed the info packet was sent out twice. First to my old address. Then to my new address twice.

James at zlocalhost.com said that basically if Verizon said I would get a credit then I would. But they would not issue a refund.
He then emailed me an audio file of the conversation.

Below is the email I sent to James.
Time will tell if this is taken care of but if not, but I'm not going to roll over on this one--->

James,

at 4:50 in the audio file the person says "there will be no charges whatsoever".

She did mention the $49.95 later in the conversation, however you can't barely understand
anything she is saying most of the time.

Besides the fact that I never received any info through email or mail whatsoever letting me know I'm automatically enrolled in services,

or to remind me or give me a chance to cancel or I would have.

This call was also started by asking to see if my info was up to date and no where in the conversation did I actually
say "yes" or agree to sign up for any anthing.

How can Zlocalhost.com sign people up for service without sending any info at all for these services?

It is my understanding that I was supposed to be given the chance to review these services before deciding to sign
up with anything. Yet, I was given no info for review. Therefore I had no idea this service was started.

This is quite the unethical marketing strategy.

Comments by Madasshellandimnotgoingtotakethisanymore : Tuesday, February 05, 2008 at 07:35 PM

Good old James!! Same fellow I've been dealing with over phone and email. Also refuses to give a refund! Zip Web calls me every month and claims they want to verify information on a service they already give us for free. I don't fall for it and cut them off before they finish. They reached my son a couple of months ago and he listened to them and I received a $49.95 bill on my AT&T! They claim that he authorized the service!! My son says no and I explained to James that the service was never ordered. A service such as that wouldn't even benefit our established business. Over the years, I've had many unauthorized charges on my home & business phone for services that were never ordered. Zip Web is the first company that has ever refused to give me a refund! When I complained to AT&T they say that because of FTC guidelines that they can't refuse other companies to charge under our accounts. I've never heard of 3rd party billing blocks. AT&T did put a hold on the charge and I still haven't paid it. I will file a complaint to the proper authorities before I give those clowns a dime!

Comments by M Mauzac : Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 04:07 AM

I just filed a complaint with the Attorney General in California.

I had the same problem as you and have spent the last half of my work day, today, dealing with these thieves.

I was told by AT&T that a law in California prevents ATT from blocking 3rd party billing because they are affiliated with phone lines, being a web-based company. A loophole that helps the perpetrator and hurts the victims.

Ironically, this business that is supposed to help us get more customers has tied up my day and my phone preventing me from getting business.

Comments by Lynn : Tuesday, March 04, 2008 at 08:11 PM

I spoke to someone at this company on jan 19th, and they said it would be a free 30 day trial. I had 2 phone calls in February asking if I had received their info packet in the mail, I never received on. Today, I receive my phone bill and see the $49,95 charge for zlocalhost, I called immediately. The rep that answered, assured me that I was told that there would be a 30day trail period, after that, the fee would apply, I told him that I had never received any material to review, and therefore had no way to cancel, and also that I had never agreed to be charged for this crap. He kept going back and forth with me, and I just said, "look mister, I dont want this charge on my phone bill, so how do I get it off" he put me on hold and when he came back, he said the charges were being reversed because the full month hasnt been used. WHAT A RIP-OFF

Comments by Latisha Charles : Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 04:23 PM

TOGETHER WE CAN KICK THEM WHERE IT HURTS!

They will not stop until we all band together and report them. The California Attorney General is in the process of contacting them regarding my claim. But it takes more than just one or two complaints. If you want to be a part of the solution, and not just a complainer, take action against them. Show the authorities that it is not an isolated incidence or two. CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL NOW! TAKE ACTION AND DON'T BE A VICTIM!

Comments by Lynn : Friday, March 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM

ZIPWEB

I should have read here first but I had the same situation as everyone else. A phone call offering a FREE 30day trail. I also presses that no advertising is free and the would be a charge and was told that I would specifically have to sign up after 30 days to be enrolled. 3 weeks later I got a call asking how I liked the service. I asked them to send me SOMETHING since there had been NO correspondence. One month later I got a welcome packet stating that I would be automatically enrolled after 30 days. I called to cancel and was told that I had used the service already for almost two months and have been billed for one month $49.95. I have filed a complaint with the BBB and the FTC and now the attorney general. BEWARE

Comments by Devin : Monday, March 17, 2008 at 01:38 PM

I had a similar experience. My partner agreed to a trial period, but the promised info packet never came. Every time I called to follow up on the packet, I was told the contact person was at lunch or away. Someone else then left me a message that the trial ads were up on google, but I was never able to see them. When I asked for more specifics on how they were targeting a geography, I realized they did not understand the basics of how Google Adwords worked. Fortunately, I cancelled the trial after several "extensions" were granted to me and never got charged. These people are scam artists!

