Transcript Of Verizon Still Not Knowing Difference Between Dollars And Cents

Inside is the phone transcript of another user experiencing the same problem as George. Verizon told Peter he was to be charged .0015 cents per kilobyte for data usage. Instead, they charged him .0015 dollars.

Before the phone call, Peter disputed his bill via email, but Verizon would not budge.

Will Peter also get a refund and an apology? Or is that reserved for people who make a blog about their complaint and build up lots of traffic? — BEN POPKEN
(Photo: Jonnny)

Peter’s original audio [Putfile]

00:00 verizon: Um what?
00:01 Peter: It’s an issue that’s been going on for two three weeks here. I called up because my laptop broke, to see how much data usage would be for the internet. They told me .015 cents. I used it once to pay my other bill because you guys charged me for data usage on text messages I noticed that something was wrong with the math. Found out that it was .015 dollars a kilobyte. Called back and spoke to four people all who said that there’s no difference between the two. Spoke to a supervisor for about 45 minutes who could not grasp the difference. Finally just gave up and called back and got myself a plan so I wouldn’t be slammed at 75-80 dollars of data usage. I then pursued the avenue of complaining about it online still noone seems to grasp that the first email got ignored for about two weeks. I got the second one back in kind of a rude attitude towards it saying that I’m not due for a refund but it’s obvious from her language that she doesn’t even understand oversights so we’re gonna try this again and speak to speak to a supervisor to get this straightened out.
01:28 Verizon: OK, Umm, I’m having a hard time hearing you peter, what I’m hearing or I think I heard was that you were charged for Kilobyte usage for text messaging.
01:42 Peter: No no no no, I was quoted that your rates for you know dialing up to the internet
01:48 Verizon: Uh huh
01:49 Peter: … was .015 cents per kilobyte
01:52 Verizon: Yeah 1 and 1/2 cents per kilobyte.
01:55 Peter: yeah I was told .015 cents per kilobyte, so obviously there’s a gross difference between that and time and time again I’ve been talking to people who can’t tell the difference between 1.5 cents per kilobyte and .015 cents a kilobyte. So in essence my bill was a hundred times larger than I thought and had I known that you guys charged that much for your kilobyte usage I never would have used it in the first place.
02:32 Verizon: OK yeah I do see where a supervisor has reviewed it and we’re not… uh.. well basically just says they will not change their position on that–
02:45 Peter: Well he couldn’t even grasp what I was saying, he couldn’t even find out for himself what the true rate was he he spent
02:55 verizon: Mmm hmmm
02:56 Peter: He spent half an hour looking what the rate was and never was able to find it so I told him I was done.
03:06 Verizon: So your point is, is, you were told it was .015 per kilobyte
03:14 Peter: Cents, that’s definitely what it is cents.
03:19 Verizon: OK Yeah I understand what you’re saying I’m just saying that it’s already been escalated to you know management for review and they declined any type of credit regarding this issue.
03:43 Peter: Huh. Well could I speak with a manager please?
03:47 Verizon: Yeah certainly, you’re certainly entitled to that. it will take a few moments. If it goes longer than a couple minutes I’ll keep checking back with you so you know when it…
03:58 Peter: All right, thank you.
04:00 Verizon: But it may be a few minutes.
04:02 Peter: Thank you.
*** HOLD *** — cue verizon phone drone —
04:29 Verizon: Hello Peter?
04:30 Peter: Yeah.
04:31 Verizon: Thanks for holding, I’m still waiting as well. How much uh, what, how much are we talking about as far as kilobyte usage? What was the dollar amount that it came to?
04:40 Peter: Umm uh I think at the time only a week had passed and I had uh used between three and five thousand kilobytes.
04:49 Verizon: What period of time was this?
04:53 Peter: One week.
04:58 Verizon: OK then this billing cycle is the one we’re in now?
05:02 Peter: Yes
05:05 Verizon: OK. Just a moment. So… there’s four-thousand one hundred and seventy one … roughly counting that’s like sixty-two dollars–
