According to several sources, telecommunications companies in the United states continue to receive complaints from customers who make international phone calls from Costa Rican pay phones. Unhappy customers placed calls from Costa Rica and were charged up to $50 for a five-second international call. The country's main telephone service, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricity, (I.C.E.) has renewed another long term (10 year) contract with the firm.
The pay phones are found all over the country, mostly in hotels and at Juan Santamaría airport. According to I.C.E., the former monopoly provider in the country, there is an established rate of 134 colones (the equivalent to $.25 USD) a minute for international calls on a pay phone.
According to the office of the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones de Costa Rica,the rate is the maximum that can be charged in the country. The source added that it is against rules to apply a higher cost.
BBG Global A.G. has found a way to charge more and continues to operate in the country. Because of the locations, the callers usually are foreigners, tourists, and the calls are all placed with credit cards. The caller usually does not learn of the outrageous charge until the credit card bill arrives. As local news media (A.M. Costa Rica) has reported, hotel operators and others who host the distinctive blue BBG telephones share in the income. They may not be aware of the excessive charges.
Research shows that in the United States there are two court cases pending against the corporation. The first is by a Marine and his wife who are suing the corporation because they were charged $44 when the Marine called her for four seconds from Germany. The Marine was on his way to Iraq and paid the call with his credit card.
According to information provided by the San Diego Better Business Bureau, the second case which is pending against BBG Inc. and BBG Global A.G. (both companies are the same but with different company names) is awaiting a court ruling. However, motions have been filed in that case arguing that they are separate entities although document presented in Court clearly establish that the BBG Global A.G. is a subsidiary of the parent company BBG, Inc.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provided an extensive list of names used by BBG Inc., worldwide. According to the BBB there have been nearly 500 complaints about the telecommunications corporation in San Diego made in the past 36 months.
Complaints allege that consumers are being charged exorbitant rates for international calls without disclosure of the terms and conditions prior to making the call. Some complain they are charged for calls though never connected or the call did not complete.
For more information visit the website of the BBB and see the complaint section with regard to BBG, Inc.