In response to the Sept. 15 article “Hidden charges on your phone bill,” I offer a warning about other predatory practices by Verizon. As a cell phone customer of Verizon for more than five years, initially paying over $100 each month, I have continually found hidden fees on my bills. The most egregious were $15 digital/mobile charges to check my e-mail and access the Internet.
I travel extensively as an author and filmmaker and certainly need online access, yet Verizon refused to exchange my sub-par phone for one that did as promised. Still Verizon continued to charge me $15 for these inaccessible services. When notified, Verizon refused to refund several hundred dollars of overcharges, instead offering an upgraded phone (for a fee).
What to do when a company continually and illegally overcharges? In the case of Verizon, I was told I must pay over $300 to buy out my contract. Stuck with lousy service and exceedingly high monthly billing, I tried to redo my contract while adding a USB modem to access the Internet on my computer because my phone can’t. While I now pay $180 a month to Verizon, the USB modem continually loses its signal, disconnects, and disrupts important uploads for my work. The final insult was a $250 bill for USB modem overages, “overages” because I must reconnect and re-attempt uploads each time. Yet another faulty Verizon product fails.
My solution was a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Predictably, Verizon got the last laugh. Instead of any compromise or refund of exorbitant fees, I received a call, not from BBB, but from a Verizon rep, telling me that I was lying. My phone and USB modem work great, and I must pay the overage charges.
Yet again Verizon cited “our contract” to force me to keep paying them $180 each month, plus fees for products that don’t work nor do as advertised. My contract with Verizon is up in November. This company doesn’t care about people, only profits.