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BBG Communications greases senator's palm

Otay Mesa company has history of ripping off service members

BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa
BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa

Wisconsin media, along with the state's Democratic Party, are hammering United States senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, for taking $5400 from Otay Mesa's BBG Communictions, which charges service members as much as $55 for a one-minute call from European phones.

Senator Ron Johnson

In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against BBG for charging outrageous fees when members of the U.S. military used BBG's overseas pay phones. The next year, in a decision that raise some eyebrows, federal judge Anthony J. Battaglia threw out the case, saying the plaintiffs should have sued Swiss-based BBG Global, which the San Diego company insisted was a separate company, despite much evidence to the contrary.

BBG is owned by Gregorio and Rafael Galicot. Gregorio Galicot, president of the company, made the donation to Johnson. I contacted Sen. Johnson's office on September 8. It has never given me information about the donation.

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BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa
BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa

Wisconsin media, along with the state's Democratic Party, are hammering United States senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, for taking $5400 from Otay Mesa's BBG Communictions, which charges service members as much as $55 for a one-minute call from European phones.

Senator Ron Johnson

In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against BBG for charging outrageous fees when members of the U.S. military used BBG's overseas pay phones. The next year, in a decision that raise some eyebrows, federal judge Anthony J. Battaglia threw out the case, saying the plaintiffs should have sued Swiss-based BBG Global, which the San Diego company insisted was a separate company, despite much evidence to the contrary.

BBG is owned by Gregorio and Rafael Galicot. Gregorio Galicot, president of the company, made the donation to Johnson. I contacted Sen. Johnson's office on September 8. It has never given me information about the donation.

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Comments
18

It is shameful that predatory companies enjoy government contracts. I can hardly countenance the fact that this company still exists, much less pays off politicians in order to maintain revenue sources.

Someone please correct me if I have this all wrong.

But--taking hard-earned money from deployed military members when they have no other choices for communicating with their loved ones is a real low in human behavior.

There must be a way to get this to end.

Sept. 17, 2015

eastlaker: I thought the decision by Judge Battaglia was very bad. The plaintiff had made an excellent argument that the Swiss operation was part of the U.S. headquarters -- and, of course, it is. In fact, there was no other way an intelligent person could have seen it. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2015

I do know there is free wifi available at some terminals, but the problem is that these very expensive phone rates are charged to the very people who do not have iphones or other means of communication. Their phones or other devices could have been lost, stolen or are not working, or they don't have the right connections to recharge...which is why these rates are predatory. It is definitely a last choice to use this company's equipment, but if you need to speak with a family member, or make arrangements for your move, you can be stuck!

Sept. 26, 2015

Military kids have long been targets of all kinds of sleaze-bags, including jewlers and car and furniture dealers, which tend to lead the pack of jackals (apologies to real jackals), and scum-suckin' pigs (apologies to real pigs).

Sept. 18, 2015

Twister: You are absolutely right, and the tragedy is that these military people are paid very little. You left out one category of business people who fleece military people: stockbrokers. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2015

An' us old folk too.

Sept. 19, 2015

Twister: Yes, us'ns. We get our welfare without fighting for it but veterans do not. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 20, 2015

Yeah, my military time didn't count toward Social Security.

Sept. 21, 2015

Mike Murphy: Is Skype available at airports to our service men and women? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2015

pretty much anywhere there is wifi or an internet connection

BBG's comm system passes over the same internet for pennies

Sept. 20, 2015

Murphyjunk: Is there readily available wifi at those European airports? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 21, 2015

yes, and free in the lounges, easy to get online, just google free wifi to find out locations in any area

Sept. 21, 2015

Murphyjunk: So military people should carry iPads or smartphones so they can skype? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 21, 2015

sure, just about anything with wifi these days can comm world wide free

Sept. 22, 2015

Murphyjunk: That was not true when I was in the Army in 1959. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 22, 2015

same for me in American army 1968 thru 1974, and even less likely in the rli for 3 years

Sept. 23, 2015

Murphyjunk: What's the rli? I am not questioning you; I am simply saying I don't know what it is. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 25, 2015

Rhodesian army

Sept. 26, 2015

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