Verizon's OneBill Service Is A Nightmare

Reader Laurynn wants to warn Verizon customers to stay away from “OneBill,” because according to several of the 7 different CSRs she talked to today, it’s “not ready yet.”

Laurynn says:

For anyone considering signing up for Verizon OneBill, DON’T DO IT!

I was told by several representatives that “it’s not ready yet,” and that Verizon “put the cart before the horse” (actual statements made by their customer service employees this morning).

How does it work? Well, Verizon gladly offers the option as a means for consolidating your services into one bill… the service is outsourced to a separate company, which pays your invoices for you for each separate Verizon service (wireless, FiOs, internet, etc.), and then collects the money from you on a single bill. Which means that they CANCEL all of your other Verizon service auto-payments or even the ability to pay online.

The issue? I can’t register my account, I can’t log in, and now I can’t pay my bills. I would cancel this, but it would void my bundle discount.

I was told today that a help ticket has been issued, and added to the “IR” (not sure what that means, but I’m assuming it’s a long list of other individuals who were sold this service prematurely). There’s no estimated completion date.

What it basically means is, I can either pay $3.95 a transaction and pay my bills by phone, or bite the bullet and send them via snail mail (who buys stamps anymore?!).

Come on, Verizon. Get with the times.

My main complaint is the number of times I was transferred around… I spoke to 7 different agents this morning, each trigger-happy with the transfer button, just waiting for me to let a hot word slip… God forbid I said the word “wireless” (OH! I can’t do anything wireless, I’ll transfer you!) or “payments” (you’re going to need to speak to someone in payments). By the third time I got wise to the situation and had to say, “I just spoke to them,” and “I’m not sure you understand my problem, please repeat it back to me.” Those seemed to help.

As far as we know, “IR” means “injured reserve.” Your bill is apparently out for the season, and they don’t want it taking up roster spots that could be used by other bills. Tell it to say “hi” to Tom Brady for us.

(Photo: Risiblegirl )

Comments

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  1. blackmage439 says:

    There is absolutely no excuse for this at all. NONE.

    I have Internet and cable through a company called Wide Open West, a WI & IL regional provider with vastly superior service and pricing to Comcast. My bill consists of two lines: one for Internet, one for cable. That’s. It. I understand that Verizon offers their different services through different divisions, but c’mon. That’s no excuse for one of the largest media-providing companies in the US to not have an interconnected billing system.

    It would take an outrageously fantastic price or service for me to ever consider giving Verizon my money.

  2. json125266 says:

    I have moved to the one bill for Verizon for about 4 months now. I live in MA and had no issues what so ever.

    I can log in no problem. One thing that I cannot do though is see what services through Fios I am currently subscribed to. I havent tried to change anything yet.

    The gentleman at the verizon wireless store was very knowledgeable and it took 15 min.

  3. Dyscord says:

    Why in the HELL do they have to outsource to another company? If you check your balance online, I thought it had ALL of your totals on one page. At least it did when I was a customer.

    Nothing wrong with snail mail though. I will NOT do auto bill pay because of all the shit that could potentially go wrong. I don’t care if it’s the latest technology.

  4. NoWin says:

    Please do not poo-poo snail mail. My mumsey likes it when I mail her silly cards all the year long. (Keeps me in good graces).

    Option: cancel Onebill and see if your bank’s billpay has Ver linked direct (my CU does) – both the Verizon/Verizon DSl and the separate Wireless get an email link sent to me, and alert on the billpay website, when they are cycled.

    Discount smishcount. Use what works.

  5. Canino says:

    This is what happens when a company buys or starts different business units to go vertical and they don’t coordinate.

    I had the same problem with Sprint. Two wireless phones and an aircard. One billing system for the phones, one for the aircard. They could never consolidate them, never make it so I could pay one bill a month, never answer questions about the other product, never put them under one account number, never do anything helpful.

  6. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    That Brady line was a low blow, consumerist…

  7. Lucky225 says:

    Nice, I always wondered about these companies that pay your bill for you and then bill you. It’s awesome cus even if you haven’t paid your bill it still shows “current balance: $0″ when you call customer service, which allows you to rack up more free services until you actually feel like paying the bill.

