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Verizon Wireless / charged for fees I do not owe

1 FL, United States Review updated:

I just got my bill today with a 1.99 data charge. I called and asked what is a data charge and was told it is a charge for texting. I told them we have a text block on our phone and do not ever text. I told her I would not pay it and to check my previous bills and to delete all of them. She did not sound too convicing but claims she will delete the charge and it will show a credit next month. We will wait and see. Check your statement-if you do not text have them delete the charge because one year is 23.88 plus extra taxes if you do not have this removed. Just because they remove it once does not mean it will not mysteriously reappear again.

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  • Fl
      26th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    1.99 charge is actually not for texting. It is either for web or get it now. Ask verizon to block web and block app downloads. This will not happen again.

  • Ly
      16th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I changed the minutes on my plan a couple of months ago. I have all downloads and purchases blocked on my account because I wanted to insure that I don’t incur any extra charges. I also pay for unlimited text and picture messaging. For the last two months (since I changed my plans minutes) I have had $1.99 data charges on my 2 teenager’s phones. I called verizon customer service last month and basically was told that since I was a good customer that they would remove the charges but that my kids must have connected to the web by mistake. I told them that internet access was blocked on all my lines and they told me that everything but web access was blocked because if they blocked that, we could not use the picture messaging that we pay for. I decided to proceed with caution.
    Today, I got my second bill since changing my calling plan minutes. Guess what? Data charges again. I called verizon again and was told that when I changed my minutes a couple of months ago that my calling plan was changed. The old plan I had was “grandfathered” in and it didn’t charge the $1.99 data charge but only used plan minutes when connecting to the web. The lady also told me that verizon phones have software that sets most of their phones to connect to the web by a one touch shortcut button. This means that it is very easy to “accidentally” connect. She also said that if you “accidentally” connect that you must disconnect very quickly to avoid the $1.99 data charge.
    It seems as if Verizon is banking on lots of folks “accidentally” connecting. Maybe it is not so accidental after all, at least not on the part of Verizon Wireless. THIS SOUNDS LIKE A PURE GIMMICK TO ME. No matter what the profit from this rip-off, I would bet that it won’t compensate for the loss of legitimate customer purchases from their “get it now” store or just the loss in general of long term customers like myself who would otherwise be satisfied.

  • Ma
      18th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    You may want to check again. Any CSR worth their salt will tell you the kids are probably browsing ringtones or ringback tones. Used to be they'd just use minutes, but now charge megabite usage and always bill to the full megabite at, you guessed it, 1.99 per megabite. True story, I worked for them when they implemented this change.

  • Ds
      22nd of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have been getting dinged with the $1.99 data fee. Initially, I had mobile web blocked to avoid charges incurred by "accidentally" hitting the short key. That didn't work. I eventually had them block mobile web, Vcast, music, downloads etc. and was assured that would fix the problem. It didn't. I called today and the customer service person I spoke with was clueless and told me the fee was because I sent a photo in a text message and I knew that was incorrect info. She could not provide a logical explanation, left me on hold for 30 minutes, told me she spoke with tech support and basically told me I was out of luck and I insisted on speaking with tech support myself. Spoke with tech support and was really frustrated at this point. Was told that they really didn't care about the "accidental" button hitting and they wouldn't even address anything before 5/1, which was the date that I had all the blocks put on. Then she went on to say that over the last month or so, they have had issues with customers getting charged for small bits of data, which is rounded up to $1.99 even when services were blocked. She referred to an internal note about it dated 7/7 and said that they were working to fix the problem but I've had to wait and everyone would be credited back. Never once was I ever offered a credit or an apology for any of the hassle. Hung up and felt like they were taking advantage - not just of me but all their customers that might accidentally hit a short key to a service they never actually used or wanted to access. Decided to submit an email to the NJ State Attorney General's office to ask they be examined for predatory practices etc. $1.99 isn't much, which is probably why most people don't even bother to challenge them but it does add up - $1.99 x 12 months x # of customers that have had this issue = very large amounts of money and someone should step in and make them change this billing practice. Called tech support person, just to give her a heads up, since I did provide her name and number to the Attorney General's office and she called back. She offered to credit me $1.99 for last month, which I don't want at this point. I explained why I felt the way I did and she said that Verizon did nothing wrong and they were within the contract that I agreed to. Nothing she could do at this point but I felt obligated to file a formal complaint to make the Attorney General's office aware in the hopes that all will benefit and they will change their evil ways.

  • Ij
      24th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Even the customer service rep I talked with on the phone admitted that people were complaining to Verizon about these unintended data charges. I've had two now. They removed the first one but are refusing to remove the second one. These short cut buttons are too easy to touch. It would be a simple thing to write the software in such a way as to make it impossible to touch these buttons by accident. All you would have to do is place cost incurring buttons on a page on your phone that you can only access by entering the last four digits of your telephone number. How hard is that? This way there would be no accidents. Apparently they prefer to put them in places where it is easy to accidentally touch them so that they can nickle and dime you to death.

