Verizon Lies To Customer To Get Him Off The Phone, Charges ETF

Verizon, Verizon, Verizon. Reader Hang recently had a run in with a lying Verizon CSR and wrote in to tell us about it:

I recently tried to cancel my Verizon Wireless service because of the text messaging increase. Spoke to 6 CSRs who all gave me really bad excuses but I pressed my case and finally found a CSR who I thought was going to do the right thing and let me go. I spoke to a CSR name Donnesha (#2569) who after speaking to her supervisor briefly said she will cancel my contract with an ETF but as soon as I receive written notice in my bills for the text messaging charge increase I can call back and have a CSR waive my ETF. I then asked her again “So you will make a written note on my account so that as soon as I receive my next bill with a notice of the text messaging charge increase, I can call Verizon Wireless, speak with a CSR and based on the note you just made, I will get my $175 refund with no problems whatsoever?” She replies with “yes, absolutely”. I thanked her and promptly hung up. The next day, I called Verizon again and spoke with a CSR name Troy (#9840) to check on the little note Donnesha made, lo and behold, the note does not exist! Troy then proceeds to email Donnesha to inquire about where the note went. Donnesha emails back within 5 minutes to say that I had agreed to eat the ETF and that no refund will be given.

Hang contacted the BBB and escalated the issue to a supervisor, but Verizon is standing firm. They believe Donnesha. Do you?

Hang writes:

Hi guys, my name is Hang and I’ve been following you guys since the cell phone text messaging fiasco. Your site has become a wealth of information that just about everyone can use and I really appreciate all the work that went into it. I recently had a nasty run in with Verizon Wireless involving a lying CSR and her supervisor. Hopefully you can post my story just as a warning to everybody else about the evils of Verizon Wireless and also so I can get some advice on my next course of action. Thanks! Story below.

—————————

I recently tried to cancel my Verizon Wireless service because of the text messaging increase. Spoke to 6 CSRs who all gave me really bad excuses but I pressed my case and finally found a CSR who I thought was going to do the right thing and let me go. I spoke to a CSR name Donnesha (#2569) who after speaking to her supervisor briefly said she will cancel my contract with an ETF but as soon as I receive written notice in my bills for the text messaging charge increase I can call back and have a CSR waive my ETF. I then asked her again “So you will make a written note on my account so that as soon as I receive my next bill with a notice of the text messaging charge increase, I can call Verizon Wireless, speak with a CSR and based on the note you just made, I will get my $175 refund with no problems whatsoever?” She replies with “yes, absolutely”. I thanked her and promptly hung up. The next day, I called Verizon again and spoke with a CSR name Troy (#9840) to check on the little note Donnesha made, lo and behold, the note does not exist! Troy then proceeds to email Donnesha to inquire about where the note went. Donnesha emails back within 5 minutes to say that I had agreed to eat the ETF and that no refund will be given. I couldn’t believe it, she outright lied to me to get rid of me! I guess her supervisor told her to do it or something just to get rid of me since I was calling so much. Troy said he wasn’t able to transfer me to Donnesha and that he emailed her to tell her to call me back, (she obviously never did and I didn’t bother to pursue this issue with a known liar any further) I asked what options do I have right now since it’s my word against Donnesha’s, he said none, unless you contact the Verizon legal department, and they only accept snail mail. I immediately filed a complaint via the BBB, FTC and NY Trade Commissions instead.

Thanks to the BBB complaint, an executive rep from Verizon name Dekaya Seals contacted me via Email. I decided to communicate with her via Email just for the written record and also since she was impossible to reach during business hours. She completely ignored the fact that Donnesha lied to me and said the ETF was valid because another CSR had tried to issue me a $.05 difference for each text message I sent, which I said no to. I rejected that offer because I didn’t want to take a risk of that CSR not honoring the offer and also because the contract specifically states I have the right to can cancel my service with no ETF. I do not lose that right just because some CSR offered me a random reimbursement, right?

I kept repeating my point to Ms. Dekeya Seals that Donnesha lied to me and also that Verizon has erroneously billed me for February when my service ended in January. She finally addressed that issue after 3 emails and responded with “sorry for the miscommunication and to promote a positive experience, I will prorate your ETF for the months of the contract that you did complete, I will offer you a credit of $70” . What the hell? That $70 doesn’t even cover the error of the February bill. Plus Verizon should be taking disciplinary actions against Donnesha and her supervisor for outright lying to a paying customer. I declined the $70 credit so I can keep on pursuing my complaint.