  8. HA, I had an even WORSE time with it. SENT YOU AN EMAIL, MEG!! CHECK IT!! I tried telling Ben Popken about this MONTHS ago…

  9. LatinoGeek says:

    IR could mean:

    Incident Response
    Idiot Redux.
    Is Retarded.
    Incapable of Reading (the fine print)

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Weird, I just called and had them bundle my services together. I don’t mind paying by snail mail if that’s all that is an inconvenience. I did ask about online bill payment, though, and the CSR I spoke to said that right after you get your paper bill you can log in (I’m not sure which account you would log into, maybe verizon.net) and sign up for ebilling.

  11. Mike8813 says:

    Most of these Verizon horror stories don’t surprise me. I dealt with their hapless CSRs (Verizon wireless) for 2 years before finally escaping to the sunny shores of Alltel…

    …Then 1 month later news broke of Verizon buying Alltel. Starting January I’ll be a Verizon customer again. (sob)

  12. billbillbillbill says:

    I also hate autobilling. I like to be in control of when my payment goes out. That is why I am a huge fan of my credit union’s free bill pay. It takes some time to get all your accounts in there but once they are listed, I go a couple times a month, type the amount due all at once, select the dates I want them all paid, and hit submit. Only one website, no stamps, no problem.

  13. chrisjames says:

    the service is outsourced to a separate company, which pays your invoices for you for each separate Verizon service (wireless, FiOs, internet, etc.), and then collects the money from you on a single bill. Which means that they CANCEL all of your other Verizon service auto-payments or even the ability to pay online.

    Wait, what? There’s two weird parts about that. It makes sense that Verizon outsources billing, because we’ve already learned that’s what all these places do anyway, but…

    * Wouldn’t Verizon already have an outsourced company for the each separate service, and wouldn’t it be the same damned company? I know that Verizon divisions are sort of separate entities, but if they’re going to try to tie it all together at some point, there needs to be complete transparency between all groups there. Regardless, that’s still hiring out an entirely superfluous billing company: one that handles a gimmick plan, but not an actual service.

    * Why cancel your ability to pay online? I get canceling auto-payments (duh!), but do you have to use separate online accounts to make payments for each service? It’s sort of a no-brainer that a consolidated bill needs a consolidated system, but I thought it was already all grouped together. If not, that’s more than just poor foresight, that’s a major f’ing smack into a brick wall at 90 mph.

    Yeah, running a company is logistics hell, but this is less than child’s play. It’s that muscle-memory action when you’re writing. Too simple to screw up and they did it anyway.

  14. OKJeff says:

    I have used Verizon one bill for sometime a few years now, and while its is less then perfect, I can pay the bill online.

    Perhaps its different by region but Verizon proper handles my bill and they make payments to Verizon Wireless to cover those charges. When I signed up I did lose my ability to pay my wireless bill online, but I still have the ability to pay the whole thing via verizon’s website. I was able to register at my verizon and login there to view and pay my bill.

    Perhaps the OP should try to see if they can resolve the register and login issue. This may be simpler then trying to figure out how to pay it over the phone

    • SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

      @OKJeff: I use the Verizon OneBill too. I’ve not had any problems, I can also check online, and I notice with each statement an option to pay electronically (I prefer snailmail…).

      And I get a discount on my services by combining into one bill (Cell, FiOS, HDTV and Landline).

      Maybe it’s a regional issue?

  15. Martita says:

    My company gets one bill from Verizon for 5 cell phones, two landlines, and DSL. The bill impossible to read and we get no discount, but it is generated by Verizon and paid to Verizon. Verizon clearly has the technology, so why are they outsourcing to a company that’s unprepared? We do pay our bills by snail mail, though; maybe that’s the difference.

  16. cathro says:

    Verizon “one bill” was a nightmare for me as well. I’d been paying my bill online, manually, for some time when they telemarketed the one bill service to me. So I signed up. It didn’t take, so I called. They had no record of my signing up, so they signed me up again. Next month comes, separate bills, no discount, more telemarketing calls to sign up. Lather, rinse, repeat–including the incessant telemarketing.

