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Don’t Let Verizon Wireless Take Your Money When Canceling Service

by The Happy Rock on April 11, 2008

phone-telephone-operator-agent.jpgI have never had any love for Verizon Wireless, and I was quite relieved when my two year contract was up. They hadn’t done anything really bad, but they certainly didn’t ever do anything earn my respect. Nothing had really been post worthy until the last stunt they tried to pull as I closed my account.

I had already activated my $60 a year Virgin Mobile service, when I called to cancel my Verizon account. Everything was fine, until the last thing the agent mentioned as I was about to hang up.

Verizon Agent: You’re account is set to close on the 25th of April.
The Happy Rock: But, it is the 8th.
Verizon Agent: Our policy is that accounts close on the last day of the billing cycle.

I was a little caught off guard, so I just ended the conversation. It bothered me, so I mentioned it to my cube mate Ray @ TMABB. He helped verify my feelings and I decided to take action.

First, I checked my customer agreement and I didn’t see any mention of such a right for Verizon, so I quickly emailed them and asked them to produce documentation showing that they had to right to charge me for service I had wanted canceled or they should cancel immediately and refund the money that was owed.

The stalled for a few days and then finally an agent called to reiterate that closing on the last day of the billing cycle was their policy. I demanded that they produce some kind of proof. They then relented and canceled the account immediately, although they used todays date rather then that of my original call even after I asked. They also kindly informed me that the $17 check would take 6-8 weeks to process. I knew there was a reason I couldn’t wait to get away from Verizon Wireless.

Finally today, they left a message saying that they had worked out a special deal for me. The Rockette deleted it long before I got home…teamwork. I gave Verizon plenty of opportunities to provide me with more reasonable service and price options, but they refused. Now I shouldn’t ever have to deal with them again.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Double Eagle April 11, 2008 at 8:33 am

It’s sad that big companies like that have obviously found that treating people like that is more lucrative than good customer service, otherwise they’d be stressing service.

It reminds me of a couple of book clubs I was in. They were OK, but I finally got so fed up with having to regularly “decline” the regular selections so that they wouldn’t auto-ship, and having to go to the trouble to return the books that I forgot to respond to, that I wrote letters canceling my membership. The first annoying thing I found was that I had to write a letter to get them canceled. A phone call or e-mail was insifficient (*supposedly*). The second thing was, after a few weeks, I got letters stating that they wanted me to stay and were offering me a “no hassle” membership with no automatic shipments. What?! That was available all this time? There was no way I was staying after that.

Customer relations are just not worth it for these companies, I guess. Chiseling money out of people with deceptive tactics and underhanded policies seems to be the way of the world anymore.

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Billy April 11, 2008 at 10:30 am

Not that it matters now, but all wireless companies do the same thing. Also, the people in the call center were right, it is a policy of Verizon. The ammendment was sent out with your bill about six months ago, and by paying your bill you agreed to it. Before you go Verizon bashing again, sprint did this when increasing their text messaging rates and AT&T has been known to do it as well. For future reference too, they will cut it off if the day you ask if you just ask for a supervisor. The normal call center employees are unable to disconnect the line that day, but a supervisor can do it no problem

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Kevin August 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Keep on Bashing!!!!! Verizon sucks. I am changing now, because I brought my phone up there many times from the day i got it, and they couldn’t fix it, and wouldnt give me a new phone. Went up the other day and said that’s it im done i want a new phone. “hey grab this guy a new phone… oops sorry you are 2 weeks outside of warranty” What a bunch of crap. Verizon is crap, and so is all motorola phones. GARBAGE!!!

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joe February 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

verizon is such a crap company…..i will never be a customer of them again….they did same to be even tho i was considering going w them for fios and internet……thank god thats the last 119.72 they will ever see from me….i was verizon customer since before bell altantic merged w nynex
go2hll
rip. 1993-2013

so goes to show how much they care

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The Happy Rock April 11, 2008 at 11:39 am

@Double Eagle – You are right that a lot of companies don’t have to care about customer service, because they have other strong competencies or lack of competition. The hard part about customer service is unless you have leaders with vision companies aren’t able to see past immediate returns on investment, and customer service is more of a big long term strategy and benefit.

Your book club story sounds like the old Columbia House

@Billy – Billy you sound like a defensive Verizon employee, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that it is an unfair practice to try and keep people’s money when they aren’t using your service. Since all of the cell operators work the same way, it only helps to strengthen their ability to take advantage of people. And just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right. The fact that they updated their policy to include those changes reflects very much how much they value their customers. They could have easily canceled my service when I asked, which is reasonable, and there would need be a need to criticize. Verizon gets singled out because I was their customer, not Sprint or AT&T or T-Mobile. Thanks for the information though, it definitely adds to the discussion.

