Verizon FiOS Won't Stop Billing Me For Phantom Cable Boxes

Heath exchanged his two Verizon FiOS set-top boxes for two shiny new ones, but Verizon was unable to let go. They just couldn’t get the idea through their billing system that Heath has two boxes now, not four. So they kept billing Heath for all four, until he gave up and got rid of FiOS entirely. Now they’re trying to get him to pay $900 for the boxes that he already returned in January, even though he’s provided them with the equipment return paperwork.

I had Verizon FiOS for years prior to my main problem at hand happening. There had always been random billing problems throughout the length of my service but none as stubborn as this.

I returned my 2 old boxes for 2 new boxes In January and starting in January I started being double billed for my HD set top box and standard set top box. At first I thought “Oh, big surprise there. They must have messed something up and are not showing my old equipment as returned.” So I give them a call and they tell me that they see 4 active set top boxes in my house. I told them that this is not possible, I only have 2, I’ve only ever had 2 at a time, I only have 2 tv’s for them to even be hooked up on. I explained that I had returned old boxes for new boxes and there may be a mix up there. I gave them the receipt ID of my equipment return paper (which I ALWAYS ALWAYS keep, I learned that when Comcast sent me to collections over a simple remote control that I returned) and they said It will be fixed and my next statement will reflect the change.

Not so much. Bill after Bill, phone call after phone call with the same story the issue persisted on this imaginary 2 extra active set top boxes in my home. The bill started to rise every month because I was only paying them what I owe, not the extra charges from the 2 extra boxes a month.

Come June I had it, a final call. (THIS IS ONLY HALF THE STORY! I could really get into how HORRIBLE it is calling them and being transferred a zillion times to other departments who transfer you back to the department who transferred you in the first place but that’s more of a rant than a story.)

After a round of transfers, I got a hold of someone who seemed rather competent and said she fixed the issue and she was so sorry for the confusion and it lasting this long and that she put in a repair ticket to fix the issue and credited me the amount of the double charges. This even reflected in their billing department, temporarily!

That fix never materialized. Last month I received a letter from the verizon equipment return specialists saying that I had un-returned equipment and to call them. Not surprised again, it’s Verizon, I called and explained the story in all its glory and the lady said she fixed it and thanked me for my time.

Now, I’m being billed $900 for an un-returned HD set top box and standard set top box. My bill is still much higher than it should be from the double charging and now the equipment boxes and the bill is saying it’s due now before it gets sent to a collection agency.

I cancelled my Verizon service in the beginning of July and switched to Comcast (sigh). I returned my current 2 set top boxes to the local verizon FiOS store and asked them if they saw any other equipment on my account. They said that there wasn’t any other equipment on the account besides what I was returning. I don’t get it Consumerist. I just want to pay what I owe!

What can I possibly do? I’ve called many, many times each time them promising that its fixed but it doesn’t get fixed.

Other FiOS customers have had good results from e-mailing CEO Ivan Seidenberg. Upper management will probably be horrified to learn that a customer actually canceled service due to bills for phantom set-top boxes.