Verizon Installs FiOS, Won't Tell You Your Account Number, Keep Charging An Unauthorized Credit Card

Dan ordered Verizon FiOS and used a credit card to pay for the installation. He told the CSR specifically he didn’t want his monthly bill to be debited from this credit card. Guess what Verizon is doing?

Dear Consumerist,
I have a problem with Verizon’s customer service (shocking, I know).

I’ll give a brief run-down of what went on:
–I ordered FiOS internet and TV through Verizon at the beginning of July.
–I paid for installation with a credit card that has a very low limit that I keep for situations such as this. They were instructed to not bill that card for the monthly bill, and just send me paper bills.
–No bills ever appeared.
–Of course, charges for FiOS began appearing on my credit card bill. They eventually pushed it over the aforementioned low credit limit.
–I called Verizon, but since I never actually got a bill, I don’t know my account number. And since I don’t have a phone with Verizon, they aren’t able to “look up” my information.
–I finally got a supervisor on the phone that would give me an “account number”, but not the “account number” that the website requires. You see, a normal account number is 24 digits. Only 10 of them somewhere in the middle is the “account number” for the website. The rest are indicators or flags. The number the supervisor gave me was only 15 digits, not 24, and none of the inner 10 digits would be accepted as a valid account number by the website.
–I called back and got a website service technician who told me “use the last 6, thanks for calling Verizon” and hung up. The web form won’t even let you click the button until there’s 10 digits in the box.

Anyway, throughout all this, I was attempting to get them to refund the unauthorized charges. Attempting to get an account number was only so I could speak to a person who had access to user accounts. I finally got a woman that said that there was nothing Verizon would do if the charge went through. The conversation:
Me: “These charges were unauthorized, placed on my card without my permission, and they caused me to draw overdraft fees.”
Her: “well you obviously gave us your card information.”
Me: “Yes, that’s true, for installation only. You were not authorized to charge monthly bills to this account”
Her: “Well there is nothing we will do once the charges are finished except to possibly switch you to cold invoiced billing.”
(No explanation of “cold invoiced billing” was offered, and none was provided when I specifically asked. I assume it means “paper”)
Me: “Well if you refuse to do anything about these unauthorized charges, I’m forced to call Visa and dispute the charges, as they were unauthorized.”
Her: “Ok.”
Me: “At this time I would also like to remind you that this call has been recorded.”
Her: “Thank you for calling Verizon”

And that’s it.

Now my questions to you are
1) Does her “Ok” constitute permission to reverse the charge?
2) What would Verizon do to me if I did reverse the charge? I don’t want to reverse the charge only to get a bill for $400 in late fees, charge reversal fees, and “because we want to” fees.

We’re going to turn this one over to the commenters. What should Dan do? Should he follow up on his chargeback threat? Should he launch an EECB? Should he just be grateful that Verizon didn’t run power tools into his electrical main?

Let’s hear your best advice for Dan! Make us proud.

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(Photo of A Verizon Face by:martyz)