In a scandal we first uncovered over a year ago, BBG Communications has been caught wildly overcharging consumers for long-distance calls in airports all around the world.
What we next discovered was so outrageous that we at first found it hard to believe. BBG had rigged phones at the Leipzig Airport, a refuel stop for our troops, and was charging the troops up to $41 a minute for calls home. Yes, BBG has been preying on our troops with calls costing up to $41 a minute.
One soldier, Sgt. Richard Corder, has been speaking out about the outrageous charges and demanding refunds for all the troops that have been victimized. The response has been overwhelming. Troops all over the world are angry and demanding justice. Comments are pouring in from the public, outraged that a company would deliberately seek to swindle our troops.
Sgt. Corder’s story was first reported in the Army Times last fall. More recently, The Today Show on NBC reported this story. In their broadcast, a top Better Business Bureau official called BBG’s conduct “disgusting”.
In a story the next day, The New York Times reports one soldier as saying, “My wife and I were completely shocked that they could charge rates like that, especially for troops that are a captive audience.”
Now it is not just troops speaking out. The newspaper Stars and Stripes reports that California Senator Barbara Boxer has written a personal letter to the president of BBG demanding they cease what she calls their deceptive practices. “Seeking financial gain on the backs of our military men and women and their families, who make such great sacrifices, is wrong,” the letter reads. “No service member on deployment should face such excessive charges simply to talk to their loved ones.”
New revelations about the scandal continue. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that one soldier who made just 2 calls at the airport was charged over $600 by BBG. He had no way to dispute it once he got back into a combat zone in Afghanistan.
One can imagine how many millions BBG has pocketed from the over 800,000 troops who have stopped at the Leipzig Airport.
Just yesterday the Daily Beast /Newsweek revealed new details of how the scheme has worked. According to the story, operators that handle BBG calls are trained to not reveal rates, so that troops have no way of knowing how much the call will really cost. They quote one former employee as saying, “If someone knows the cost of the call they aren’t going to use the service.”
Now isn’t it time to stand with the troops, not the swindlers? Please sign the petition demanding an end to the scam.
Also, if you have been a victim of the scam, send us details so we can alert authorities, and can demand refunds for all the service members victimized.