I will be filing small claims against them for a few hundred more than they owe me for all the time I had to waste on them. Any advice would be appreciated, but mostly I just want everyone to be wary of Verizon CSRs, even if the CSR seems like a nice person. Always record your phone conversations, (I regrettably did not) you never know if you have to go to small claims court to get your money back. And also do it promptly, we all know how Verizon likes to screw up your credit without even warning you first, right?

Hang also sent in some emails with a Verizon supervisor. The supervisor avoids addressing Hang’s claims that the CSR was lying and instead offers a pro-rated ETF. She also asserts that since they offered to waive the txt messaging fee change for the rest of his contract, Hang did not have the right to cancel with no ETF. We’re not to sure about that.

Dear Ms. Seals,

Apologies that I was not able to check my email early enough to call you at the appropriate times, email would be fine I suppose. You have most likely already read my detailed complaint along with my desired resolution. I am positive that I was blatantly lied to by a Verizon representative and would like to see appropriate disciplinary actions taken as well as a full refund for the money wrongfully billed to my account. Please do let me know if you have any questions that would help in resolving this dispute. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Hang

Good Afternoon,

On 3/1/07 the rate for sending and receiving TXT messages for customers who do not subscribe to a messaging package will increase from $0.10 to $0.15 per message.

After reviewing your account I have discovered on 1/13/2007 a Verizon Wireless representative offered to issue a credit for the .05 difference on each text message you send or receive until the end of your contract. This credit offer would have maintained your normal billing until your contract end date, 11/30/2007. You declined this offer and disconnected services on 1/14/2007 causing you to receive an early termination fee of $175.00.

The charges on your wireless account are valid.

Dear Ms. Seals,

I don’t think the issue of my complaint is even about the text messaging increase any longer and I feel that you completely ignored the entire reason for why I filed a complaint. I have already made my point about the text messaging increase to Donnesha. The main issue is that Donnesha and a supervisor agreed with me on my complaint and agreed to make a written note on my account for a future representative to issue me a full refund in the future. However, she obviously lied by not making such a note and that is the sole reason for my complaint to the BBB, FTC and NY Trades Commission. My phone conversation with Donnesha was recorded and it is clear in the recording that I would not have an issue with a full refund of the early termination fee as soon as I receive written notice via billing statements. Furthermore, the Verizon wireless rep Troy told me that he emailed Donnesha to call me the next day at my home phone and she obviously hasn’t.

As for the other representative issuing me a .05 difference on future text messaging, I didn’t take it because she was offering me something that was not official company policy, I would have no guarantee whatsoever that she would honor such an arrangement. She could easily have done what Donnesha did here. So with all due respect, please drop the argument with the text messaging plan increases, that is done and over with and I don’t appreciate that you completely ignored the fact that a representative of your company lied to a paying customer. I know my rights in regards to the contract that Verizon Wireless and I entered. Verizon clearly made a negative material change to my contract and service, thus I can opt out even if I was given some random offer. The issue here is that a representative cheated me and appropriate actions should be taken to make sure that this does not happen again in the future. If Donnesha had disagreed with me and said that the early termination fee would stand, I would not have canceled and I would not have any need to file a complaint.

I have already made my argument very detailed and clear and I presented a solution that I feel is fair to both parties. Please let me know if I will receive a refund and whether or not disciplinary actions will be taken. I’ll do absolutely whatever it takes to make sure that I am rightfully compensated and that nobody else will have to go what I had to go through, even if it involves submitting more complaints or taking it to small claims court.

Sincerely,
Hang

Good Morning,

I apologize for the miscommunication you received regarding your early termination fee. Unfortunately it is a valid charge. To promote a positive experience I will pro rate your early termination fee for the 14 months you did complete. I have issued a credit of $70.00 to your wireless account.

Your balance as of today’s date 02/02/2007 is $209.40.

Thank You

Dekeya Seals
Executive Relations

This is ridiculous. —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: The Consumerist)