  • Sh
      24th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am concerned about something...After I complained to the Verizon CEO's office about my problems with my phone I have been getting a call that shows up as 111-111-1111 on my caller ID. There is no one there and the call does not show up in the call history. What is this???? I had Verizon put a block on it and still get this call.

  • Mi
      26th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Uhm DSCentralNJ, I seriously doubt VZW is going to change their billing practices. It was changed to $1.99/MB b/c everyone was complaining that previously data used minutes...and with those old plans if you left your phone on mobile web or get it now and forgot about it then guess what...it would bill you for each minute which wound up costing people hundreds of dollars in overage charges, which VZW would not refund you for. So consider that before you go around crying about $1.99. Thank You.

  • Sh
      27th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    That was real mature you must work at Verizon. Definety good pr to make fun of customers instead of trying to resolve issues like this data problem.

  • Ap
      29th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    An open letter to Verizon Wireless on July 29, 2009:

    Dear Sir or Madam:
    As a new customer, I signed up for a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Select Family SharePlan which includes ‘Unlimited Text, Picture, Video & Instant Messaging.’ My account was opened in February 2009 and when I activated my five lines, I specifically requested a data block on all of the phones. The CSR activated the blocks and I was ready to use my phones.

    When I started getting my bill, I noticed several charges for $1.99 for megabyte usage. So the next month, I called and inquired as to why I was being charged for data access after it had been blocked. The CSR told me that the previous Verizon employee who activated my phones had forgotten to add a few blocks. She informed me that the problem was now taken care of; that I wouldn’t be billed any data charges again. For the next 4 billing statements, I had data charges on various lines. I called each month and each CSR could not explain why, but each insured me the problem was taken care of.

    Although all my family members know data access is blocked, simply hitting the wrong key on accident will incur a data charge. My line has been charged a few times, and I have not used any data. My mother’s line has been charged for data access as well; she can barely use a computer, much less cell phone internet.

    When I made my routine monthly call to Verizon Wireless in June, I explained that I wanted this problem fixed for good. I was transferred to technical support and they could not find the reason, as all the necessary blocks were in place. That tech support employee then transferred me to “level 2” care to see if they could figure out the problem. They couldn’t find out why I was being billed either, so they said that a team engineer would return my call within the next day once the ‘glitch’ is found.

    I waited about a week and I never received a call back from Verizon as promised. I then called back, and spoke to a gentleman who informed me that I couldn’t block data charges completely unless I also agreed to block picture messaging.

    I don’t understand. I am paying extra for picture messaging. Why would I want to block something I am paying for? Before I originally signed up, I was told that I could block data access. I don’t think my request is unreasonable. In fact, I just switched from AT&T, where I had a data block AND picture messaging. Verizon is acting like it is impossible block because the two are tied together.

    If blocking data access and picture messaging are truly tied together, it is because they were designed as such. From your business point of view: let’s say 10% of your customers (a very conservative guess, I’d say) are charged $1.99 extra each month for data they didn’t use. 80 million customers * 10% = 8 million customers. 8 million customers * $1.99 = $16 million extra dollars each month! I understand the profit motive here, but it’s a dirty, deceitful business practice. From a customer’s point of view, it’s ridiculously unfair. Every other major wireless carrier has the ability to block data charges completely without blocking picture messaging that the customer pays extra for.

    The first 6 customer service representatives I spoke with did not even know about such an issue. In fact, three of the CSRs I spoke with agreed with me and said it’s a common complaint! In all honestly, this problem has not been fixed for one of two reasons: First, Verizon realizes the profit in deceit, or/and, second, Verizon hasn’t instructed their engineers to fix the issue. We both know it can be fixed, but clearly, it’s not a priority. I bet if Verizon lost, instead of gained $1.99 each occurrence, you would have the problem fixed tomorrow.

    I encourage you to search Google for phrases such as, “Verizon $1.99 data block.” You’ll find pages and pages of customers discussing this exact same issue. In fact, many of the discussions take place on forums.verizon.com. Your customers are upset, yet nothing has changed.

    In short, when I come time for millions of your valued customer’s to renew their contract, we will consider the unfair charges and unethical business practices. You should revaluate your plan and treat your customers like your business depends on them, because it does.

    I would like an explanation and a refund of all related charges to date, please.

    Sincerely,

    ******* **********

  • Sh
      30th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I could not have explained this any better...We need to send this to every attorney general in the country to get some help.

  • Ap
      30th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Yes! I also sent a copy of the letter (see above) to NC Attorney General, BBB, and FTC. I will post Verizon's response when I get one!

  • Co
      1st of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    The rep who told you that you were getting charged "MB usage" for picture messaging was not totally correct and not totally incorrect either. Picture messaging from a Verizon phone with a picture taken from a Verizon phone, sent to another Verizon phone is free and always will be. However if the picture originated say from a computer, then you will get charged for that because the network is accessing the internet to receive the picture, and as we all know when you access the internet you get charged "MB usage".

  • Co
      1st of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Another quick tip. I know everyone wants to be hopeful by thinking that some attorney general somewhere will care about your $1.99, and yes all of those added up do equal a lot of money each month, but the fact is Verizon has been around for many decades and hasn't been sued for anything yet. What makes you think they will be now. The way they are charging customers has been going on for a while now, so I'm guessing that either the government is ok with it, doesn't care, or has better things to worry about.

