Verizon Changes DSL Without Your Permission, Demands Multiple Fees To Fix It

Reader Kevin wanted to sign up for Verizon’s One Bill service, so he called to see if he qualified. The CSR told him that he did, so he signed up for it. Turns out, the CSR secretly signed him up for a more expensive DSL plan because his current one did not qualify. Now Verizon wants an early termination fee for the new, faster DSL and an activation fee to put Kevin back on the plan he used to have. Yuck.

When the city-wide Wi-Fi was shut down in Philadelphia (thanks again, Earthlink), I reluctantly switched to Verizon DSL. I had already had a bad experience with them before, which resulted in a cancelled landline. Amazingly, my DSL experience was good: the installation was simple, the service consistent, and the price reasonable.

However, this past week, I contacted Verizon about joining the One-Bill program. Initially, I did not ask to sign up, I merely asked if I was eligible, having only DSL and Verizon Wireless service. I was told yes, and, based on that answer, enrolled. That evening, I received an e-mail confirmation informing me there had been a change to my DSL service. I was now signed up for a faster, more expensive package. Note, at no point in my conversation was I informed that my DSL service was changed, nor did I ever give permission to change it.

Yesterday morning, I spent nearly two hears on the phone speaking to at least 8 eight different representatives of Verizon. Apparently, because my slower DSL service was not eligible for One-Bill, I was upgraded to a more expensive package without my knowledge. When I requested to be removed from One-Bill and to have my slower, less-expensive service restored, I was told that it may not be available any longer. When I informed the representative that this violated my one-year agreement, I was disconnected.

On the next call, I was informed that I could have my slower service back. However, I would have to pay the cancellation fee on the faster service and the activation fee on the slower service in order to do so. At this point, I asked to speak to a supervisor. The “floor supervisor” informed me that what her employee told me was incorrect (really!?), and that I could have my service restored. However, she needed to complete a request for the “Verizon Online” department. I was then placed on hold. While I was on hold, I contacted the CEO of the DSL division at Verizon, Dennis F. Strigl (after reading a post on Consumerist). The floor supervisor did speak with me again, but she informed me that the other department was not answering. She asked for a call-back number and pledged to call me back. She did call me back several hours later, but with no new information, merely stating that she was still waiting to speak with the DSL division. I did not hear from her the rest of the day, nor have I heard from her this morning.

An executive from Verizon, did contact me and asked me for more information regarding my situation. I have yet to hear of any resolution to my issue. Who knew a company could alter a contract and then charge you to reinstate it?

We think launching an EECB was a good idea in this case. A little TLC from someone who has some authority should take care of this situation for you, and they appear to be on the case, even if it’s taking them awhile to sort it out.

For more information about launching your own EECB, click here.