Verizon Communicatios / unauthorized actions
Thanks for protecting consumers against mobile phone carrier text message price gouging. It is much appreciated.
There is another problem relating to mobile phone carriers which your office may or may not be aware of. Verizon charges its customers for unauthorized text message services, and the consumer has no protection against them. Enclosed is a copy of a recent Verizon bill which lists $20.97 in premium TXT messaging. I have an unlimited txt plan for that number so I called to see what the charges were for. I was told that I had subscribed to three premium services for which I would be billed monthly. I never subscribed to these and I never authorized these charges. But Verizon customer service told me that they were third party services, that one was for a traffic report, and two were for services they couldn't even identify! Verizon would not refund my money. They would not cancel the unauthorized services. They told me I had to text these companies to cancel these services. I didn't even know who or what these services were, Verizon had to provide me with their phone numbers. Verizon told me it was my fault, that I had must have given out my phone number. According to Verizon customer service, my mobile phone number is a like a credit card number and written authorization rolled into one. Anyone with my mobile phone number can bill third party services against it.
Well, frankly a lot of people have my cell phone number. I'm a physician and I give this number out to my patients. But I never intended for my mobile phone carrier to treat my phone number like a credit card and written authorization. The consumer has no protection against fraud. I'm sure a lot of people are unaware of this problem. The phone companies tack on so many surcharges on our bills, that after a while we consumers stop questioning them.
Senator, you have already done the consumer a tremendous service. Any further help you can offer to consumers is greatly appreciated.
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