Comments by youbetternotscamme : Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 03:27 PM

My comments are a carbon copy of the above listec statements. The telemarketer call to solicit my business by offering to boost my call volume through there search engine. It was never explained to me that a chare of 49.95 would appear on my local telephone bill for this service. I do not recall the statement that I had to call to cancel a trial period. There was now inforamational packet mail or emailed to me. There was nothing to respond to cancel a service that I never saw listed on a web site. They freely cancelled any future service but did not offer to refund several months of previous billings. I will complain to both North Carolina and Califonia Attorney General Offices.

Comments by Family Support Network of NP : Thursday, April 03, 2008 at 05:44 PM

I have the same situation, only we never got any calls, or packages. The sales person said SIX times (they sent a copy of the secretly recorded call) that we would be contaced 3 times within the 30 days. The account rep "george" admitted he did not contact us. They refuse to credit my AT&T phone bill. I have filed complaints with: the BBB, the FTC, the Los Angeles District Attorney, and the California Consumer Complaint and Protection agency, and with the do no call registry.

Comments by Kharden : Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 01:45 AM

I found out that I had been being billed by ZLocalHost today because I was going through the same situation as all of you with a different company- JUMPAGE SOLUTIONS. When I called Verizon about Jumpage they informed me about the ZLocalHost charges and reversed them. Jumpage called and asked to verify the address- I thought they were one of our customers! They then spliced my answers with their recording so it sounds like I am agreeing to their search marketing- which I didn't. Beware of Jumpage Solutions!

Comments by Deanna : Friday, April 25, 2008 at 04:11 PM

Zlocalhost got me too. I am in Florida and they ran the same scam on me and I on point ask them if there was any charge for this and they said no. I called today after getting a 99.00 charge on my phone bill to the company. They gave me a line of crap of course and claimed to have a recording. I challenged them to send me a copy of any recording where I agreed to any contract. They have not of course. Tomorrow I am calling Verizon because I have had this kind of issue before and did place a 3rd party block on my line.
ZLOCALHOST is a con and a ripoff scam!

Comments by Chuck : Friday, April 25, 2008 at 07:45 PM

Yep, same thing happened to me. They called and offered a service that sounded too good to be true and said they would follow up and I would not be billed unless I agreed to it. All of the callers were foreigners from India or something that didn't speak very good english. They never followed up like they said they would and all of a sudden I had 53 bucks on my phone bill. I called Verizon and they took the charge off my bill and put a block on them. So I won't be sending those scammers a cent. I hope you guys do the same.

Comments by Patrick : Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 02:19 PM

This must be how zlocalhost (ZipWeb) stays in business...by charging phone bills that belong to other companies. Same story with me...I own a small business, received a phone call, NEVER agreed to purchase any service and NEVER received any documents through the mail or email. Thank goodness I called Verizon and they added a block to my number immediately so no additional charges could be made. I contacted ZipWeb...same old story!! I will report them to the BBB and the Attorney General.

Comments by Lisa : Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:57 PM

Same as above, get call, they tell me that I would be receiving info in mail. Which I never got. Get a second call, did I recieve info, told them no, they will remail it. Never got.

So My Verizon bill comes in with a charge of $49.95 for ZlocalHost. I never authorized them to bill me after the 30 day grace period.


So thanks to all of the above to give me the info I need to talk to Verison.

I am a very small business, been at it for 10 years which is good as most small business do not make it. I really don't need scam people going after me.

Yes I will contact the BBB an the Attorney General in Ma.

Comments by Nan Taska : Sunday, June 08, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Same as all the above... Free for 30 days, but no packet, no emails or phone calls. They got me for 2 months because of the delay for the phone bill. Zipweb says they will refund one month only. Based on all the complaints here and on RipOffReport.com, I HOPE I'll get my money back.

I called AT&T and they WILL put a 3rd party billing block on my business phone account.

Comments by Grant : Monday, June 30, 2008 at 06:12 PM

yes copy cat. we are in Illinois they did it to us as well. I should have looked at my at&t bill more closely. I thought it was at&t regular charges! Now I see what is going on. I requested for credit and will go to BBB etc.

