BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa
  • BBG Communications headquarters in Otay Mesa
  • Photo by Alan Decker
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

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

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.

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Comments

eastlaker Sept. 17, 2015 @ 3:36 p.m.

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.

1

Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 7:20 p.m.

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

1

eastlaker Sept. 26, 2015 @ 8:20 a.m.

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!

0

Twister Sept. 18, 2015 @ 9 p.m.

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).

1

Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:05 a.m.

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 20, 2015 @ 7:22 a.m.

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

0

Twister Sept. 21, 2015 @ 9:11 p.m.

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 19, 2015 @ 8:08 a.m.

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

0

MURPHYJUNK Sept. 20, 2015 @ 9:16 a.m.

pretty much anywhere there is wifi or an internet connection

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 21, 2015 @ 7:53 a.m.

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

0

MURPHYJUNK Sept. 21, 2015 @ 8:38 a.m.

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 21, 2015 @ 2:59 p.m.

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

2

MURPHYJUNK Sept. 22, 2015 @ 10:22 a.m.

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 22, 2015 @ 12:48 p.m.

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

1

MURPHYJUNK Sept. 23, 2015 @ 8:40 a.m.

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

0

Don Bauder Sept. 25, 2015 @ 3:43 p.m.

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

1

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close