It’s always frustrating when you receive a bill that, without even having to break down the numbers, you know right away is too high. It’s even more frustrating when you know the bill is too high because you are not a customer of the company that sent you the bill.
Just ask the folks at TalkingPointsMemo.com, who were a bit flummoxed by the $3,019.95 phone bill they recently received from Verizon.
“Now, TPM’s phone bill is bigger than your home phone bill because we two offices and about two dozen employees,” writes TPM’s Josh Marshall. “But it’s not three thousand dollars a month. But there’s a bigger problem. We’re not a Verizon customer.”
And, just like so many other non-customers who have tried to sort out why they are being billed for things they didn’t buy, the TPM staff apparently got caught in the revolving door at Verizon customer service — being asked to confirm their account with a number they don’t have access to because they do not actually have an account.
Eventually, they got through to someone who might possibly be able to help them. This person gave them the name of the person who had supposedly set up the account. No one by that name has ever worked at the site.
Oh — and Verizon has apparently been trying to bill TPM for phone service since 2012, but is only now getting to the “pay up or lose your service” point.
The Verion rep also theorized that it may be a government-mandated emergency phone line, but no one really knows.
Marshall says that TPM did have Verizon phone service until 2012, at which point the site switched to a VoIP provider.
“Presumably they somehow forgot that this happened and have now come back after two years as thought the whole thing never happened,” he writes.
The latest development, says Marshall, is that Verizon now claims that two of TPM’s old landlines “regenerated” after the site switched providers.
That’s not very comforting.
We’ve reached out to Verizon HQ to see if anyone there can explain what is going on. Will update if we hear back.