    I finally escalated one such call to a manager capable of removing me from their calling list, since they were so incapable of signing me up for the product they were marketing to me. He told me that I could use the service if I’d only delete my online account first so he could create a new one for me. (Huh?) He also said it would take 6 months to remove me from their calling list.

  17. clnclarinet says:

    Hmm. I recently switched to OneBill (existing wireless account, new DSL service) and I’ve been trying to create an account on verizon.com in order to pay online, since my verizonwireless.com account will show me the onebill but not allow me to pay it.

    It says I need my “Customer Code” and shows an example bill with notations of what part of the account number is the “Customer Code”, but my account number doesn’t look like their example.

    I sent one email to their email customer service and never got a human response (got the autoresponder, so I know it’s not in my spam folder).

    I wonder if this is part of the “not ready”-ness.

  18. alanjstr says:

    When they say OneBill is outsourced, I think that just means to a different group within Verizon, not an external company.

    Verizon bills on other company’s behalfs, too.

    The first time I tried OneBill I had issues, too. Basically, since you only want to get billed once, they have to cancel your other automatic bill payments. OneBill acts as a central point. Confusing on the one hand, but on the other it makes sense.

    Since the first time with OneBill didn’t go very well for me (this was more than a year ago) I had cancelled and recently started again. Now it works without a problem.

    Make sure you take notes when you sign up. Certain bills need to have their bill periods changed, which will mean pro-rated charges for a bill cycle. Keep track of your accounts for the first 2 months to ensure that everything appears the way it should. If you have a question, call them.

  19. Ragman says:

    I had thought of trying OneBill, but we don’t have Verizon wireless, just Fios TV/Internet and landline. Didn’t look like you could sign up without having wireless.

    My Fios and landline are direct billed from Verizon, albeit as two separate charges, since they’re setup as two separate accounts. I don’t see why they would need to outsource it.

  20. Verizon doesn’t outsource anything to a seperate company. No idea where you got that idea but it’s 100% false. What happens with anything that appears on your VZ bill that isn’t from VZ proper (whether it’s VZW, DirectTV or ld charges or 1010 dialing charges or collect calls) is Verizon pays that company immediately upon receiving the bill from said company. Verizon puts it on your bill along with its own charges. You fail to pay, you’re stiffing VZ not that other company.

    That having been said, I fail to see where you’d be confused about the fact that your autopay is cancelled. Or that you can’t pay online. of course you can’t. You’ve asked for your bills to be bundled. That would be like saying to any company: please automatically charge your bill to my credit card and then complaining that you can’t pay the company directly.

    Duh.

    Now you can pay your entire VZ bill at verizon.com (which would include both your VZ and VZW charges. Not vzw.com but verizon.com

    you can also pay via phone (yes there’s a surcharge which is mind numbingly obscene in this modern age)

    You can pay in person at a payment agency.

    or pay it via snail mail.

    Whatever you do, do NOT go into a VZW store, that will serious &@R&(!#)* things up.

    What I presume is the issue is that you seemingly can’t get into verizon.com to view your bill and pay your bill. That is a whole seperate issue, and one which should be ready resolved by contacting Verizon’s e-center.

    I will say that your issues of being transfered multiple times is dead on accurate and you’ve every right to bitch.

    I still am unclear as to what your original issue is. “It’s not ready yet?” “the carts been put before the horse?” What exactly is the issue? Is it that you got your VZ bill and there were no VZW charges? Most likely the VZW bill didn’t get to VZ in time to be included with this months bill and it will appear on the next bill. Again, that would be no different then if your Mastercard bill is printed on the 5th and you charge something on the 7th. it won’t appear on that statement, it will appear on the following one. So I’m not entirely sure if there is an actual service issue or if this is merely bad timing or what.

    • dlh0199 says:

      @painfullyblunt:
      “Verizon doesn’t outsource anything to a seperate company. No idea where you got that idea but it’s 100% false.”

      I realize that you’re probably talking about this OneBill issue not being outsourced, but as a company Verizon is a HUGE fan of outsourcing… I know this for a fact as I spent a year in the hell hole of their outsourced DSL tech support call center. They also outsource a lot of their call center work over seas.

      Verizon is a horrible company, go with someone else.

