Verizon Says Hurricane-Affected Customers Will Get Credit For “Vacation” Fees

How the fee appears on your Verizon bill.

Yesterday, we told you about Roy, a Verizon DSL customer who canceled his service after he discovered the company was charging him a “vacation” fee to suspend service to his hurricane-damaged house. This morning, a rep for the company reached out to Consumerist to offer an explanation.

In a statement to Consumerist, the Verizon rep writes:

Our representative misspoke when she told Roy that the $9.99 monthly charge was required to suspend his High Speed Internet account. While there are charges to discontinue some services under normal circumstances, those customers affected by Hurricane Sandy will not be responsible for those charges.

This same policy is in place for any Verizon equipment in a customer’s home damaged by the storm, like routers and set-top boxes. While the $9.99 charge for the suspend appeared on Roy’s bill, Verizon, as a matter of course, would have issued credit in the next billing cycle to completely wipe out that charge. Other customers who saw a similar charge will be receiving credits in subsequent bills.

The bottom line is that we should have done a better job explaining the process to Roy. We are reinforcing our communications to our employees who provide customer support to ensure that our policies are communicated to customers in a consistent manner. We are glad this was brought to our attention so that we may ensure a positive experience for our customers.

We clarified with the rep that affected Verizon customers will not need to do anything to receive the credits. However, the fees will continue to appear — and will continue to be credited — during the months the customers’ service is suspended. The rep explains that this is the most expeditious way to handle disrupted service for storm-affected customers.