  • Ap
      1st of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Commonsencerules, attorney generals would not care if I was charged $1.99 in a isolated incident. I've asked about 10 friends with Verizon and 5 of them have said they were charged for data when they accidentally hit a button on their phone. So, in my sample survey, 50% of the people knowingly agrees that this is an issue. In my letter, I had a VERY VERY conservative guess of 10%, whether the customer knew or didn't know they were being charged for services that were not rendered. Also, in my letter, I again conservativly assumed only 1 data charged per billing cycle. The real number is of course much higher...I average about 4 or 5 a billing cycle. My estimations add up to $16 million a month or nearly $200 million a year. If I had to truly guess, I'd say the real impact is closer to a billion.

    "Verizon has been around for many decades and hasn't been sued for anything yet." Haha! Please, do a little research before you make such claim!

    "The way they are charging customers has been going on for a while now, so I'm guessing that either the government is ok with it, doesn't care, or has better things to worry about." Haha again! Guess what?!? If nobody complains, the government won't do anything!

    Now unlike your user name would suggest, you obviously lack common sense. Wouldn't you say that this is a dirty business practice? The jobs of the Attorney General, Better Business Beurau, and FTC are to protect the consumers from unethical business practices. If these three agencies don't care about hundreds of millions of dollars obtained each year though deceit, then we've got big problems. And you're a fool to think it's a waste of time to voice your opinion. If the world was ran by people like you, the government would be even more ineffective. I understand though, typical liberal mindset.

  • Ly
      2nd of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Just an update to my original post 46 days ago:
    Verizon has credited my account for all the bogus data charges to date. I have called customer service so many times, complained in writing to management and just generally complained to anyone that will listen to the point that I am sure my name and account are "black listed" at Verizon. I have told them repeatedly that I am glad to pay for anything that I use but I will not pay for nothing. I too have asked may friends and relatives about their billing with Verizon and have found that almost 100% of them are paying $1.99 per month, per line on their account. This is definitely BIG BUSINESS to Verizon.

  • An
      14th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    There have been alot of people "phishing" accounts for just about everything the last couple of years. Call an d talk to them, let them know that these are not your charges (remember though, that if you have kids they just might have done it, or even having your phone in your pocket without the key pad locked could account for it. Tell them, talk to them about it, have extra stuff you dont use blocked, lock your key pad and change you security number or code. It seems like alot to do but it is all really important. You will run into the same problems with any company you go though. I use verizon because, while I may have issues the customer sevice seems to be better then Sprint and the price and sevice is better then AT&T. You pick your evil. But when it comes down to it, non of them are perfect. Change if you think that is the the answer, just don't go with Sprint. After about a year they will mess your bill up ever single month, extra chares, huge hassle. Not a good company.

  • Sh
      14th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have not had a correct bill with Verizon Wireless in months since I contacted the CEO's Office to complain about the horrible Lakeland Florida South Florida Ave store. At the time I thought Verizon was such a good product so why such deceiptive sales people and the employees were all pretending to be a supervisor pretending to deal with my complaint. I never really got a resolution. Then this week's bill had a class action suit inside the envelope. I used to avoid all the class action suits against Verizon because I was a loyal customer but now will join this suit. No more loyalty.

  • Ka
      30th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    These $1.99 data charges are most likely from this questionable prcatice Verizon has. Many new phones come with icons that made it look like a game or application is already on the phone. But, if you click the icon, it connects to Get it Now. Even if you disconnect as soon as you see that’s what it is doing, it doesn’t matter..you are still charged a minimum of $1.99 for “browsing”.

    Very deceptive, and the reply I got from customer service was totally unsatisfactory. To lure customers to click with an icon (that VZN put there as IF the app is already on your phone) and then charge for browsing” is entrapment, and a deceitful business practice.

    Your state's attorney general office is a good place to file a complaint.

  • Mb
      11th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    The Data from our old plan when we used Get It Now was free while looking for games, ring tones, ring back tones ect. Now that we upgraded to new phones and they told us our old plan would not work with our new phones. We have incured charges we were not aware of because they were FREE on our old plan.
    Silly me not Verizon does this then does not have an explaination for why it is like this? Pull your head out of your rear and look around. It is time to let verizon know that this is intorerable and we will not torerate it any more rise up America and take action against this company. Which by the way is getting tio big for they're own good. When you buy buy buy someone has to pay and yes it is everyone who has vzn that pays for what htey have bought. the Data charges for one month was over 50 dollars and that is with no kids on the account. our daughters account was over 600 dollars due to get it now incured fees that use to be free. And yea I think that this has fallen on death ears or someone is getting one hell of s kickback from vzn

  • Sh
      11th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I know some people will whine at me for checking my bill for errors...but now instead of 1.99 error it is .49 cents almost every month. Well .49 cents times millions of customers still equals extra millions of dollars profit for Verizon Wireless. As for the 600.00 fees I would call Verizon and nicely ask them to delete the bill and if this does not work go to your local TV channel that helps consumers with disputes like this and have them handle it for you.

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