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04/21/15 | 7:37AM
The Insidious Ways Verizon Wireless Takes Advantage of Customers

I am so glad I found this page! I am not the only one. So sad that this page was created 5 years ago and there appears to be NO IMPROVEMENT.

Please read this and see if you agree:

Verizon Wireless uses misleading practices advertising their exclusive NFL content to draw customers in on that premise, and then gouges them for way more money after they're signed up for the plan.

On the day after Thanksgiving, 2014, I went into a Diamond Wireless Verizon dealer at Clackamas Town Center to inquire about this exclusive NFL plan. The clerk at the store assured me that 10 gigs of data would be "plenty" for my needs, which I made abundantly clear, were for watching NFL football.

They were "giving away" a new tablet simply for signing up since it was "black Friday" and the customer service rep said I could watch it on my new tablet. I needed to buy a new phone and sign up for their special "edge" plan to eventually pay it off, which I did because the current phone I had crashed trying to download the newest update. This was a big reason I had chosen to leave T-Mobile.

Remember, the "free" tablet promotion was only available for "Black Friday" so I felt very pressured into making the purchase at that time without much research other than what the clerk told me and I was not able to consult with anyone including my girlfriend.

Furthermore I have poor vision when looking at things close up and had never really considered being able to watch television before on a portable device, so when the opportunity to actually view games on a (relatively big screen) tablet was advertised to me, it became the tipping point that sold me on this plan which would increase my monthly payments I had been paying to T-Mobile by just over $30 (from approx $98 to approx $130).

Seeing football on that tablet was the sole reason for my decision. Not my "prime reason", it was my only reason.

It was my understanding from viewing hundreds of television commercials touting Verizon as the "exclusive provider of live NFL football" that signing with them would provide me games to watch on my tablet.

On the first Sunday where I was able to watch games I logged on and found I needed to purchase an additional NFL Mobile app, which was a fee I was not informed about beforehand. I mistakenly believed it either would be included or at the very least be given to Verizon customers for free. It was not.

At work, where there is no wi-fi so I must rely on my data plan to get internet access. I work in a parking garage for 32 hours/week at less than $10/hour and if I don't have access to internet it can become a very boring and tedious job.

So that Sunday I attempted in vain to watch the football game on my tablet. I was unable to call Verizon for help as I had my phone broadcasting the NFL game. I squinted at the phone screen which was playing the games in order to see what little I could of the games I was paying this premium for and with my other eye I worked on trying to get the game working on my tablet. The data continued running on both devices while I did this. I was at work and we are not allowed to make phone calls on work time.

My search for solutions had not finished and I was now getting off work. At 2:45 I left work and drove to a different Diamond Wireless Verizon dealer (on Oak Street) which was in a more direct route for my way home to show the sales associate first hand that indeed my tablet was not getting the football and to see if the problem could be solved while the broadcast was actually occurring, because after the games end there is no premium content broadcast from that source anymore and no one would be able to know if it was indeed working or not.

The clerk at the Verizon store (as well as a message I kept seeing on the NFL football app) instructed me to download the app from my local cable company. So I went to Comcast Cable which was in the same Oak Street strip mall as Diamond Wireless and they said in order to get football on their app I would need to pay for an upgrade to my current cable package. They didn't mention anything about a need for Verizon.

This didn't seem right, but if it was, then there was no need for signing up for Verizon in the first place.

So when I got home that night I glanced on my phone to see how much data I had used and discovered my astonishment that my data use was over 4 gigs! There were three more weekends left in December in which I was hoping to watch football, but I knew I would need to buy more data than the 10 gigs I was told would suffice or choose not to keep the phone plan. I opted to cancel, because it needed to be done within 14 days or I would not be able to receive any refund.

Even if I had the extra money to afford 20-30 gigs of data, after researching further via an online chat with a Verizon helpline, I found out that my tablet was useless to me for watching football. Apparently Verizon's deal with the NFL only works with smart phones - more erroneous information given to me by the Verizon salesperson.

So on December 4 I proceeded to return the phone and the tablet and canceled my service with them (I had used the phone a total of 9 days, and the tablet begrudgingly for several hours for the sole purpose of attempting to get the football game).

The Diamond Wireless clerks at Clackamas Town Center took the phone and tablet back. I wanted to pay them my balance so I asked what I owed and they said to wait for my bill that I would be getting for the 9 days of service. Any idea how much it will be for? They said "not more than $50". Given I was paying $100/$3.33 a day with T-Mobile, the $50/$5.55 a day, was frustrating, but I did cancel early after all!

This was back in early December.

No bill came to me in January. My first bill arrived mid-February and it was not for " around $50" instead it was over $175!

I proceeded to once again call Verizon and they attempted to explain the charges. Well $60 was for an "activation fee" for the tablet. A tablet I didn't get to use, mind you. Those additional charges were for "data usage above and beyond my allotment".

"But wait," I said, "my allotment was for 10 gigs and I only used 4!"

