MARCH 1 2012 20:29h
U.S. soldiers say airport phones a rip-off
Sgt. Richard Corder told NBC News he was charged $41 for a 3-second call home from a pay phone at the Leipzig airport while he and his Army unit were en route to Iraq last May. He and his wife, Dharma, have filed a lawsuit against a San Diego-based company, BBG Communications.
"It's terrible that they would do that to us," Corder said. "I mean we volunteer to serve our country."
Complaints about phone charges at Leipzig date back to at least 2008, NBC said. The Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 400 complaints and gives BBG an F.
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel have stopped off at Leipzig on their way to or from Afghanistan or Iraq and many have made calls from the bank of phones in the secure area where they wait.
A lawyer for BBG said it only handles billing for a Swiss-based company, BBG Global. That company told NBC the rates charged at Leipzig are set by the German national telephone company.
But Deutsche Telekom said the charge for Corder's call should have been no more than $10.
LEIPZIG, Germany, March 1 (UPI) -- Members of the U.S. military say they have been overcharged by a U.S. phone company for calls made during refueling stops in Germany.