05:35 Peter: OK but I went ahead and added on your data-plan now because I’d rather pay that per month than pay whatever that is.
05:43 Verizon: Right.
05:45 Peter: What I’m really pissed off is that the email I got from your customer service not acknowledging that you guys had made a mistake but still suggesting that no mistake was made and then taking that attitude with me that no refund is due to me. And I only got this response after I had reported you guys to the FCC and informed you guys as such and quote unquote technical difficulties had prevented you guys from responding earlier.
06:19 Verizon: OK alright well i just wanted to clarify that because I’m sure the question will be asked. I appreciate you holding I’m sorry it’s taking so long–
06:29 Peter: Yeah.
06:30 Verizon: …just be patient with me
**HOLD** — cue verizon drone —
07:09 Verizon: Peter?
07:10 Peter: Yeah.
07:10 Verizon: Thanks again for holding, I’ve got Jamie a supervisor available and she’s going to assist you now.
07:17 Peter: All right.
07:18 Verizon Jamie: Hello, Peter?
07:19 Peter: Yeah?
07:19 Jamie: Hi how are you doing?
07:21 Peter: OK
07:21 Jamie: Good, Good. How can I help you?
07:23 Peter: I’m having an ongoing issue with data packets or lack thereof on my phone. My laptop broke about three weeks ago and I foresaw myself using the phone for the internet.
07:37 Jamie: Mm hmm.
07:37 Peter: I called first to see what the rate was and I was quoted at .015 cents per kilobyte and so I figured that was reasonable so I went ahead and used my phone
07:48 Jamie: It is .015
07:50 Peter: Yeah cents.
07:54 Peter: I used my phone for about a week and I went online to pay to pay my bill and since I use a data phone when I had received text messages with a picture or anything like that I’m charged data on top of it.
08:05 Peter: It was only a dollar [anomaly] but I looked and it was only a few kilobytes so obviously I was being charged much more and it turns out I was being charged .015 dollars per kilobyte. I called and complained and the first person could not grasp what was going on. Hung up. Called back talked to two more people finally spoke to a third manager, and he could not grasp it he also spent about half an hour trying to find in black and white what the actual rate was and he obviously couldn’t find so I said look I’m sick of talking on the phone I’m gonna write customer service real customer service about two weeks uh 10 days went by and no response. Finally got ticked off, wrote the FCC about it, wrote you guys again telling you that I wrote the FCC, and I I’d like a response. Got one say in uh 24 hours and it was kind of a BS response. She couldn’t even grasp the difference in you know black and white letters the difference between .015 dollars and .015 cents and that actually no credit was due. Actually I’m more irritated than anything it’s not really about the money but I would like that data usage refunded and actually the data usage from here that I have blocked on my phone so I’ll never deal with this ever again.
09:36 Jamie: OK, so you just want to get blocked? I see that you had added that package–
09:42 Peter: Afterwards–
09:43 Jamie: On november 21st–
09:44 Peter: It’s a [undecipherable] it was probably the 30th they retroactively added it because it’s cheaper to do that than pay the sixty dollars for the data usage
09:54 Jamie: Right, right.
09:59 Peter: Probably about six hours on this and it’s frustrating and it’s kind of hard to explain on the phone but not THAT hard.
10:10 Jamie: Well I think it’s kind of confusing about the .015 you know what that is
10:18 Peter: I see where the confusion is–
10:22 Jamie: — you have for uh a little kilobyte but uh what I did was I just put it in what you got. And again this uh sixty-two dollars probably is a [undecipherable] because you have a package that was added on November 21st so I doubt that it’s hard to break down exactly where it all is at. I mean we can absolutely block it if that’s what you’d like to do.
10:53 Peter: Well I would like a refund too because there’s a big difference between being let’s say I was gonna be charged sixty-some dollars than sixty-some cents because that’s what the difference comes out to. I was quoted a rate a hundred times lower than what I was actually being charged.