Verizon is very sneaky and decided to pro-rate my data plan. This meant my "10 gigs for for 30 days" was really 3 gigs for 10 days (or for those who are better at math, less than 3 gigs for those 9 days of use).

Well, because I went over my allotment that ONE Sunday attempting to watch the football they charged me a ridiculous amount on penalties. It is something like $60 per gig.

They also were billing me for taxes they say "the government requires us to pay."

This seems unethical because how is not that I have to pay Verizon's taxes?

So I played phone tag and experienced 15 or so dropped calls from their customer service department. My time focused on this has taken up over 20 hours of my life not to mention the time and gas I have wasted driving back and forth to the Diamond Wireless Verizon store.

My March meeting with the Diamond Wireless Verizon people at Clackamas Town Center was another "We'll get back to you next week."

They didn't.

"Sorry, our manager was in Vegas."

I went in for an "official meeting" once he got back and guess what? He wasn't there. So I talked with the original guy I talked with again. Apparently the manager had authorized him to handle my case so he said that there was a process that he had started to get me credited back but it "takes time."

Now in early April 2015 I started receiving passed due notices and calls from Verizon's in house collections department asking for even more money than originally quoted (the total was now over $300). I researched this with three more 45 minute calls and found out I was still being billed "edge program" payments and late fees on the phone I returned to them on December 4.

"Verizon has no record of you returning it."

This time I had had enough. Seriously? I drove back again to the Diamond Wireless Verizon store April 17. This time I had my camera phone turned on so in case no one believes me the ineptitude of this mess, they could see a video. The video is one of the most boring 45 minutes you might ever witness, but that's sort of the point. Highlights of the film include the clerk calling the Verizon people to attempt to inform them that I indeed did return the phone. He wasn't authorized to make any financial adjustments so he tries in vain to "add a note to my account."

I had the clerk produce a receipt showing that I indeed did return the phone. All of this took him 45 minutes for in addition to the long phone wait, he had trouble entering the information into the system.

The next day, despite this action, on April 18 I received another call from the Verizon finance department threatening me with being sent to collections if payment wasn't received that day! Being sent to a collection agency would severely compromise my credit record when I am in the process of applying for a loan for home repairs so the very thought of this was terrifying.

For the last several months any potential free time I might have had to share with my partner was being taken away with my daily multi-hour attempts at rectifying the phone company errors. She was getting fed up with this too, but also was fed up witnessing my anxiety and depression regarding it. She certainly did not want my credit report damaged, as this would severely affect her, so she went into Verizon and opted to pay $150 toward the erroneous bill.

Given the ineptitude of the Verizon system I feared that it would make very little difference, so I called on April 20 to see if the payment had been registered in the Verizon system.

It had.

"However," the customer service person said, "there is a balance due and they do not show a record of your phone being returned."
So "The Edge Plan" payments were still accruing!

After a 90 minute phone call which found the customer service person physically calling the Diamond Wireless store, she finally confirmed the phone was returned December 4.

Supposedly those Edge Plan fees will be reversed. I asked her what my credit back would be after the fees are reversed.
You want to know what her reply was?

It will be credited to your next bill."

I reminded her I was no longer a customer and that there would be no "next bill."

"Well, if there is a credit left it will be mailed as a check in 90 days."

You realize 90 days is three months, right?

I asked what the refund check amount would be and she said "around $2 if I did the figures right".


"You mean after the $150 is refunded that my girlfriend paid?"

"No, that money was owed by you due to the data overages."

Now I am back at the beginning trying to explain the data charges again.

I am to the point now where the people for consumer equality want me to fight this legally and the people who are for preserving my sanity and my relationship with my girlfriend are telling me to simply "let it go."

Those same people say to let it be a lesson to me.

But what lesson I am supposed to take from this? To not trust at all? To keep receipts?

Well trust doesn't matter and getting the receipt doesn't seem to matter. I still was hours away from being sent to collections.

I am an ardent supporter of justice and fighting for the little guy and if they can do this to me, who's to say how many other people they are screwing over.

I am now with Metro PCS. Not sure how trustworthy they are either but they do give me unlimited talk text and data for a mere $60 a month. They also don't require me to pay any hidden fees, overages or additional taxes the government tells them they have to pay.

Thank you for your time. I wish I would have been able to present this travesty to you as a screwball comedy of errors movie, but it seems a comedy of errors quickly becomes a tragedy of errors when it is someone else's error tormenting you.

Thank you,

Jeph Johnson

Jeph Johnson - Verizon H8er ID: C39B6D

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05/15/15 | 20:36PM
I know how you feel; I was treated the same way. Am still being treated like I am the one who is wrong. I have a jet pack that I have not used for over a month and I cannot cancel because I still have until Aug 2016 on the contract that I did not have a chance to read but urged to sign ASAP, if you know what I mean. Now I have to find someone who can take it over before August so they can pay for the contract balance which will probably end up to be a 2 year contract again. They are amazing; I wonder who train the Verizon people to be so goods at cheating people!!!

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