Comments by moses : Thursday, August 07, 2008 at 03:28 AM

They called today. I could barely understand the caller's English (always a real bad sign!). He mentioned the internet and $49.95 a month at which I told him that we never pay to be listed by any online services. He then wanted to speak to someone else! I will certainly check the next several phone bills closely. Luckily, we do not have AT&T.

A point to remember: Never say the word "Yes" when talking to any telemarketer! It drives them nuts, they don't have your "yes" to splice into their fake voice files!

If they try to offer a recording of me "saying yes" to their service, I will refer them to the state Atty General. It is illegal to record a phone conversation in this state if both parties are not aware of the recording.

Another point: if any unauthorized third-party charges appear on your phone bill, do not pay them! Call your phone company and explain that you will be paying them for their service, but not the unauthorized charges. They cannot disconnect you for non-payment of any third-party charges. Fact.

Comments by O'Dissious : Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 03:35 PM

In July 2007, I was contacted by ZWW-ISP for a 30 Day Trial. At the end of the conversation, I was told it would be $49.95 a month. I said I didn’t want the service or the trial and had to argue with them about not partaking in either offer with both the original telemarketer and their supervisor both times they called. Each time I said I didn’t want the service or trial, spoke to a supervisor - told them the same thing and asked to be taken off their calling list.
It just now came to my attention that I have been being billed the $49.95 a month thru my phone bill since July 2007.
I phoned to cancel and ask for a refund. I was told I would get a 2 month refund, but that would be it. They were supposed to e-mail me the audio phone recording. (If there is a phone recording, then it a spliced version as I did NOT agree to anything.) That wasn’t done. I have requested it 4 times now and it still hasn’t happened. I have confirmed my correct e-mail address numerous times. I do not want this service and I want my money back in full.
I did not agree to accept the service or trial offer.
ZWW-ISP are scam artists - Google them; a lot of people have had similar experiences.
And in response to what the Company claims:
They billed through AT&T without an agreement from me.
I did not receive a welcome packet.
When I spoke to the account manager both times, I said I did not want the offer or the service.
No progress report was sent.
No reminder was sent.

Ironically, my web site was not launched until the Spring of 2008 and there is no reason for me to have needed this service in July 2007.

Comments by Karri : Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Yep, same thing here. I should have know better however I was busy and it sounded good with no credit card
info but after checking this page out later in the day I called Verizon and had them place a third party block on my account. Will have to see if it worked next month. I kinda new better when I was trying to ask the person from zip web questions they hung up on me but not before they got what they needed. NEVER SAY THE WORD YES
to any thing they ask. Sooner or later I will figure this out. It is to bad to, there are legitimate
companies out there that are getting a bad rap from these sorts of callers.

Comments by Coleman : Monday, November 03, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Got scammed similar to previous commentary. Followed advice and contacted Qwest (twice).

First Qwest contact was more interested in upgrading my phone service. She insisted the charges were for an independent LD carrier (but I have had local and LD thru Qwest for nearly 5 years - it was right on the statement). Her second guess was that it was my ISP. Sympathetic, but clueless.

Second Qwest contact was much more helpful and knew what was going on. Qwest got a continuing stop against PaymentOne.com, and reversing the $50 unauthorized charge.

It pays to stick by your guns!

Comments by David Sharp : Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 11:28 PM

Just got off the phone with a broken english speaking fellow. While listening to his deal I googled zipweb.com and found this marketing blog. Thanks to everyone who took the time to blog. I told him I wasn't interest because of the bad reviews I found online. He said goodbye quickly

Comments by Jane : Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 03:17 PM

They claim to give a 30 day free internet listing, then through a fast talking recording they claim to get authorization to bill you on your phone bill. However, in their speech they never give you a chance to accept or refuse the billing. They say "I am confirming that you authorize USABD to bill you $49.95 a month on your phone bill" ... They do not ask if you accept the charges. Then they go into a speech about what you can with this product. The speech is designed to get you to forget about the statement about the charges. I never accepted or denied the charges. At this point they refuse to refund and claim their practices are legal.

Comments by jim law : Friday, November 14, 2008 at 09:24 PM

Same deal as everyone else. I'm chronicling my saga here:
http://mediumrarenyc.com/zipweb-scam.html

I've put a call in to the FBI's anti fraud division, sent an email to PaymentOne (although I'm beginning to suspect that they're in on the scam, despite the many big corporate logos on their site), and will be following up with Verizon.

If I get anywhere with the FBI, I will come back and post details so others who got scammed can pass on their testemonial.

