Landline Disconnection - My Saga

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Gomer
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Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Gomer » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:39 am

Holy Christ! Grab a drink and make yourself comfortable for this one, it's gonna be a long ride.

As I'm sure I've mentioned to at least a few of you, I had recently made the decision to terminate my landline service with Verizon. The only reason I had it was for the alarm system at my house, which I've been exploring alternative options for as of late. I've always been happy with my FIOS internet, so my plan was to call up Verizon when my 2-year contract was up and have them drop the landline but keep the Internet service.

Simple enough, right?

My 2-year contract expired back in May. I call Verizon up mid-May and tell them to shut the landline off, keep the Internet service active, and bill me accordingly. The lady tells me that the phone should be shut off by the end of the day, and that my new bill with just the Internet service will be exactly $54.99/month. She informs me that the taxes and fees that I see on my current bill are all landline-related, and that since I no longer have the landline active I no longer have to pay them. Score! I get off the phone with her and in my mind everything is awesome.

I get home that day and check on the phone - still active. Whatever, I don't care, if it takes them a few days to push whatever button they need to push to turn it off then that's their problem, not mine. Several weeks pass and I largely forget about the landline. A couple of weeks later, I notice my credit card gets 2 charges from Verizon. The first is for $54.99, the agreed upon price for the Internet-only service. The 2nd is a weird-looking charge for $30-something. After giving it some thought, I assume that the latter charge is for the partial month of Internet+phone service I had used before I cancelled the landline. That makes sense, right? I assume all is well.

Every few days though, I notice the fucking phone ringing. Why is it still active? It's always some random 800 number that I don't recognize - most likely some dipshit collection agency looking to shake down "Dashawnda Jones" (or some similarly named twatwaffle) for money she owes them. This is the other reason I was looking forward to dropping the landline, because the vast majority of calls we received on it were either bill collectors looking for people I'd never heard of, or solicitors/politicians harassing me (I recently started to get pre-recorded messages from the Mike Huckabee campaign. I have no idea why they started to call me, but fuck that bible-thumping asswipe). So every time I hear the phone ring I think to myself, "I should call Verizon and ask them why the landline is still active." But since I'd already been billed for what I assumed (protip: never assume anything when it comes to these huge telecom companies) the billing part of things had been situated. They just hadn't gotten off their asses to flip whatever switch they needed to flip to turn things off. Whatever.

The random calls go on for about a month. Eventually I get an email from Verizon stating that my next bill will be in the amount of almost $100. WTF? What happened to $54.99? I look at the bill details and see the problem - I'm getting billed for Internet+phone still. God damn it, I knew I should've called those assholes. So I call the billing department to find out what's going on. End up talking to some girl who doesn't really sound like she knows what the hell she's doing. I explain the situation to her and she tries to tell me that I'm being billed for Internet+phone because the phone was never turned off. I tell her I called over a month ago and told Verizon to cancel the landline. At first she tries to stonewall, claiming that I had working phone for the month and will have to pay for it. FAIL you stupid bitch. I tell her it's Verizon's fault for not shutting off the line, and I hadn't even used the phone the whole month. I finally get her to realize the fuck-up and after consulting with a colleague for the umpteenth time, she admits I was double-billed. Thank christ. She says she will credit my account for the landline in the amount of $28.00. And oh yeah, the landline will be turned off by the end of the day. But wait, 100-28 = 72. Why am I paying $72 for service I was told would only cost $55? She claims I still owe "taxes and fees." Yes, the taxes and fees that apply only to the landline. The landline that they fucked up and left on. The landline that she is in the process of crediting me for. She then goes on to say that I'll be charged these taxes and fees every month, directly contradicting what the fucking salesperson told me originally. She claims she nor anyone she's spoken with that day has ever heard of not being charged said taxes and fees, even if you're only ordering internet service. Really? The fucking 911 service fee? The Interstate Line Subscriber fee? These are phone only fees - what the fuck? I decide to end the call at this point, as this dumb bitch doesn't seem terribly knowledgeable and I've already gotten my credit, so fuck it. I decide to see what happens when they apply the credit to the bill and call back another day if necessary to get my money back for the bullshit taxes and fees.

The next day I look at my bill online. Lo and behold, the $28.00 credit has been applied. PRAISE JESUS! I still seem to be on the hook for the taxes and fees tho, as those charges haven't miraculously vanished on their own. At this point my will to fight about it is starting to waver - do I really want to go through the grueling process of calling these assholes again and explaining the situation to them? Granted we're talking about less than $20 here, but at this point it'd be just about principle. I decide to ponder things for a few days.

My decision to call is made very easy when I notice 2 new charges on my credit card yesterday. One for $54.99 (the Internet-only price), and a second charge for $72 (the aforementioned bill I had called them about). What. The. FUCK? It becomes perfectly clear - I'm being double-billed. They're billing me for both the Internet only service and the old Internet+phone service. God fucking damn it.

