Verizon Keeps Making Up Contract law To Prevent Customers From Cancelling Without Penalty

Michael tried to cancel Verizon without early termination fee because they raised the basic text messaging rate from .10-.15 dollars. Two customer service reps approved the disconnect without fee, but then it got rejected by the disconnect department. Their reason was that 1) 60 days had passed since the notice of the change was sent out and 2) Since Michael hadn’t used “enough” of the text messages, the change wasn’t materially adverse.

Listen to the voicemail Shamaya left him

Let’s recap: If one party changes the contract in a materially adverse way, such as increasing a price, the contract is void. We just had pizza and wine with a lawyer last night and he confirmed this was the case. It doesn’t matter if it’s 60 days or 600 years, the contract is completely over.

Also, the degree of adverse change doesn’t matter a wit either. Michael could be paying one extra cent a month, and it would still be materially adverse.

Michael sent the following complaint letter…

(Photo: Meghann Marco)


to: robert.barish@verizon.com, suleiman.hessami@verizonbusiness.com, joseph.j.russo@verizon.com, robert.e.ingalls.jr@verizon.com, doreen.a.toben@verizon.com
cc tips@consumerist.com
date May 6, 2007 3:54 PM
subject Need Immediate Assistance

To Whom it May Concern:

I cancelled my Verizon account on Friday, April 13th, 2007. I did this in response to a fee increase levied by Verizon in regards to text messages increasing from .10 to .15 per message. This directly and adversely affected me as I would send 10-20 text messages per month and the total would be $1.00 to $2.00. With the increase I would be “forced” to pay for a text messaging plan that I would not use completely.

I called your customer service and spoke with Diane who was in your Escalation Queue and after speaking with her for sometime, she agreed to waive the cancellation fee and noted my account accordingly. A few weeks later, I received my final bill in the mail stating that I indeed owed the $175 (see attached PDF). I called customer service once again and spoke with a Shamaya (pardon my spelling) and she did see that the account was approved for the waiving of the fee and promptly re-submitted it.

On Thursday, May 3, 2007, Shamaya left me a voicemail stating that we cannot honor this request, even though it was already approved and verified twice by your CSR’s. I have attached the voicemail to this message as well for you to hear (if you are unable to receive a ZIP file please let me know and I can forward it on in another way.) Shamaya stated that I did not do this properly and it does not adversely affect me in anyway. Unfortunately, nor Shamaya or your company knows what adversely affects myself or my family.

I do not understand how I can go about this in any other way. Everything was approved and then the rug was ripped out from under my feet during this process. I am hoping by contacting you directly you can point me in the right direction to resolve this issue. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Michael K.

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Good job, hold their feet to the fire. If those emails don’t get you anywhere, try calling these 14 Verizon Executives’ Phone Numbers. — BEN POPKEN