Comments by TomK : Monday, December 01, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Yup, they called me with a free trial and I said yes, too. Wish I'd read all of these comments first. I'm on hold with them right now, and I plan to say "Attorney General" in the first sentence.

The first (Indian?) guy who called me claimed the charge will be 99.95 per month if I want to subscribe to their scam. Theft is more expensive in NYC, I guess.

Still on hold...

Ok, got "Crystal" on the phone, and she says the trial order never went through so I won't be charged. She says all these scam reports aren't for real, but people probably forgot to cancel and are upset at being charged. Hmph. I'll be watching my phone bill.

Comments by JillP : Monday, January 05, 2009 at 01:28 PM

This is a scam pure and simple the owners name is Mark cave and his is also tied in with a company called lawstar which has a lot of complaints against it at the BBB I am trying to find his personal address and phone number when I do I will post it here. The guy is a criminal and a liar and everyone that works for him is a liar. These call are coming from india he has offices there. Do not even talk to them hang up and call your phone company right away or it is likely you will get billed. Remember Mark Cave liar cheater criminal

Comments by joe : Monday, January 05, 2009 at 04:03 PM

supervisor is Richard Stewart. Company owner is Mark Cave.
Physical address is 16133 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 91436
Phone#s are (800) 222-5529 or (866) 586-3900
Fax# s (323) 525-3939

Other company aliases: eBridge Technologies, ZipWeb, eVisibility, USABA, The Billing Resource.
They have offices in Manilla (The Phillipines), Bangalore (India), Los Angeles and San Diego, CA.

http://spokane.bbb.org/WWWRoot/SitePage.aspx?site=70&id=f8f28945-b02b-46f1-a1cb-7d8810908369&art=1331

Mark Cave, President. Other contacts are Debra Allen, Manager; Don Marinari, Chairman of the Board; Julie Agapay, Administrative Assistant; Katherine Manglona, CFO; Bo Sohrabi, Attorney Liason; David Harris, unknown. Primary phone number is listed as 888-529-7526. Other phone numbers are 888-775-9400, 800-460-0078, 323-525-3900, 800-222-5529, 800-984-6666, 310-691-7419, 800-886-4529

Comments by joe : Monday, January 05, 2009 at 05:14 PM

This is a complete scam from a company called eVisibility, Inc. Stay far, far away from them!

Comments by eVisibility : Friday, January 09, 2009 at 10:48 PM

I have been scammed by Zipweb.Two charges on my local phone bill for a total of $149.90.This company is located in Encino,CA.They offer a free trial for 30 days and leave it up to me cancel before the 30 trial period.I listened to the audiophile recording and to my dismay I did not originally hear that I must call to cancel.The sales person should be an auctioner because the talk fast.Like stated above AT&T has returned the charges to Zipweb I will wait and see what happens.

Comments by matt britton : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 12:24 PM

If you were charged on your residential or local phone bill for third party services and subscriptions (i.e., voicemail, internet access, etc.) that you never authorized or ordered, share your story with other consumers:

http://classactionconnect.com/consumer-complaints/

You might also contact some class action lawyers investigating unauthorized residential phone bill charges:

http://www.classactionconnect.com/?q=node/733

Comments by Unauthorized Charges? Fight Back! : Friday, January 23, 2009 at 04:43 PM

I'm So stupid!, but I have myself to blame for not checking.
As I dont receive a printed bill anymore I just pay it and go about my business so I just now 1/24/09 scrutanized my bill and noticed a ZLOCALHOST.COM w/charges for $53.07+ and now checking back in my ATT online records i have been paying for this well over (7)seven months. Am I ever burning!!!!!! i'm so upset w/ myself and ATT for not advising or informing me of this third party billing that I intend to drop my ATT land line & U-Verse.

Comments by Mark Moore : Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 06:04 PM

I am saddened to see what has been done to so many small businesses in the name of online advertising. Consumers should get a clear written explanation of what services they recieve and how it can benefit them. Our company has also been contacted with offers from such scammers. Yet we do legitimate work for search engine marketing and can spot them right away. We also are on the national do not call list and they still call. Today, for example, I had a call with a caller ID of 987-654-3210, trying to claim they were not telemarketers at the same time they were trying to sell me advertising for our company!! So to business owners and individuals who do not work in my line of business: I feel your pain. US Web Management does search engine optimization and analysis for businesses, and we have happy customers who return for more business. We work on the site code, submit to search engines, manage Google, Yahoo, MSN and other Pay-per-click ad campaigns and increase our customer's ROI by actually producing qualified visitors, who are at their site because they are looking for our customers' products or services. SEO SEM is what we do. Otherwise we would probably have fallen into some of the same traps that others had been ensnared by.

