Verizon Won't Install Your DSL, But Wants $79 To "Disconnect" It

If you can’t free up any time from 9-5 on a weekday to have your Verizon DSL installed, the company will still bill you for the “service” you’re not receiving says reader Joshua. If you’d like them to stop doing this, they’ll charge you a $79 disconnect fee.

$79 to disconnect something they never installed?

Working in NY, I have no time for installation from 9-5 on a weekday, and Verizon seems to feel that this non-installation constitutes “service.” As such, they have decided to charge me for a month and a half of service (which I absolutely do not have), and additionally charge me for a $79 fee to disconnect or a $59 fee to “install” it for me. Having enough of this garbage, 50 minute waits on telephone, I think everyone else should avoid Verizon’s service at all costs.

(Photo:Maulleigh)

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  1. mgy says:

    This reminds me of the time that Mediacom forced me to have my internet “installed”. I asked if I could just have the guy come by, turn on what he needed to turn on down the street and I could set up everything myself and was told, in no uncertain terms that they “HAVE TO” install it, otherwise there are liability concerns and need to make sure it’s done correctly.

    I do tech work for a living, so, needless to say, when the contractor got to my apartment, he remarked “Well, what the hell am I here for? You know how to do it all!”, and left. I set it up just fine.

    They still charged me $10, but because the contractor was late by about 2 hours, they credited me about that amount anyways.

    Eh :

  2. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    I do believe that is fraud.

  3. juri squared says:

    I think it’s time for that old Consumerist chestnut, the chargeback. It’ll at least get their attention.

  4. xphilter says:

    @Jaysyn
    Is it still fraud if getting screwed is the expected outcome of dealing with a phone company?

  5. dis·con·nect:1. (v.) to sever or interrupt the connection of or between; detach: They disconnected the telephone. We were disconnected.…4. (n.) an act or instance of disconnecting, esp. the suspension of telephone or cable TV service for nonpayment of service charges.

    Am I the only one reading into this a pre-existing connection as condition of disconnecting something? Comcast needs a freakin’ dictionary.

  6. DogTown says:

    If this so-called “service” was paid for with a credit card and never delivered, use the process available through the credit company to have your account re-credited for failure to provide what you paid for, including the “disconnect” fee.

  7. IssaGoodDay says:

    I don’t understand…. when I signed up for DSL, they made some changes at the switchbox on the road which I did not have to be present for. Then, I plugged in my modem and router and Voila! Activated internet. What is the problem here? Is the OP too un-savvy to plug in a box and walk through some basic setup instructions?

  8. backbroken says:

    $79 to disconnect your Verizon DSL?

    That’s a bargain.

  9. saralegal21 says:

    Try the email bomb…Consumerist has the email addresses listed somewhere on the site. I did it after the problems I had with Verizon DSL and I had vice presidents and whatnot calling me the next day to fix my problems. They also gave me three months of free service.

  10. The Boy Wonder says:

    @sourc3: That is about the same routine I had to go through…of course it took Verizon nearly a week to flip that switch. But I wouldnt put it past Verizon to feel that they need to drop a new line and tinker with things (maybe add a few grease stains to the carpet).

    Has Verizon even mentioned what the $79 goes towards, if you can get them to explain that then give them reason why its not needed they may be reasonable. Otherwise, I see a chargeback in the future.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Business as usual in east coast.(I just quit from Verizon DSL) Just find it odd, because the tech should only need to get to the NID unless you don’t want to set up a modem and some cables. Just putting in the install will give you pretty picture guide on how to install the modem lol. Maybe I should send Meg the guide Ive been writing on dealing with different departments.

  12. scoosdad says:

    @Bay State Darren:

    Comcast needs a freakin’ dictionary.

    Ah, it’s Verizon, but that’s OK, easy to get them confused.

  13. Bunklung says:

    More info please…

    Did the person order a self install kit and NOW wants a professional installation 1.5 months later? Was Verizon not clear about the 30 day money back Guarantee? If it was a professional installation, was Verizon not clear about the times available for installation?

    Has anyone in consumerist land ever received a DSL professional installation outside of 8-5?

    Ton of hate for very little information.

  14. AaronZ says:

    @Bay State Darren: “dis·con·nect:1. (v.) to sever or interrupt the connection of or between; detach: They disconnected the telephone. We were disconnected….4. (n.) an act or instance of disconnecting, esp. the suspension of telephone or cable TV service for nonpayment of service charges.

    Am I the only one reading into this a pre-existing connection as condition of disconnecting something? Comcast needs a freakin’ dictionary.”

    This is ironic in that you’re criticizing them for not understanding basic definitions, but you yourself can’t be bothered to even read who the offending company is.

    It also reinforces the longstanding axiom that commenters on Consumerist will just knee-jerk complain about Comcast, even in cases where they’re not even involved.

    Person A: “Sears sent me the wrong dishwasher!”
    Person B: “That’s what you get for dealing with them, Comcast sucks!”
    Person A: “huh?”

  15. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @Bunklung:
    I would hope a phone company has a full crew on saturdays and sundays.

  16. @scoosdad: @AaronZ: Whoops. My bad. Sorry.

