Jumat, 24 September 2010

LETTER: Verizon's hidden fees

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.

Brad Lockwood

Charles City

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