So a word from someone who does legitimate advertising:

1. Ask them to send you written documents about thier company and it's products or services. If they agree give them a PO Box number if you have one, to keep them from showing up on your door step. If they refuse to send info to you, they are likely scammers.

2. Do not give (if asked) any personal information or proprietary information over the phone: Revenue amounts, number of employees, your date of birth or social security, and especially a credit card number or ID number of any kind. Just tell them something like "I would like to know more about your company, but I have pressing business issues to tend to. Would you mind sending me more information on your company and your products or services?"

3. If they have an accent and you hear background noise, they are probably calling from a call center. This doesn't mean that they are not legitimate, but they may be telemarketers.

Comments by Amanda Ipock : Friday, April 03, 2009 at 07:45 PM

First, allow us to apologize for your negative experience. We are always surprised by this type of feedback, as it is virtually impossible to be charged for our service without being aware of it. We record every single sales call and then put each recording through a 2-stage quality control process. We then call the customer to confirm and explain our service, followed by e-mail and hardcopy notifications prior to the first billing. A vast majority of the time, the human touch is a great thing, but occasionally human error may result. We invite you to contact our VP of Customer Relations at 1-800-222-5529 if you would like to discuss your specific issue. It is our sincere wish that every business benefits from our service, but if not, we at least strive to resolve all conflicts and misunderstandings.

Comments by Zipweb : Monday, April 20, 2009 at 08:00 PM

i was benefited from their service. besides i was very glad with the volume of number of customers that there guys brought into my business. i got the info packet and i was contacted by the company. i subscribed the service

Comments by angela davis : Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 10:58 PM

As someone who once worked for E-Bridge aka ZipWeb (Hi Eric and Don!) I can honestly say that the business is a scam through and through and I feel terrible that I ever applied for their office in Encino (you can probably find them still looking for gullible people via craigslist under customer service & encino) thinking that this was a legitimate company.

First off, I was a customer service rep whose main job was to receive calls from disgruntled people who had been magically been billed to their home phones and were looking for a refund. We had meetings every week about different ways to politely tell the customer that they weren't getting a refund while trying to keep them on as customers. We got reprimanded if the customer complained enough to their respective phone companies.

Secondly, my job entailed setting people up for their listings on Zipweb.com. Besides the fact that zipweb.com is nothing more than a "skin" of Google maps with ABSOLUTELY no functionality of it's own, basically a fake search engine they tell you will help bolster your sales, is a lie at best. There were times people would call in and ask where their listings were found and I was instructed to "pretend to look it up and then tell them that there was an internal error that prevented the listing from going live and the listing should be up within 72 hours". This of course was to frustrate the customer more and hopefully enough that they'll say "forget it" and leave it alone.

The simple truth of it all is that ZipWeb and E-Bridge are full out frauds that are taking people's money. For what? It could be one of the owner's son's coke habit or the lavish trips overseas but whatever it was, I caught on about 4 months in that there was no legitimacy here and it was about time to leave. Lucky me they fired me not too long after because I "asked too many questions" and had a sense of morality about myself.

Here's the real kicker--the majority of the ZipWeb, E-Bridge and USABD customers DON'T EVEN KNOW that they ARE customers--and are partly to blame for not checking their phone bills thoroughly enough. On the same floor as the call center is a QA department whose job is to screen the initial calls made to the customers that sign them up for the "service". Yes, the calls are from overseas in a Phillipine call center and the wording in the script is built to make the customer pay attention to the agent's accent and miss the dialog.

If you want to do something about this crappy company taking your money for nothing, here's what you do:

1. Lodge a complaint with the BBB in your state. (ZipWeb is spending money and time to clean up their image there--too many complaints and the BBB will give them a "bad" rating)

2. Lodge a complaint with your phone company. And get others to do the same. whether they are E-Bridge customers or not) Every complaint makes it easier for the phone company to stop doing business with them. There are several phone companies that don't do business with E-Bridge anymore so it is quite possible.

3. Write letters and set up a petition to send to your Attorney General. Enough heat will call forth an investigation; it'd be even better if people from different states came together and made a "chain" effect that couldn't be ignored.

4. Tip off your local newspaper and television station. This would be a very interesting story for a station to get wind of--especially with all the documentation from past and present "satisfied customers".

