Apparently the policy is for Verizon to just keep the money of the current balance if a person does not Refill their prepaid phone. There is no warning of this policy in any of their written material, including the sales receipt, or given verbally by the salespeople that the remaining balance is forfeited if you do not Refill your phone with an additional 15.00-29.99 every 30 days.
I wanted to have a simple cell phone on hand in case of an emergency and Verizon plan seemed ideal. I would only pay for calls when I used the phone at the rate of 0.99 cents daily use fee and 0.10 cents per minute/text. I was told the phone needed to be Refreshed before the end of 30 days for another month of use without interruption of service. This can be done by calling customer service or by going to any Verizon store.
I asked the salesman what Refreshed meant and he said it means that what is leftover in the account would be rolled over to the new month, so it is truly pay as you go. He recommended prepaying 30.00 so I will not have to worry about it till October. He did explain that I needed to purchase the phone, there was a one-time activation fee and he made sure I understood that part of it.
I used the phone twice in the 2 month period and had a balance of 27.03. I had purchased the phone on 14 Aug 08 and so I called customer service on 12 Oct 08 to get it refreshed before the end of service. I was told I needed to pay 15.00 to keep the phone active for another month and that was the first time I heard this policy. I said that can not be right, but my balance should cover it anyway. I was then told the service expires every month and requires a 15.00 prepayment or you loose the existing balance. I went to the store and the customer service manager confirmed that is in fact the policy of the Verizon as explained in the brochure. I terminated the service before the 30 day expiration and even then they would not refund the remaining balance.
The brochure says: Control how and when you make payments. Use a credit or debit card, sign up for Auto Pay or add a Refill Card/PIN. It also says at the bottom of the refill chart: Refill your account before it expires and your existing balance will be carried forward. I understood that to mean the balance would be carried forward until it reached zero. It does not specify that you can not use the existing balance as payment for the next month or that your balance will be forfeit if you do not pay the required additional minimum of 15.00.
In other words, if I did not pay another 15 dollars every 30 days, Verizon gets to keep the remaining balance regardless. I paid in advance for services that were never rendered. That is like prepaying for gas and not getting your change back when you only needed 3 gallons. Or prepaying for a meal and only getting the salad unless you pay an additional amount to get the rest of the course. Services should be given for money paid unless clearly stated otherwise. I would like to be given the phone service for which I paid as explained to me by the salesman or get my money back.