11:11 Jamie: But if you do the math you know put in the kilobyte usage times .015 without your package or anything we get sixty-two fifty eight.
11:24 Peter: Dollars, yes, but I was quoted cents.
11:30 Jamie: Right– I’m sorry?
11:31 Peter: I was quoted .015 cents and therein lies the problem.
11:35 Jamie: Right, it’s .015 cents that’s what it is. If you put in just 4 thousand 1 hundred and 71.85 kilobytes times 0.015 you’ll come up with the sixty-two fifty-eight.
11:49 Peter: Do they just train you guys not to acknowledge that a mistake was made?
11:53 Jamie: I’m sorry.
11:56 Peter: Do you really not see the difference between .015 cents and .015 dollars
12:03 Jamie: I absolutely see it I absolutely see it but I’m not sure what you’re getting it.
12:12 Peter: I was quoted .015 cents a kilobyte and your actual rate is .015 dollars a kilobyte. Those are two different values.
12:21 Jamie: OK Well it’s .015 —
12:24 Peter: — Dollars!
12:25 Jamie: That is what it is.
12:25 Peter: Dollars!
12:28 Jamie: Which is a penny and a half per kilobyte
12:31 Peter: I understand that but at the time I was quoted at .015 pennies per kilobyte
12:39 Jamie: OK. And again this isn’t going to be exact because you did get a package added on november 21st so that package is going to take whatever is owed from november 21st until today in usage.
12:54 Peter: Yeah
12:55 Jamie: So it’s not going to be sixty-two dollars.
12:58 Peter: Yeah that’s why I got the package. But I don’t feel like I should be forced into doing that, I mean if I’m not … *sigh* I don’t know do you get what I’m…?
13:09 Jamie: I understand, it is a big difference but I apologize that it wasn’t communicated correctly because it is confusing.
13:23 Peter: But that’s your guys responsibility and liability I’m sure there is plenty of people willing to do the job that can understand the difference and the fact that you guys employ at least five/six people that I spoke with that don’t understand the difference is just frightening.
13:43 Jamie: OK um well again what do you want me to do for you tonight?
13:50 Peter: I would like the data package, the cost of it refunded, and as of right now I would like all data usage blocked on my phone.
13:59 Jamie: So you want it refunded? But what about the usage you’ve had up until this point?
14:04 Peter: I think it should be comped I think that’s more than reasonable.
14:07 Jamie: I’m sorry?
14:08 Peter: I think it should be comped I think that’s more than reasonable.
14:13 Jamie: But Verizon Wireless has to pay for that as well.
14:16 Peter: They should have to pay for it!
14:20 Jamie: What I would suggest, I mean, if you want to cancel this or get this blocked we can go ahead and get that done, maybe take off the package, maybe take a look at the bill when it processes on the 4th, and take a look at what the actual charges were.
14:35 Peter: So-so–
14:39 Jamie: besides taking off the package, giving you 24.99 and comping you 62.58 I mean that doesn’t seem like a very good business decision on my end.
14:48 Peter: Could you at least document that we spoke today?
14:51 Jamie: I’m sorry?
14:52 Peter: Could you at least document that we spoke today and I was instructed to do so?
14:58 Jamie: Sure absolutely. Well do you want me to go ahead and take everything off and block it?
15:02 Peter: No I guess we’ll leave it how it is– no go ahead and block the data usage.
15:08 Jamie: Go ahead and block the data usage?
15:09 Peter: Yes.
15:11 Jamie: OK. And then would you like me to follow up with you on the bill talk? To see where you’re at?
15:15 Peter: Yes.
15:18 Jamie: OK. On the cell phone? Call you on the cell phone?
15:20 Peter: Yes, please.
15:22 Jamie: OK. All right. It’s gonna be probably around the 28th day/24th is that gonna be OK?
15:27 Peter: Yes
15:28 Jamie: [undecipherable] During Christmas–
15:28 Peter: Yes–
15:29 Jamie: –or do you want to wait until after that?
15:31 Peter: No that’s fine.
15:32 Jamie: OK Because I’ll be here Christmas day
15:35 Jamie: because it takes a few days for the bill to prep [anomaly] and we’ll see where we’re at.
15:38 Peter: OK. Thank you.
15:39 Jamie: OK Sir is there anything else I can thank you with?
15:40 Peter: No, thank you.
15:41 Jamie: All right you have a good night.
15:43 Peter: You too, bye bye.
15:44 Jamie: bye bye


