Feeling Stabby

I apologize for not writing more frequently. It’s my annual Halloween Madness combined with my free-time-management inadequacy. You may have notice that I’ve relisted some old items, but haven’t added anything new to the shop in a couple of weeks. I promise, I have a pile of stuff to list! Some housewares, more purses, and a couple of lovely wedding dresses that may get blog posts all of their own.

But right now: I need to vent. Because I am so. Effing. Frustrated.

By October of 2006, I had been with T-Mobile for 8 years. Technically, I started with VoiceStream, and when T-Mob bought them out, well, there I was. And it was good. VoiceStream had the occasional billing issue, but once T-Mob came in, the glitches stopped. The service was good, I only dropped calls in one geographically wonky spot, everything was fine. But in 2006 I wanted a fancy new phone, and the incentives with new carriers were better than the incentives to stay with T-Mob, so I decided to switch. Enter: Verizon Wireless. I signed up for a first-month-free dealio that included a new RAZR phone. I hated the phone, but more importantly, I hated the Web site. This may not be a big deal to some people, but I pay my bills online. I monitor my account online. I download ringtones online. And Verizon’s site seemed to be set up to discourage all of this. My paperwork stated that I wouldn’t be locked into a contract if I canceled within two weeks, so I canceled at 12 days, returned my phone, and switched to Sprint.

Precisely two weeks after initially signing up for a first-month-free, no-contract-yet deal with Verizon, they send me an e-bill for $254.29, my “early cancellation” fee. I remember that the phone maze required to reach a live representative further assured me that leaving had been the right decision, but to Verizon’s credit, the phone call to straighten out that issue was otherwise forgettable. I must have pointed out that I’d canceled before being locked into a contract, they reviewed the paperwork and agreed, and that was that. Done with Verizon forever. Woo!

Fast forward three years: This past Monday, I rec’d in the mail a bill for $21.11 from a collections agency on behalf of Verizon Wireless. This is obviously an error, so I called the number on the letter, which connected me to a recording telling me to either pay or dispute the claim in writing. Well okay, I will, but in the meantime, let me call Verizon. In the three years since my last call to Verizon, they’ve done nothing to eliminate the phone maze. After answering the same set of automated questions twice, I finally reached a human. Who couldn’t find my history in the network until I explained the two-week, no-contract situation. With that, he was able to locate me. And then explained that he isn’t allowed talk to me about my account, because it’s been sent to collections. He offered to give me their phone number. I explained that it’s a recording, but he said no, this is a different phone number. For Verizon’s own internal collections department. That they can talk to me. It then took him four minutes to “find” the phone number, but he finally did. I wrote it down. I called.

It’s a Verizon recording that automatically connects me to the collection agency recording.

Stab stab stabby stab.

One Reply to “Feeling Stabby”

  1. Why is it that these companies never make a mistake that somehow credits your account? You’re a professional. If you spent 5 hours fixing their mistake, shouldn’t they need to pay you for your time?

    And most of us don’t do landlines anymore. Sitting on hold for half an hour uses up a whole lots of minutes if you’re not on an unlimited plan.

    And what choice do you have? Go with another carrier that will find some other way of taking advantage of you?

    I want to see an open telecom network built. The company would be a large co-op. All of the equipment would belong to the members. Major changes would be affected by member votes. The network would provide voice and data services. You would be charged a fair rate for what you use – no plans and no gimmicks. It would be sorta like a government run solution but without involving the government…


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