On September 30th 2008 I contacted Verizon Wireless (VW) to see why they had cut off my daughters cell phone. I was surprised when the lady said, Non-Payment since the bill was on auto pay with SureWest Communications (SWC), which Verizon wireless had just purchased. I replied; no big deal I will pay with my visa right now and she said "Fine it is $526.70". I thought I heard wrong until she repeated the amount. The calling plan under contract for the line was at $42 per month and included Unlimited Local Talk and Unlimited Text Messages; $526 should cover a year! There were locks on other features not included so the bill would be consistent. I was told that locks were not carried to Verizon. Auto pay could not be carried over since my signature only allowed SureWest to take money from my account. I requested a copy of the bill and was not going to pay without seeing the actual detail charges. [continued below]....
As I waited for a bill and received none, I called back and went through the same old conversation. Around June of 2009, I was referred to a different number and this time I agreed to pay $275 and they agreed that they would delete the record from my credit file. I had given up on getting a copy of the bill. I gathered my daughter had made a lot of out of the area calls. In March of 2012 when I was refused credit I checked my credit report and there were two $414 charge offs on credit file. The first from Verizon the parent of Verizon wireless that was also the bill collector in this case and another $414 charge off from Verizon wireless. I was steaming; disputes managed to just get the Verizon off my credit file.
After complaining to Federal Trade commission and Federal Communications Commission an executive from the Verizon Wireless headquarters called me and said You complained to the commission; what seems to be the problem? I said I had a deal with someone at Verizon. The executive said that I had talked to a bill collector and had been duped to believe what he had said. I asked for a copy of my bill. He accessed the archives system and pulled my bills up and said; what is your address and I told him. He asked whose address is the Folsom address and I replied, I sold that house almost 7 years ago. , That explains why you have not received the bills. We sent them twice.. He then took my address and FEDEXED me a copy overnight.
Analyzing the only 2 bills that I had with Verizon Wireless and taking into consideration the contracted plan for my teenage daughter and how many SureWest customers were under the same student plan, there are strong evidences that shows Verizon Wireless, successfully planned and defrauded SureWests customers that were switched to its system. My first bill from Verizon Wireless has 3 detail lines each has an amount of around $45 dollars and covers the span of 1 month and they are labeled Conversion. The $45 is the cost of my $42 contracted plan, taxes and fees. Verizon Wireless then, has so shamelessly, backed out the last month under conversion, and changed my contracted plan to $32 per month for Unlimited Talk and 500 text messages and 10 cents for every message after 500 and proceeded to calculate a new cost for the month. The result is an increase of $215 in the monthly bill. I mean for every month in the remaining 18 month of the contract the bill would run around $260 on average. Contrary to Verizon Wireless statements; my daughter had only one, 1 minute call from outside the local area which was charged 50 cents and that was all. The bill showed so clearly how they backed out the $45; taxes and fees in detail and added the new $32 plan and the charges for extra messages which cost them less than 1 dime for all of them. Keeping in mind the value of $215 for a median income family in the Sacramento county and its surrounding areas; lets examine the results of my disputes and complaints to FCC.
Trans Union deleted this record from my file. Equifax changed amount owed to zero and the charge off amount to zero; the negative remark stays. Experian changed the amount owed to zero yet the charge off amount stayed at $414 and the report date was changed to April of 2012 making it a recent negative remark and therefore costly on my credit score. The FCC analyst sent an email back stating: Mr. xxx: The carrier has responded to your informal complaint #12-C00387196.All of the issues included in your complaint were addressed to the satisfaction of the analyst handling your complaint. If you choose, you can take additional action by filing a Formal Complaint with the FCC. Please see Code of Federal Regulations 47 Rule section 61.59 Effective periods required before changes. This in essence says that a 30 days notice is required for setting up a new rate structure. It is like saying wooden bats are required for playing in MLB. By no means owning a wooden bat allows you to walk to the field and bat in MLB. If this was the case then why do we sign a contract for a plan? Before any other requirements are analyzed the most important part has always been the part that says The guidelines do not preclude a carrier, from showing that its tariff is just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory. . Was the 400%increase in my bill just? Is it reasonable to switch my contract unilaterally and make me pay five times the amount I used to pay? Did Verizon Wireless target the students for whom texting is the preferred way of communications and switch them to a plan which carries per text message charge? Is targeting a specific group to defraud considered discriminatory? I should have paid a total of $162 and paid $275 a $110 over what I should have paid. I had purchased the phone for my daughter which was useless after leaving Verizon Wireless.
I have been refused mortgage loans, have been quoted higher rates that I could not afford for mortgage loans and shall pay for a few more years. It would have been so much better and easier if my pocket had been picked for a couple of thousand dollars. In that case I could even get help from government agencies if I found the thief. I suppose a lot of people gave in and paid; hind sight, I may have done the same; and then again, maybe not since I have my kids that I need to protect.