  21. wagnerism says:

    I tried getting Verizon to combine my DSL, land line and mobile phones into one bill, which would have given me a discount.

    I kept calling on it for months. The last excuse I got was that the mobile balance was never at zero, so they couldn’t combine the bills.

    I had the CSR check my mobile balance. It was zero.

    A month later, I had Comcast internet, Vonage home phone and AT&T mobile.

  22. SejalWildfowl says:

    Yuck! I happen to work for Verizon’s One-Bill Dept. at the moment. And
    let me just say.. wow. I can’t help but feel bad every time a cust. asks
    me to enroll them in One-Bill. Its like “you have no clue what you’re
    getting yourself into…..” So, please, for your own sake. Do NOT think
    this will make your bill payments more convenient, because it will not.
    Its just a head-ache waiting to happen.

  23. LilahOffspring says:

    I’ve had FIOS internet and TV for about 1 1/2 years now and I really like the product, which is why it’s such a shame their customer service is totally unacceptable. I made the huge mistake of enrolling in one-bill. It was fine until I decided I wanted to get rid of my land-line phone. They told me that one-bill doesn’t work without a land-line and in order to drop the land-line they had to cancel *all* of my services, then reinstate the internet and TV service, which would return to individual bills. No surprise, I ended up without any service. After innumerable calls just to get a human being on the other end of the phone, followed by numerous transfers i managed to get the TV and broadband back on. But wait – they also cancelled my Verizon Yahoo account. It took 3 days to get that restored, during which time all of my email bounced. OK, horrible customer service experience but at least it was all set – until the bills started showing up. Early termination penalties, unreturned equipment charges for a router and cable boxes I was still using and paying for, etc. It was months before it all got straightened out, during which Verizon sent my account to a collections agency. Eventually all of the erroneous charges were credited back, but I still have a negative entry on my credit report for not paying money I never owed. To this day I can’t pay online. At http://www.verizon.com/billview I get the following message if I try to set up automatic payments or make a one-time payment:

    Our bill payment page is being improved at the moment. To pay your bill now, please sign in to http://www.verizon.net.

    All well and good, except that they’re directing me to yet another website where I cannot pay my bill. At http://www.verizon .net all I get is “This tool is currently unavailable.” for anything related to payment.

    Verizon’s CIO should be embarrassed. For a company that’s #17 on the Fortune 500 to be unable to accept payment from a customer who is trying to give them money is unacceptable. I’d complain to customer service, but it’s not worth the several hours of my time it would take to actually get through to a human being.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I was doing a search for Verizon’s one-bill on Google & noticed your article. You said it right! I’m glad to know that I am not the only one having the same problem. Verizon was great at the beginning when I first signed up. Then I moved and it has been hell for me. Same problems with customer service tossing me from one CR to another with the same excuses. I am so irritated. I just want to pay my bill and have no idea what it is. I’m also concerned with my credit being it is now late. I have spent so much time on the phone on hold, being ‘accidentally’ disconnected, etc. FRUSTRATED!

  25. Anonymous says:

    No one at Verizon has the slightest clue on how ONE-BILL works. Since September of 2008, when I enrolled, I’ve tried to make a payment online… and it’s unavailable. Call them, get transferred at least 5 times, spends at least 30 minutes on the phone, to get transferred to a system that charges me $3.50 to pay my bill, which costs an additional $42 per year. The other option is to drop one bill and lose my discount of $40 a year…. hmmmm sounds like something is up to me. This service is truly a wolf in sheeps clothing. A rip-off and extra profits hidden under the disguise of convenience.

  26. 1115 says:

    This month alone, I have spent 4 hours on the phone with Verizon, just trying to PAY my bill. I keep getting transfered all over the place. Everyone has a different idea of what I have payed or have not payed. My bank account shows that the money has been taken out by them — but, one bill says I have not payed since Dec. I tried to tell them that I am not hiding from them. I have spent so many hours on the phone with them because I WANT to make sure I am paid up — but, I DON’T want to pay what I have already paid. If I get the slightest bit frustrated with the system, they act as if I am a big trouble maker and not willing to pay them — they don’t get it that I am trying to be pro-active about taking care of this!! I HATE one bill!!