Verizon Sends Me To Collections Over Fees It Shouldn’t Have Charged Me In The First Place

The fee that just won’t go away.

After several months of being lied to by Verizon customer service about his bill, it looks like a customer finally got the company to realize its error and zero out his account — except for the $17.50 in fees that shouldn’t have been assessed in the first place, and which has the customer fending off a collections agency.

Back in May, Consumerist reader Tae canceled his Verizon FiOS service and returned all of the equipment in Verizon’s prepaid mailing boxes.

When he’d closed the account, everything had been paid in full. But then he received an invoice in late July for a $350 unreturned equipment charge plus a fee of $17.50.

Tae, who still had the delivery confirmation for the equipment shipments, immediately contacted Verizon and was told the $367.50 would be zeroed out.

But when September rolled around, so did another bill for the same amount. Tae made a second call to Verizon and received a second promise that his account would be fixed and that he would receive a call back from the CSR.

The call never came, but right before Halloween, Tae received a letter from a collections agency demanding payment for $17.50 for his Verizon debt.

So what obviously happened is that someone at Verizon finally got around to erasing the $350 equipment charge, but did not remove the $17.50 fee associated with that bogus charge.

Tae has put all of this information, including scanned copies of all relevant documents, into a clearly worded Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb and sent it off to a slew of Verizon suits. Hopefully, at least one will see that a mistake has been made and fix Tae’s account. We’ll also be following up with Verizon.

His story shows why it’s always good to retain the paper trail when closing your cable or phone account. With Tae’s hard copies of the actual documents, neither Verizon nor the collections agency has a leg to stand on. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to be jerks about it, but they’ll lose in the end.