  17. Bunklung says:

    @AaronZ:

    This is ironic in that you’re criticizing them for not understanding basic definitions, but you yourself can’t be bothered to even read who the offending company is.

    It also reinforces the longstanding axiom that commenters on Consumerist will just knee-jerk complain about Comcast, even in cases where they’re not even involved.

    If you are making a list, I’d like to add these:
    1. The devil’s in the details
    2. There’s two sides to each story

    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes you have to take things with a grain of salt.

  18. ionerox says:

    Qwest of Minnesota did this to me a few years ago… except I never signed up for DSL (I did call to cancel the dial-up). They did mail me a DSL modem, that I refused delivery of, and turned off the dial-up (initially).

    Then two months later- they tried to bill for the modem, a fee for not allowing delivery, a fee for rescheduling an install, an install fee, and monthly service fees for the DSL. Plus, they billed for the dial-up, that they decided to turn back on because the DSL hadn’t been installed.

    In the end, it saved me money as now I no longer pay for both a landline and a cell phone :)

  19. Mr_Burmie says:

    @Bunklung: Verizon kept giving me a 7am to 7pm window. The time that they did actually show up was 10am.

    Few people at Verizon know what they are doing. I’ve had times when I have called, where I spent most of my time being transfered from department to department, because no one had any idea of how to help me.

  20. howie_in_az says:

    Tell Verizon that their bill of non-service constitutes mail fraud.

  21. milk says:

    My installation experience was useless on the escalation level but helpful with just general support.

    I was told by three different people from AT&T that they didn’t do weekend installations, with varying stories. Finally I called the plain ol’ support number around 8 p.m. and talked to Joe. I said, “Look, Joe, I’m going to level with you. I’ve talked to three people who have told me three different things. I’m pissed off, but not at you. I got off work making up some lame excuse with my jerk-off boss-you have one of those, don’t you Joe? [insert chortle from Joe]-and the ass clown scheduled to show up this afternoon didn’t show up. I need a Saturday installation, and the escalation people are giving me a freakin’ runaround.”
    “Dear, do you want it morning or afternoon on Saturday?”

    Every now and then I get lucky and reach a human.

  22. glorpy says:

    @ionerox: At least they sent you the modem. When I transferred my phone number from landline to cell, my local telco (Frontier Telephone/Citizens Communications) signed me up for their DSL without informing me or my asking. Now on my final bill they’re charging me $196 for services never rendered or requested, state and federal taxes and surcharges, late fees on the “past due” balance, and the unreturned modem kit that I neither ordered nor received.

    Accounting is “looking into” my case and a supervisor is supposed to call me back on Wednesday.

    This is the same telephone company that mailed my phone bill after the due date for over a year and would proceed to turn off my phone on a Friday evening for late payment. Of course, their payment and support offices don’t work weekends.

  23. Buran says:

    @sourc3: I think a stupid ISP is the problem.

    I have a TiVo series 3 and Charter refused to let me self-install the CableCards. At least the techs I got knew what they were doing even though I was one of the early adopters of the CC TiVos.

  24. pal003 says:

    Oh this is just like my “Shortfall Charge” on my phone bill because I didn’t make any long distance calls last month. So I didn’t use the service but I still had to pay a “fee.” Brilliant!

    Where is that ‘Verizon Must Die’ website?

  25. geoelectric says:

    Comcast in San Jose, CA refused to let me self-install Cablecards too, even after I attempted to raise a fuss in the Comcast Store. They just said there’s absolutely no way.

    To their credit, the tech did have to do some back and forth with the central office to get the Cablecards working in my Series 3, so it may not have been a completely BS policy on their part.

  26. Clsmooth says:

    There is information that comcast needs from those cable cards that you wouldn’t be able to give. At least most people wouldn’t.

    + There a pain in the ass

  27. Anonymous says:

    @ Bunklung

    The professional installs are done by the local maintenance office. Their hours of dispatch are 8-5 Monday-Friday. Some areas will allow overtime so that may stretch to 7pm. Saturdays are uses as overflow days for if they miss a work order during the week. But they normally work on line issues, not dispatches.

  28. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    MEMORANDUM

    To: Verizon Communications, Inc.
    From: A. Lawyer
    Subj: Suing For Fraud (re: Fraudulent $79 Charge For Disconnecting A Non-Existing DSL Service)
    Date: Yesterday

    “Can You Hear Me Now?”

    Signed,

    See You In Court!

  29. jiminator says:

    the disconnect fee is actually to ‘disconnect’ the line at the central office, it has nothing to do with the home. it is probably similar to an etf. what will happen (at least with other ilecs) is that the telco will charge the isp a connection fee. although the company is the same, the departments and accounting are not. usually you get a 30 day grace period, sounds like he is past that.

  30. katekate says:

    AT&T did exactly the same thing to me. I called to have a phone line activated, but they didn’t tell me that the place I was living didn’t actually HAVE a phone line (shitty, shitty renovations). So when I realized this and decided to get internet another way, they tried to charge me an activation fee AND a termination fee for a service that was never turned on. I never gave them a dime.

  31. Consumer007 says:

    This is a good example of an incomplete story – did he escalate? He should have, obviously. Like the other commenter said, this is fraud and that obviously is not policy…