NO VERIZON ON MY HORIZON!
In mid July 2009, I walked up to the Verizon kiosk at a local mall and inquired about their "Friends & Family" plan. My youngest son was born totally deaf after my Vietnam combat exposure to Agent Orange and unlimited text messaging was a God send in opening his world of communication. My ex-wife is one of my best friends and my oldest son lives in Vegas. I felt the Verizon package to be beneficial communication with my family. We purchased 4 phones, one upgraded with a keyboard for my deaf son and skipped off into the sunset thrilled with our new service and tools.
My glee ceased when I received my first bill estimated at the time of subscription to be $248; it was over $700 and included all the phones I had already paid for, insurance on 4 phones which I had declined in writing, excess minutes and a host of other things too numerous to mention. I returned to the mall kiosk and found that the attitudes of Verizon employees change to customer contempt when they are confronted with legitimate questions. I was told they would get it straightened out and get back to me with a properly credited bill and was instructed to sit down and shut up. Their next step was to shut off my service for not paying the erroneous $700 bill. Now my deaf son who had just started a new job (the likes of which depended on his ability to communicate via text messaging) was left without communication. After several more confrontations with each side questioning the others competency to qualify as humans; several of the overcharges were removed, I paid the remainder and our service was reinstated. However, now they added a $60 charge to reconnect the 4 lines which dramatically involved the gaggle of technicians they show on television as backup and it took one of them *** near 7 minutes to reinstate all 4 lines for the $60.
From that day forward for two years now every monthly billing has become a personal time consuming nightmare.
1 They advertise that there is no charge for calls between Verizon customers and "off-peak" calls; true statement however the call minutes on all of these categories are deducted from the specified monthly amount of minutes contracted for which of course runs you out of minutes and overage charges accrue each month after that contracted plateau is reached. I have repeatedly requested of Verizon employees both verbally with witnesses and in writing that I be shown where those minutes in question are deducted from my contracted allotment prior to billing as I was told in every instance, however to date they have refused to show me.
2. My calling plan has changed 3 times in two years, clearly shown on the billings and I am now told in writing that it is all the same plan, only the name has changed 3 times in a year.
3. I added another phone to the "contract" and was told it would not change the terms of the "contract" whatever they may be and this presented a whole new series of events which I will not go into now. My 2 years of aggravation and servitude under some sort of adhesion "contract" ended on the 26th of July 2011 and I switched 3 lines to another service. I went directly to a Verizon store and cancelled the remaining two lines and was told it would be an additional $60 unless I waited until July 24th. I swallowed the heartfelt comment almost uttered but the drone behind the counter sensed he had fallen into bad water and called a manager who quickly approached from my left and displayed the stereotype image of a fat slob with nickel sized objects inserted into his pierced ear lobe holes and shaking in time to his belly fat which had also un-tucked his shirt in various places around his belt overlapping middle. The irony of the whole employee scenario directly linked to Verizon caused me to laugh out loud. I asked for and got a receipt and left the premises. Today Verizon called on one of our original Verizon numbers now transferred to a new service and said I have a $550. bill and threatened to "interrupt" my service. This time they will be required to justify this present amount along with every penny charged over the past two years under the scrutiny of a microscope manned by many previous Verizon customers who have figured out their deceptive billing practices. I personally have kept every communication, billing and have printed out call details monthly as have others. The call records are available monthly on the Verizon Website for their customers but are displayed in headache provoking 4 pt type.
4. Feeling as though I had become a whiner and complainer and was just a victim of a serious run of mistakes I googled specifically "Verizon Complaints" (restricted to that exact phrase only) and got a whopping 18,000 websites and contacts ranging from a few people to 5,000 people each and after reading several of the websites found my situation repeated ad naseum by thousands of other people. While it did give me a warm fuzzy to know that I was not alone, it also disgusted me that such a situation exists in America.
5. My small investigation led me to the fact that Verizon Wireless has a contract providing cell phone service to Federal government employees. As a courtesy to Verizon I informed them via email that I was preparing FOIA requests to the appropriate government accounting offices for a copy of said contract. I received a call stating that such was a private contract to which I replied to with the fact that it was a contract between Verizon and approximately 160 million taxpayers who are paying the bills. It will be interesting to see what Verizon is charging us along with whom and how often our government servants are calling on our nickel in these economically challenging times..
All I ever wanted on July 26, 2009 was to subscribe to a service for a specified monthly amount in order to make and receive a few phone calls and provide my deaf son with a means of communication. It turned out to be a hideous marriage in the beginning and went downhill from there. I requested Verizon to honor the fact that I went into mortal combat in Vietnam, raised a deaf son as a result, and it was all done to protect their right to treat me like garbage. They did not respond to this request either. My service including that of my deaf son has been interrupted six times over the past two years when I have questioned a bloated bill; contrary to specific guidelines in the Americans With Disabilities Act and incurred $60 to &75 dollar reconnect fees on each occasion with nothing but road apple and meadow muffin explanations from Verizon employees.
I have spoken with several attorney's who agreed to take the case and felt certain a victory would be the end result; they humorously responded however that I should be advised to do the math. If a large company overcharged a million of their customers $50 a month while only a few complained and even filed charges that settlement refund of 2 or 3 or even 5 million dollars was nothing compared to their monthly 50 million dollar profit. They advised me that I had little chance of stopping a large corporation. I don't want to stop them; all I ever wanted is my overcharges refunded. The only bonus to me would be to see people stop subscribing to their service. I will post the complete details of my ordeal on numerous websites for anyone interested. I will also post the results of our investigation into the marriage of Verizon and the Federal government. Right now I mainly feel a sense of relief being free of monthly horror of receiving a Verizon phone bill.
Dennis Grover, American
Monetary Loss: $2.