5. Write E-Bridge directly.
Let them know how good a job their doing by sending letters to their corporate office in Encino, CA. Address them to Don or Eric when you do and use as colorful a language as you can.

Here's the address:
16133 Ventura Blvd. #855
Encino, CA 91436

Oh btw, that last comment by Angela Davis is by ZipWeb. Angela Davis is a fictitious name made up for the customers to write and complain to. Very classy.

Comments by Former ZipWeb Employee : Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 04:22 PM

ZipWeb
Jim Lin
877.424.9773

Try this number!

Comments by EffZipWeb : Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 07:56 PM

Yesterday, a woman saying she was with Local Connect Services and was working with the Yellow Pages and other local search engines. It turns out this is another name for Zipweb. She gave me the same info as listed with the other entries. For several years I had a Yellow Pages in the local phone book, and I thought this was an offer to bring me back as a business customer. They sent me an email which had spelled my name incorrectly which told me this was not the Yellow Pages I had dealt with in the past. Zipweb was in the email address so I looked them up. Good Golly Miss Molly! Today, I called AT&T and put a third party block on my phone. I also called Yellow Book and told them what happened.

From what I am reading, This has been going on for years under different aliases. Zipweb obviously doesn't seem to care if they are on the BBB's bad list. Contacting attorney generals has had no result. The phone companies aren't doing anything substantial to deter this group other than blocking third party billing. Sounds to me like third party billing needs to be legislated out of existence.

So, add Local Connect Services to the list of names for Zipweb.

Comments by lcarol : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Make a complaint to your local public utilities commision office that will shut them down

Comments by Mark Cave (Zipweb Spam Hater) : Monday, July 13, 2009 at 01:23 AM

Thankfully I came across postings like this before my free 30-days expired, but these morons REFUSE to cancel my account, instead giving me excuses about how I'm not in the system yet, how their system is down, etc.

Comments by Frustrated In Fresno : Monday, August 03, 2009 at 01:25 PM

I too got ripped off by this company. If we all get aggressive and let them know we will not take this they will stop and become an honorable company. Here's the info I found on the company so CALL!!! If we all keep calling them maybe they will stop. Small business owners can not afford companies like Zipweb to make us victims.

Dept Executive Title Email @ebridgeco.com Phone
Exec Mark Cave [VCard] CEO Not Available 323-525-3900
Kenneth Potashner [VCard] Chairman Not Available 323-525-3900
David Harris [VCard] Managing Director Not Available 323-525-3900
Danny DeMichele [VCard] President Evisibility Not Available 323-525-3900
Ops James Stockman [VCard] VP Operations Not Available 323-525-3900
Finance Hany Demian [VCard] CFO Not Available 323-525-3900
CustServ Ivan Paladines [VCard] Dir Client Relations Not Available 323-525-3900

Their address is
16133 Ventura
Encino, CA

Last Updated: 05-19-09

Comments by Frustrated ALSO : Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 04:47 PM

I have just become "victim" of the Zipweb fraud by a third-party billing charge on my phone bill....for "web hosting" at $74.95 per month. Supposedly my husband "agreed" to their service. Whatever! He already has web hosting for a much better rate from someone else, so why would he want their service. When I called them out on their fraudulent activities, "Gabriel" informed me that they've been in business 15 years and are reputable. Ha! He didn't like it too much when I said, "well, according to the BBB, your 15 years have been full of complaints". He told me to search McDonald's and Burger King and I will see the same results. Maybe so, but they're not billing my phone bill! He cancelled my service that my "recorded husband said yes to" and the credit will be issued "usually" within 1-2 billing cycles. Apparently AT&T allows third-party billing "due to deregulations", but what they can do is put the charge in "claims" until a credit is issued and you can put a "cease billing" notification on your account for the third-party biller, but you have to know the company name. Problem is, there were 2 companies listed on the phone bill, and when I called the 888 number, it directed me to "the company 'Customer Service' like to handle their inquiries directly" and takes you to Zipweb, but they won't answer the phone Zipweb--you have to ask.

Just thought I'd pass along my experience. I will be following up through the 1-2 billing cycles, and thereafter to make sure this gets taken care of. I also will be filing a complaint with the BBB.

Comments by Steaming in Springfield : Friday, August 28, 2009 at 09:26 PM

I just recieved my telephone bill with third party charges from "Paymentone Corporation" for 1
$106.95. After callin Paymentone Corporation they led me to Zip Web. Zip Web said I authorized this internet service and had a recording of me accepting serice. This never happened. This company is a fraud and I will not pay them a dime. Now I'm spending hours with the telephone company to get this off my bill.

