Verizon Sells Me An International Phone That Calls Everyone Except My Friend In Italy

Image courtesy of (MY PINK SOAPBOX)

Jerrod was making a grand gesture: taking a surprise trip to Italy to propose to his girlfriend, who is serving in the Navy and stationed there. He acquired a phone from Verizon Wireless that he could use in that country in emergencies, but that plan had a flaw: he couldn’t test whether the phone worked in Italy. After all, before traveling to Italy, he wasn’t in Italy. Despite assurances from employees and good online reviews, you can’t be sure that a phone works at your destination before you get there. Jerrod’s phone worked just fine…except to call the one phone number that he needed it to.

I recently planned a trip to Italy to propose to my girlfriend who is in the Navy. As part of the planning I got a cell phone from Verizon that was able to make and receive international phone calls in case of an emergency. As fortune would have it, there was an issue with my flight being canceled and my not being notified until it was time to check in (that is not the part of the story that I need help with). I used the phone to send a text message to the person in Italy who was supposed to pick me up (for ease of narrative, “Isabel”) with the updated flight information then boarded my flight.

Upon arriving in Italy (2 hours later than originally expected) Isabel was not there. I tried calling her again, but I received a message that my phone call was not able to be processed. I ended up having to call someone back in the states (“Anna,” for ease of narrative) and have them call Isabel to tell them was is going on. I had to make several phone calls in order to pass along all the relevant information to Isabel, and during this time, acquired a substantial increase to my phone bill. Eventually I did meet up with Isabel and I verified that the phone number that I had was correct (it was). There were 2 other people in the car with us and they were both able to call Isabel. We once again verified the phone number that I had, and it was identical to the phone numbers that they used.

It was at this point in time that Isabel was able to call me, but I was still unable to call her using the number received when she called me. This continued for the remainder of the trip, with me being unable to call her, but her now being able to call me. When I later received my phone bill, I found that 40 dollars worth of phone calls had been made while in Italy. I tried to contact their global support team to get these charges reversed due to the phone not being able to call the one number I needed it to (Isabel), and had to relay the information through a third party (Anna). The point that the reps at Verizon did not seem to understand that is that if I had been able to contact Isabel, then I would have only had to make 1 or 2 other phone calls while I was there. The first rep I spoke with only offered a 20 dollar refund, and the second even less than that (five dollars) so I am turning to you for help on resolving this issue.

Jerrod does have a legitimate case if the $40 he racked up were for the calls that he made to Isabel but that didn’t go through. If he wants a refund for the calls he made to the United States because he couldn’t get through to his contact in Italy, though, he may be out of luck and should have taken the $20 refund offer.

Either way, if Jerrod wants to complain to someone who will actually listen about the phone that wouldn’t make calls to the person he needed to talk to, he should track down his Verizon Wireless region president.

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