Verizon Customer Gets Police Involved After Phone Disappears Into FedEx Vortex

So Verizon sends you a new phone worth hundreds of dollars. FedEx claims it was delivered and that you signed for it, though that’s impossible because you were miles away from home when the delivery allegedly occurred. Neither company will do anything about the issue and both blame you. What’s a decent human being to do?

One Verizon customer here in Philadelphia tells the Inquirer that after three weeks of playing the blame game with Big V and FedEx over her new phone that disappeared, she pulled out a nuclear customer service trident — issuing a chargeback with American Express, sending off an executive e-mail carpet bomb to Verizon, and filing a police report.

She provided Verizon with proof of her actual signature to compare against whatever was left on the FedEx slip, but that didn’t matter because FedEx allows for “indirect signatures” for residential deliveries, whereby just about anyone with a trusting face can sign for your package and it’s not like some overworked, harried delivery driver is going to check IDs of everyone he or she hands off a package to.

The American Express chargeback could have backfired, as Verizon would have placed the disputed charge on the customer’s monthly bill, meaning she’d need to go to small claims court or arbitration to get it sorted out.

While the customer believes it was her e-mail to a Verizon executive that ultimately got someone to listen to her case, filing a police report in such a case is not a bad idea. After all, as we’ve shown multiple times in just the past few weeks, this is the season for package-pilferers to steal anything left on your doorstep.

At the very least, filing a police report could be used in court to demonstrate that contend you never took possession of the phone and that you believe your package was stolen. More importantly, it bolsters your claim that you’re not just trying to score a free phone. It may also help authorities recognize a pattern of similar crimes in your area; that won’t get your money back, but it’s still a good thing.

Back to the Verizon customer’s story, she eventually heard from someone in executive-level customer service at Verizon who decided to refund her the money for the missing device.

In general, you should always try to have expensive items delivered at a time when someone is around to sign for it, or to a place like your office or to a depot. Sure, it’s not as convenient as having it on your doorstep when you arrive home, but it’s better than spending weeks trying to convince two mega-companies that you’re not a scammer.

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