Verizon Wireless / fell between the cracks
On July 26, 2010, I started a new job. Part of the new job is having to have a Smartphone in order to be in constant communication with my coworkers. My new employer bought me a Blackberry and took over paying my bill. Since I have a family share plan with my mom, the worker at the Verizon kiosk divided our lines and made mine a sub-account in order to send the bill to my employer, and I would continue to pay the bill for her line.
Toward the end of August, I started getting emails, calls, and texts from Verizon saying that my account was delinquent and I had a past-due balance of $280 in addition to the next bill that was due, bringing the total to about $418. I was told that my service could be suspended if the delinquent amount wasn't paid.
At first, I was annoyed because it appeared as though my employer hadn't paid my bill. I had already gotten the bill for my mom's line in the mail, and I paid it on August 13, so I couldn't figure out why mine hadn't been paid. Furthermore, I got an email from my mom saying HER service had been suspended. Now, my mom has a potentially life-threatening illness, so I have always made sure our bill was paid on time so that at the very least, she would have the use of her cell phone if she needed it in an emergency. To have her phone shut off was unacceptable for me, especially since I had paid her bill.
I went to my supervisor to ask her if my bill had been paid, and she rifled through the stack of Verizon phone bills (everyone in the office has their bill sent there) but couldn't find mine.
I then went to Verizon's website to see if I could find what the problem was. I double-checked to make sure the billing address was correct, and it was. I saw that my preferred method of billing was paperless, so I thought that's what the problem was. I changed it, printed out my bill to give to my supervisor, and then made a call to Verizon Customer Service to clear things up. When I explained the situation, the representative I spoke with apologized, reinstated my mom's service, and helped me straighten it out.
Soon after, I started getting daily calls telling me the same thing as
before. I spoke with five or six different people and told them all the same
thing - we hadn't received the bill, but I printed one out and gave it to my
employer, so it was being taken care of. I even asked, at one point, that a
note be made on my account stating this, but I was ignored. I was told I
must provide confirmation that the bill would be paid and the date on which
this would occur, which I did.
My employer has since sent out a check. And this week, my service was disconnected. I sent several irritated emails to Verizon, and each response I got was full of "thank you for your business" and "you could try this", the latter of which included the obvious, no-brainer solutions that didn't solve my problem. I was told that my bill was sent out to my OLD address, which they said was the one I had on file. This couldn't have been true, because I had double- and triple-checked to make sure my account had the correct address. I was told I could call customer service to resolve any questions I might still have. Obviously I couldn't do that, as I'd tried a dozen times and was automatically redirected to the payment center.
I've called customer service again and again and was automatically redirected to the payment center each time, until I learned how to go directly to a live person (thank you, gethuman.com). Finally, I spoke with a real live human being, who told me there's nothing that can be done to reinstate my service until the check sent by my employer is posted to my account.
VERIZON didn't send the bill to us, VERIZON sent it to the wrong address, and VERIZON suspended my service. I, however, noticed there was a problem, I printed out a bill, I tried multiple times to straighten it out with customer service representatives, did everything I could possibly do, and I got my service shut off. I've been a Verizon customer for five years and have never had a problem. But now, because of Verizon's mistake, I'm treated as someone who just didn't feel like paying her bill.
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