Now I'm pissed. I didn't need to call them back and argue about getting a credit. That entire bill was a fuck up on their part and should have never been applied to my credit card in the first place. Meanwhile the god damn landline is still active! So I call up Verizon again. Trudge through the phone system again. Get a drone on the phone and tell them about the landline still being on AGAIN. Also I inform him that Verizon has fucked up and are double-billing me. This guy is marginally more helpful than the previous person I spoke with, and recognizes the error. He says he will put a rush on stopping the landline service, backdate it so that it applies to the previous month, and I should see a refund on my next bill. Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. He swears to me that the phone will be shut off within hours. I have little faith at this point, but hang up.

Within minutes I get a message from Marsha - the landline is off! Holy fucking shit I can't believe it.

Oh, and by the way, the Internet is down too.

.
..
...

WHAT THE FUCK?!

I immediately deduce that the cockstain that flipped the switch on the phone also killed the Internet connection in the process. Un-fucking-believable. I immediately call Verizon back, jump though the call-system hoops and get yet another drone on the phone. Turns out that my entire account was cancelled with them, and technically I'm not even a customer anymore at this point. Are you fucking serious? How many times can one company possibly fuck things up? Keep in mind this all started a month ago. All I wanted to do was drop my landline. Fast forward a month, and I've been double billed in error and now my account is completely closed. No phone and no internet anymore. NOTHING.

Guy on the phone informs me that we'll have to set up a whole new account to get things turned back on. So I start giving him all my information. "Don't you guys still have all this information on file since I was a customer 30 minutes ago?" His reply: "No, that account has been deactivated and I can't access any of that information." Well that's just fucking awesome! So I give him all of my info again. Get the automatic billing set up again. Everything gets squared away and I ask him when the Internet will be turned back on. "Shouldn't be more than an hour or two." Great. It took you guys literally minutes to shut it down when it got cancelled, but turning it back on takes a couple of hours. Un-fucking-real.

Once I get off the phone, I start to think about things. I realize that I should've just left everything cancelled and just jumped ship to Time Warner. After all of the fuckups I've endured over the last month, why would I want to keep doing business with this company? I was free and clear - everything was completely cancelled. Now I'm stuck with them for another year. I should've just cut and run, and made my only future contact with them about my refund from the overcharge. But the problem is I love this FIOS shit. Once the service was activated 2 years ago I can't recall ever having any problems with it. It has always been fast and reliable. Still, it's not worth enduring this stupid bullshit.

But what's done is done, so I decide that as long as the Internet gets turned on I'll just move on with my life. Naturally, a couple of hours pass and the Internet is still not working. Mother. Fucker.

Call them up again. At this point I've lost track of the number of times I've had to do this and have the phone number committed to memory. I get someone from the FIOS service department on the line. He informs me that my order was scheduled to be activated tomorrow, not today. Are you fucking kidding me? I give him the rundown and tell him that's unacceptable, I was told today, it goes on today. He tries to get a hold of whoever the magic FIOS button-pusher is that can activate my service but can't get through. "Give me a supervisor," I tell him. At this point a very Indian sounding "Julius" gets on the line, and I recap my entire day's experience to him. He offers the same empty apologies that everyone else I've spoken with has given me all day, and basically offers to do the same thing the previous guy did - get a hold of the magic button pusher. "But it might take up to 25 minutes," Habib tells me. He offers to call me back once he speaks with them. No fucking chance, I'm not relying on Deepok here to call me back after the shitstorm I've endured all day long. I tell him my Internet gets turned on right now or I am cancelling everything. So he puts me on hold and I wait. About 2 minutes pass when I say to myself, "Why are you doing this? They lied to you about the service being activated today, and they've screwed up a legion of other simple tasks. Why are you still dealing with this?" So as soon as Sanjay checks back in with me on the phone, I tell him I'm through - cancel everything. He tells me I'll need to be transferred to the billing department, blah blah blah. Whatever. I'm done with Verizon. He asks me to hold while he transfers me.

So this is it. I really didn't want it to come to this as I love my FIOS, but god damn it this has been an absolute nightmare. ALL I FUCKING WANTED WAS FOR MY LANDLINE TO BE SHUT OFF. Why does it have to be so difficult? Why do I have to be blatantly lied to? Why do all tier-1 support people have to be useless fucking douchebags?

As I'm waiting for the billing department to pick up, Ravi comes back on the line and asks me if I can reboot my router just to see if things are working. I happen to be sitting right in front of my PC while I'm on the phone with him, and I have the router's admin page up. I look at it and it says in beautiful green letters: "CONNECTED." I fire up a web page and it loads like a champ. Magically, amazingly, miraculously, the "FIOS ON" button got pushed as I was waiting to be transferred to the billing department to cancel my account. What a fucking coincidence. :roll:

So that's where things stand now. I finally have my landline disabled and Internet service active. It only took a month of them billing me incorrectly, followed by a half a day of me battling them over the phone over their repeated fuck-ups, to get everything correct. Ugh, just typing it all out again pisses me off royally. I'm seriously considering calling customer service at this point and telling a supervisor all the bullshit I had to endure, to see if I can get a few months of free service out of them. But the notion of calling them for anything right now has my stomach turning. We'll see how it goes. If I see any more double-charges on my bill I think I just might go postal on them.