Edit Your Comment

  1. jAQUAN says:

    Peter is about as good at explaining himself as Verizon is at doing math. He had plenty of opportunities to bring it home and just started repeating himself. Idiot.

    • justinsavs says:

      okay, so yeah the math was right. it is 0.015 cents per kilobyte. thats 1.5 cents per kilo. im a math wiz and 0.015 dollars is the same as cents. but anyways, the math adds up, and it does come up to about 60 dollars. .015 cents times about 4000 will get you around that much. 1024 kilobytes is a megabyte, and it costs 15.36 per megabyte if it goes by kilobytes, verizon hasnt learned how to count their usage yet because a 1024 kilobytes is a megabyte and per megabyte on a smartphone costs 15.36 a megabyte, but on a regular phone its $2 a megabyte. big difference, so im on verizon wirelesses side with this, but the bad thing is they dont know how to count their usage. big difference between 15.36 a meg and 2 a meg

  2. steve says:

    Please- for the sake of mine and everyone elses eyes, reformat the post to use link breaks.

  3. jwissick says:

    Yes.,.. Please reformat.. It’s unreadable.

  4. jwissick says:

    Unreal. And data over a cell phone is such a rip off too. And they force you to use their service cause they block you from using a dial up account on your cell too.

    There needs to be an honesty in cell billing bill passed.

  5. bndocksnt says:

    The fact that Jamie did not comp this just amazes me. She has the ability, and so for her to call satisfying a customer in a reasonable manner a bad business decision is just unbelievable. I think if I were a VZW PR guy reading this right now I’d be shaking my head at the lack of forward thinking on Jamie’s part.

  6. homerjay says:

    Hey, at least we’ve found something more interesting to talk about than Nazi tee shirts.

  7. jedibelle says:

    Ok, let’s try this. He was being charged at a rate of .002 dollars for 35 thousand something kilobytes. He was quoted a rate of .00002 dollars (in other words, .002 cents) If either one of them could figure that out, it would have saved 21:30 from the damn phone call.

  8. Mathagenius says:

    I am sure that he could have explained the concept in a much clearer way, but even some 6th graders can grasp this concept, whilst a middle-aged woman cannot.

  9. cheapskate says:

    As someone who tutors adults in middle-school level math, you’d think I would have encountered this problem before and figured out how to solve it. Not so. I’m having trouble understanding how this failure to commmunicate could persist. (I try to head off these problems before they start, anyway.) The main difference between this and tutoring is that when I say that a student has made a calculation error, he or she believes me. The miscommunication can be remedied with a math lesson and careful writing on a piece of paper.

    But the real problem here is that the advertisment -assumes- you know how much sending data through a cellular network ought to cost, at least within two orders of magnitude. If it can be shown that you believed this rate was 100 times cheaper than competitors’, or could reasonably be expected to notice this, US law is not going to be on your side. “Reasonable interpretation” beats “correctly written” any day.

  10. cheapskate says:


    I have two suggestions regarding the math lesson. First- go through the calculations step by step. Refuse to use dollars anywhere in the calculation. (Note that Jamie in the recording correctly understood the rate of $.015/KB to mean that a kilobyte costs one and a half pennies. He just refused to write the rate in the mathematically correct way. Math had very little to do with -his- problem.)

    First establish the rate:
    -Please get out a clean sheet of paper.
    -Got it? Good.
    -A cent is the same thing as a penny, right?
    -So point zero one five is the same as point zero one five pennies, right?
    -Okay. Please write this down at the top of the paper, just exactly like I’m saying it: point zero one five P-E-N-N-I-E-S.
    -There’s no dollar sign anywhere on the paper, right?

    Next establish the bill:
    -Just as an example, how many pennies are in, say, five dollars?
    -Right. Five dollars would be five hundred pennies.
    -So how many pennies are in sixty two dollars and fifty eight cents?
    -Right. Six thousand, two hundred, fifty eight pennies.
    -Please write this down, just like I’m saying it: six-comma-two-five-eight P-E-N-N-I-E-S
    -There’s still no dollar sign anywhere on the paper, right?

    Combine the two:
    -Just as an example: If I were going to figure out how many hours it takes to drive somewhere, I’d do miles divided by miles per hour. Like five hundred miles at fifty miles per hour would be ten hours, right?
    -We’re going to keep talking about pennies, okay?
    -So you charged me Six thousand, two hundred, fifty eight of those, right?
    -And the rate was fifteen thousandths of a penny for each kilobyte, right?
    -So to figure out how many kilobytes I bought, we can do pennies divided by pennies per kilobyte, right?
    -When I do Six thousand, two hundred, fifty eight divided by point zero one five, the calculator says I bought four hundred seventeen thousand, two hundred kilobytes. Is that what you got?
    (Rep points out you forgot to move the decimal point because you’re talking about pennies)
    -No, you do that when you’re converting writing about dollars. You didn’t write any dollar signs on this piece of paper. We already got that calculation out of the way at the beginning. What we’re talking about now is the number of -kilobytes-. Either you billed me for four hundred seventeen thousand, two hundred kilobytes, or the rate we just used, point zero one five, was wrong.

  11. cheapskate says:


    A simpler explanation simply requires that the representative trust Google to do dimensional analysis:

    .015 cents per kilobyte times 4172 kilobytes

    Use so the rep can’t mess this up.

    Now, the rep is likely to do two things. First, the rep will latch onto the disclaimer about accuracy. Point out that this is referring to foreign currency calculations and suggest trying Calchemy also.

    The rep is also likely to type $.015 cents; fortunately, this will result in a squared unit that is obviously wrong.