Friday, March 30, 2012

Verizon's "Helping" Us- Think AGAIN!

Ok, I'm naming names and I'm not afraid.  VERIZON's in big trouble with me and I sure hope after you've read this, you'll spread it around and help me make it HUGE so they will stop their nonsense.

I'll warn you.  There's a lot of whining and a lot of numbers here, but I am certain they are tricking millions of customers and we need to call attention to it.

I'm neurotic about my bills, so I usually pay them the week that I get them, which is usually long before the due date listed on my bill.  When I got my December bill in January, I noticed that my Verizon bill was not due when it normally was, but it was extended until the first week of February.  That seemed like a really long time, so I set it aside and paid it later than I normally paid my Verizon bills up until then, but still in plenty of time for the February due date.

A couple of days after I sent in my payment for December, I received another bill, this time for January, that said it was due at the beginning of March.  This bill was DOUBLE the amount it normally is because they hadn't received my payment and both month's bills were on the invoice.

Panicked that I owed $300+ to Verizon, when I knew I had paid for the past month, I called and they said that they had just received the check and that I was only supposed to pay for the January bill.  I told them that didn't seem right, and I assumed this was a one time deal.

Fast forward to today.  I received a bill from Verizon for $326.04.  I nearly died.  I had JUST mailed in my last payment this week, for a bill that wasn't even due yet!  I called Verizon, furious, and spoke to 3 people and ended up telling the last guy I was going even higher than him.

Here is the situation:

The bill I received in February:

$162.36 DUE DATE April 9th.

The bill I received today:

$326.04 DUE DATE May 7th.

My billing cycle goes from the 25th of one month until the 24th of the next.  They bill on the 24th.  But it's not due until the first week of the month TWO MONTHS later than the month in which the 24th happened.

So, this bill in front of me is for the billing cycle of Feb. 25th through March 24th but it's not due until MAY 7th!!  Doesn't this all seem very odd?
So, before my actual due date for the previous bill had even arrived, I was being billed for the next month and both amounts were shown on the same bill.

Keep in mind, I didn't even have to pay the first bill yet because today  March 30.  The DUE DATE is April 9th!  That's almost 2 weeks away!

When I called Verizon, they told me they did receive my payment for the DUE DATE of April 9th, so I will only have to pay the $163.68 that is due May 7th.

But, excuse me, I have a bill in front of me that says I owe $326.04.  And the DUE DATE hasn't even arrived for the first bill.

Well, they told me, I can just subtract when I sent them and pay the new amount by May 7th.

I knew this did not make any sense, so I explained it to one financial manager and then one billing manager.  The billing manager kept telling me that I should not look at the DUE DATE.  I should just know that every 30 days, I need to pay Verizon or I will receive what look like double bills.  Excuse me again, but something here isn't right.

I receive a bill that has a DUE DATE and I pay that bill 2 weeks before the DUE DATE, but I get a bill for the NEXT billing cycle that says I haven't paid the bill for which the DUE DATE has not arrived?

He told me that is correct.  They are "helping us out" by giving us longer to pay.

I asked how this could help me out when I open a bill and nearly have a heart attack over this outrageous bill that I think I have to pay!  He repeated that if I just pay every 30 days, this will not be a problem.  Once again, I explained that the DUE DATE had not yet arrived but I was being billed like I had missed a DUE DATE!

And once again, he told me how Verizon is helping us out because times are tough.

I explained that since times are tough, I need to keep that money for another 3-4 weeks and earn my OWN interest since the DUE DATE has been extended.  He assured me that Verizon is a billion dollar company and is not trying to make any extra money off of people.

Oh really?  Well, let's say I paid that $326.04 because I actually thought I had missed a payment.  Now, I've paid twice as much as I normally would in a month, and Verizon gets that money.  They see that I actually did pay on time as I thought I had, so now I have a credit in my account for next month, so next month, my bill is free.  Hmmm, who earned the interest on that money for that month?  Certainly not me.

Round and round we went, him telling me that Verizon is helping us out and that I need to listen to what I am complaining about.  Again, he told me not to pay near the due date, but to pay every 30 days.


Is it really my job to worry about every 30 days when I have a paper in front of me that tells me when my payment is due?

I asked him to move my due date back, a little earlier, so this would not happen.  By my choice, can't I make that happen?  No.

This again leads me to think that if they will not make it so my due date is earlier, per my request, Verizon is up to no good.  They are scaring people into thinking they owe money that isn't due yet and then they sit on it.  I think that's kind of like shaking down people for lunch money because they know they make people afraid of them.

I told him I was going to call someone else.  And he said "Before you call the Better Business Bureau, think about what you are complaining about.  Verizon is giving you a break by giving you an extended deadline by which to pay your bill." Interesting. I hadn't planned to call the BBB< i was going to call the Telecommunications number on my bill, but thank you for that suggestion! Angie's list is a good idea too.

And once again, I had to remind him that I should not :
a) have to remember when 30 days are up, if they are going to send me a bill
b) have to pay almost a month earlier than what the DUE DATE says, if that is the date they have created for me
C) give Verizon money to sit on almost a whole month before it's actually due, so they can earn interest when I could be doing that very same thing
And didn't we end up in this financial crisis we have right now because so many banks were "helping" people out by letting them borrow for houses they could never really afford?  Didn't that all end very badly for them?  It sure seems like Verizon is headed that same way.

So, I called the Department of Telecommunications and Cable and complained and they told me that this is a common complaint with Verizon and they hope they straighten it out soon.

Now, if you have Verizon, please go check how your billing is done.  If you pay online, maybe you haven't noticed because it's deducted right away.  Are they sitting on your money for 40 days when you could have been sitting on it yourself?

My big concern is for the elderly population that doesn't realize what is being done, so they keep overpaying because they think they owe money.

Please help me spread this by sharing it with people you know or linking it to your own blog.  I hope this goes viral and Verizon realizes they are doing bad things.

2 comments:

  1. That is horrible!! My bill (Spring) is deducted automatically! And I don't check it that often (shame on me, I know)! Thanks for the heads up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry that you are having challenges with Verizon. They should respect their customers. Thanks for letting us know :)

    blessings,
    karianne

    PS Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog :)

    ReplyDelete

I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it's going to the no-reply@blogger address!