Asshander
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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Asshander » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:11 pm

That's quite the shitty story. I'm a little surprised you haven't canned them completely at this point despite FiOS itself being good/fast/reliable. That's just a total runaround and incredibly insulting.

For what it's worth, Road Runner (TWC) should have FiOS-competitive service in the next 6 months if what one of the techs told me is true. I wouldn't rave about their service, but it's been generally good.

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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Gomer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:49 am

Asshander wrote:That's quite the shitty story. I'm a little surprised you haven't canned them completely at this point despite FiOS itself being good/fast/reliable. That's just a total runaround and incredibly insulting.
Yeah, when it was all said and done I asked myself why I had bothered to tolerate it at all. I guess once I got to a point where everything was back up and working I just wanted to leave well enough alone. I won't soon forget this shitty experience though, certainly not in a year when my contract is up again. And if what you say about Road Runner is true then it might just be a no-brainer for me to jump ship to them when the time comes.

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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Metal Lord » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:13 am

As shitty as this story is I must say I was thoroughly entertained. All the plot twists, some you see coming, others you don't. And the surprise ending with you staying with verizon. I would have thought for sure I was going to read how Time Warner had hooked you up before verizon turned off your phone.

Have heard many a good thing about how great FiOS but it is not in my area. And while I've only had to use Time Warner's customer service once they were pretty OK to deal with and were out the next day to fix my problem. I have been of late been getting drop outs in my internet service that lasts for a few seconds but that has seemed to have stopped. Speed wise I've always been happy with the package I have and it is not their fasted available.

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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Gomer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:15 am

Metal Lord wrote:As shitty as this story is I must say I was thoroughly entertained.
That's what the rant forum is here for - so others can relish in your misery.

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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Gomer » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:43 am

Just thought I'd share a humorous addendum to this tale of woe.

Remember how I said they overbilled me? By my calculations, they overcharged me about $70 the month they double-billed me. Not long after all of these shenanigans occurred I called them back to get the skinny on my refund. They assured me they would send out a check "within 60 days" (fucking christ it took you 10 seconds to charge my card but now it's gonna take 2 months to refund me?). I never mentioned anything about this as I didn't want to jinx myself, but lo and behold the refund check came in last week.

Total amount refunded: ~$145

This is about double what I expected back. I went over my CC bill again and looked at exactly what they charged me, and was able to identify around ~$100 of over-billing - a little more than I originally thought. Now I suppose it's possible I did the math wrong on the bills (the way they charge you for various services and show you any various credits is incredibly confusing) and maybe this $145 amount is correct, but I'm pretty sure it's a bit more than they owed me. But whatever, when I saw the amount I just said "Fuck you Verizon, this is your penance for being incompetent assholes." I stuffed the check in my wallet and will be depositing it later this week.

Now for the funny part.

Yesterday I get an envelope from - guess who! - Verizon. I assumed it was my monthly statement, but then I remembered that I have automatic/paperless billing set up on my account. With a sense of dread, I slowly tear the envelope open to see what lies within. Notification of a mistake in the refund check amount? An increase in my monthly payment? Demands that I insert a pineapple into my rectum to maintain my "quality FIOS Internet service?"

It's a notification - for another refund check. This one for $45.

:?
:roll:
:lol:

I have no fucking clue what this 2nd refund check is for. By my calculations they already over-refunded me with the first check. Again, it's possible I read the bills wrong and/or added up some incorrect amounts, but I'm fairly certain I didn't have to float ~$190 since this whole ordeal began. But once again I say, Whatever Verizon! I'll just chalk this up to compensation for the bullshit those incompetent assclowns put me through.

In other news, the Internet connection has been working just dandy ever since I got this shit sorted out, and my billing problems have gone away. Again, I hesitate to mention this publicly and jinx myself, but what the fuck. I'll keep an eye out for any retribution charges from Verizon in the coming months.

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Re: Landline Disconnection - My Saga

Post by Metal Lord » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:23 am

What's the old expression, don't look a gift horse in the mouth? Or something like that, what ever it really means. Maybe it is a glitch in their system so just hope those refund checks keep rolling in. Verizon is fucking people over everyday. Their whole "over billing" racket they've got going on can't be too much of a true mistake. And I'm sure a whole lot of people never catch it or get frustrated with them and give up trying to get their money back. It is about time they owe up to someone. Just hope that if it is a glitch they don't expect you to give it back. If you don't want to give it back they'll just over bill you again, then you'll complain, then they'll send you a refund and the cycle will continue.

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