Comments by mary : Friday, September 11, 2009 at 11:22 AM

I caught this billing last month (September billing) on my at&t phone bill. I had not 1 but 3 different company names attached to the billing. They change their names but not their phone number for contact. I have been paying for 12 months almost $600. at&t will reimburse but I was told to contact them in order to cancel. They used the audio recording from one of my employee's who responded correctly to their scripted questions. They have perfected their methods and are able to get away with this scam - I blame the phone companies that allow this type of billing - I bet the phone companies are getting a good percentage kicked back for adding it to their invoice. This SCAM works because the phone companies allow it, that is why they don't ask for credit cards.

Comments by Ray : Thursday, November 05, 2009 at 03:55 PM

They continue their harassing calls. I tell them no, I tell them I will NEVER do business with them and still they call. So I will report them.

One way to handle this and any other telemarketer call is to say" It is my legal obligation to inform you that this call is being recorded for the purpose of future litigation for harassment or fraud."

That usually gets them to hang up since they can't use their recording against you.

I called the phone company and asked about 3 party block and she said that people have the wrong idea of what that is.

3rd party block keeps people from charging phone calls to your number - like a pay phone etc.

They can'y block a 3rd party biller until they get a billing code from them first. Which means they will add a charge to your bill. AT&T says if you contact them as soon as you see the charge they will give you a credit.

I know exactly to the penny what our bill should be and I see the bill right away each month. You really need to look at your phone bill to make sure things are what they are supposed to be and don't feel bad about asking the phone company questions about charges.

IT'S YOUR RIGHT to know what you are paying for.

Comments by Collette Lemons : Monday, December 07, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Last month, we encountered our problem with PaymentOne appearing on our phone bills with AT&T. Contrary to some people's experience noted above, the AT&T customer service rep said she could NOT block third party charges. And that she would "reverse" the November bill charges; I could simply not pay it and "PaymentOne might bill us directly". Fine I thought. I never heard of PaymentOne, let them fight us. When I paid the November bill, I included a note saying that the PaymentOne charge was bogus, etc. Yesterday we got our December bill. It now lists that Nov. PaymentOne charge as "Past Due" and must be paid immediately. So much for "reversing" the charge. I spent all day today writing letters. I sent a letter to the CEO and Chairman of the Board of AT&T and two other top AT&T Executives. I sent copies of those letters, plus copies of our phone bill to John Garamendi (our U.S. House Rep), Barbara Boxer, Gov. Schwartzenegger, the CA Att. General, the U.S. Att. General, and the editor of the NY Times, Editor of the Boston Globe, someone head of the legal department for Reuters and, finally, a letter to the CEO of PaymentOne which included a line hoping that he not sleep well at night anymore until he's behind bars. Now, this is a corporate juggernaut like Enron. Ironically, Enron was headquartered in Texas just like AT&T. There seems to be a "cattle rustler" mentality among corporations from Texas. No doubt the ill-conceived law that allows third-party billings just on the "sayso" of companies like PaymentOne was written by lawyers who may now be collecting annual "thank you" salaries/checks from the very companies that are now using this bad regulation to rob the public. I have alittle time before my December telephone bill must be paid. In the interval, I will investigate if there is an alternative service to AT&T. We could live without our home telephone but not without our DSL. Our DSL provider is actually a nice small company called Rawbandwidth. But they won't be able to continue being our ISP unless we stay with AT&T because AT&T will effectively cut off access to our DSL line to them. Thank you for the post from the insider of this business. We need you as a witness in court. All these criminals hiding behind incorporation should go to prison for decades. So should the fools who are running the regulatory agencies that passed this predatory law permitting the public to be robbed.

Comments by Anita Malchiodi Albedi : Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 02:11 AM

The Zip Web website has "contact us" buttons -- but they do not work. They return only an "error 404 Page Not Found"notice. Nowhere on their website is there an address or telephone number. Thanks to those who have gotten the information from WhoIs and posted it here.

Comments by Bob Kalsey : Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 03:11 PM

I Recommend that ZIBWEB.COM is the best local search engines nowadays compared to other searh engines like GOOGLE,YAHOO and YELLOWPAGES, i experienced gaining more customers and ofcourse more cash to your pocket and to your savings account.

Comments by jack mark : Monday, February 08, 2010 at 05:31 PM

every business has its own "customer complaints board"...even the most legimate one...hellooo..dont blame the company because its just the result of your stupidity if you got billed,and dont say that it is without you permission coz you actually talked to the agents so that means you are most likely aware of the program,dont say that you cant understand them because of their accent because the fact that you understand that the service is free for 30 days so that means more or less u can understand them your just want to blame the company because youve been dumb..and u dont want to admit it..

Comments by mary palmer : Friday, February 12, 2010 at 01:45 PM

every business has its own "customer complaints board"...even the most legimate one...hellooo..dont blame the company because its just the result of your stupidity if you got billed,and dont say that it is without your permission coz you actually talked to the agents so that means you are most likely aware of the program,dont say that you cant understand them because of their accent because the fact that you understand that the service is free for 30 days so that means more or less u can understand them your just want to blame the company because youve been dumb..and you dont want to admit it..i am one of the customer of zipweb.

Comments by mary palmer : Friday, February 12, 2010 at 01:51 PM

Notice how the few moronic posts filled with poor spelling and punctuation talk about the value of their service and claim to be loyal customers.

These swine are so lacking of morals and intelligence that they actually get on complaint boards and amplify their fraud. Honestly, these are the kind of sub-human dregs-of-the-earth trash that you'd love to beat the shit out of in person.

I just did the grand tour of lying by calling them 5 times about our newly discovered unarmed robbery. I got 5 different lies, here they are:

We'll provide the audio file of your approval within 48-72 hours.

We will provide the recording within a week.

We'll provide the recording but it may take two weeks as our audio system is down.

I'm sorry I can't take your call as our computers are all down (this was an actual person pretending to be a recording...that was his tactic of the day) When I asked if he was a real person he said yes. When I told him he didn't need a computer to hear my complaint he simply hung up the phone.

This isn't a business. These are criminals perpetrating criminal acts all day long with some absurd legal protection that needs to be stopped. Personally I think a firebomb at the Encino offices would be justice.

Comments by Jim Browne : Friday, February 26, 2010 at 02:40 PM

Well, e-business services (aka ZipWeb) are still at it with their fraudulent attempts at conning unsuspecting business owners/employees. Had a call from them just this morning.
Do not agree to ANYTHING. Do not even agree that they are calling the right company. And above all, do not say the word YES to anything.
Good luck everyone!
A pox upon their house . . . and a few lawsuits wouldn't be bad either.

Comments by Penny in Colorado : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 01:43 PM

They got me too. Luckily, the Attorney General in my state is a bulldog and LOVES taking on companies like ZipWeb. When I called his office, he spoke with me personally and told me, "Don't worry--we'll get these guys. You don't need to do a thing. I love going after creeps like these."

So my advice is, call the office of your state's AG. Let's take these creeps down.

Comments by Bob Andersoot : Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 06:37 PM

SUBMITTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009
First, allow us to apologize for your negative experience. We are always surprised by this type of feedback, as it is virtually impossible to be charged for our service without being aware of it. We record every single sales call and then put each recording through a 2-stage quality control process. We then call the customer to confirm and explain our service, followed by e-mail and hardcopy notifications prior to the first billing. A vast majority of the time, the human touch is a great thing, but occasionally human error may result. We invite you to contact our VP of Customer Relations at 1-800-222-5529 if you would like to discuss your specific issue. It is our sincere wish that every business benefits from our service, but if not, we at least strive to resolve all conflicts and misunderstandings.

Comments by ZIPWEB : Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 08:53 PM

Company calls multiple times a day claiming they are only updating their free directory listing and want to make sure my phone number is still then same. If I say for example I am not interested, or please provide more information or I don't give out information over the phone but would have to meet in person ..they hang up only to call back three or more times each day. If I ask to be removed from their list they either hang up or sometimes (rarely) agree to remove my number but then never do. They haunt me to the point of sheer harassment. It has gone on for about two years. They always claim its a FREE LISTING profusely explaining it is FREE and there is no charge at all for anything and that I am already listed in their free directory now but they are only verifying the accuracy of their records is all. Now that I have learned about how they use your admission that this is your current phone number as permission to charge your phone bill for some listing service I am requesting two years phone bills from my phone company to audit. These cramming third party charges appear mysteriously under disguised names here is more info from the FTC about these crammers: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro18.shtm I suggest you also sue any company that places unauthorized charges on your phone bill. Take em to small claims court if the phone company refuses to correct the bill then sue them both. Do not simply give up.

Comments by mike h : Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 02:40 AM

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