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Jerry April 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I’m sorry that happened to you. I have a couple of comments. First, Verizon is Satan. I’ve been dealing with them for, yes, count them, 8 years. I cancelled an account. They continued to bill me. I called “customer service” (a misnomer) many times. Got an email saying my account was cancelled. I’m still dealing with collection agencies calling me. Is there idiot insurance available? I only hope their deceptive practices leads to greater consumer awareness.

Jerry
http://www.leads4insurance.com

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robert parker April 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm

I’m so impressed with the friendliness of Verizon- It’s like talking to 0’s and 1’s or + or -‘s..You know they told me that If I wanted to cancel my contract 37 days before it was up that I could go out and get some new person to take my place and they would for go my penalty! Now that is generosity. I”m going to tell my friends and people that I know of their warmth and understanding!

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The Happy Rock April 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

@Robert Parker – Yeah, they gave me the same line. “You sure there isn’t anyone you want to transfer too. They could get your free upgrades”. Right, I am so happy with service and price that I am canceling that I would want to bring someone I know into the same situation. I wonder if selling the rights to my service on EBay would have been possible?

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Mitch June 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I was a customer for about 10 years. Then about a year ago they must have taken down the antenna that worked for my apartment. They blamed the phone and had me trade it in 3 times, but wouldn’t give me a different brand. And they offered me $25 for my trouble. Now I’m at T-Mobile, better plan for $10 less per month. But Verizon is still afterme with dishonest and I think fraudulent charges. Their advertising is the perfect “big lie” scheme.

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The Happy Rock June 17, 2008 at 9:48 am

@Mitch – I am not sure what advertising you are referring to, but I do agree that they really don’t seem interested in providing the customer with a good experience and making them happy. Sorry you are having some much trouble!

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John September 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I just called them again today. Asked to speak to a supervisor. Even after 5 minutes of demanding, they would not cancel my account. They told me it’s part of the contract. She told me any overpayment will go towards my final bill. But I haven’t paid this second to last bill yet, so this second to last bill is about $20 over, and my last bill will be basically $4 in fees and thats about it. So I paid this second to last bill, but I paid $20 less than the bill’s full value. Then we’ll see what happens when I get the next bill. I’m sure a big fight is ahead of me. This is why are economy is in the crapper. People make money by ripping as many people off as they can, rather than be making great products/services.

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sabrina Asch September 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm

I just want to thank you for your post. It helped motivate me to pursue the refund that I was due AND to have charges after I discontinued service removed. I found your post while i was on hold (for a long time) and it acted as a dangling carrot.. especially for the remainder of time that I waited on hold until they FINALLY AGREED TO REMOVE CHARGES FOR DATES AFTER CANCELED SERVICE.
So… Thanks.

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The Happy Rock October 1, 2008 at 11:29 pm

@sabrina – Your welcome. That is why the internet is awesome, glad to help.

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Jenny from Cricket Wireless May 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I can’t help but take a moment to recommend Cricket Wireless for no-surprises monthly cell phone plans or even a pay-as-you-go plan depending on your phone needs.

It was smart to ask for documentation (and you are better than I am, I have problems remembering to save documentation in the first place. Well, I save it but then my 3 & 4yo somehow find it and decide to turn it into confetti…) and I’m glad it worked out well for you in the end!

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Brian.t July 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have realized, after i switch to MetroPCS, that Verizon have been making so much money by telling lies to thier cuztomers all these years. I have always wondered why the cell phones are so exspensive, let’s say…compared to other electronics such as Tv’s and … Actually the phones are not that expensive, but Verizon states that the phones are hundreds of dollars just to make their customers sign for 1 or 2 year contract, to get the discounts on the phone prices. Then, how can MetroPCS sells same type of phones for so less money WITHOUT a contract? BECAUSE, the actual price of the phone is that CHEAP! Not that EXPENSIVE as Verizon claims. I feel so sorry for the people who sign for 1 or 2 year contarcts to get discounts on the unfairly high-jacked phone prices.

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Chris September 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

Verizon is doing the same to me. I have had their service for many years and have not been under contract for the last three.

On September 4th, 2011 I decided to take advantage of one of T-mobile’s great offers. I did transfer one of the numbers of my two lines with verizon. T-mobile called Verizon and had it approved. Then they called in house to have the number pushed through so it would work on my T-mobile.

The number was working on the t-mobile phone immediatley and prior to me leaving the store. It has worked since then without any issues.

I tried to cancel my service with verizon on Sept 6th. I was told they needed to make sure the number I kept was 100% ported prior to cancelling my service. Then she wanted to add a $25.00 fee to gaurantee there was no disruption in this process.

I told them I was not paying for this and would just call t-mobile and get a new number. She told me then I would have to wait a max 24 hrs for the port to go through prior to cancellation and she would schedule to shut service off on the 8th of September.

On Sept 8th, I turned my Verizon phone on and there was still service. I called again to check the status. This time I was told my phones were scheduled to be turned off by 10:30 pm the latest.

Long story short, it was never turned off. I called today and they said I am scheduled to be turned off at the end of my billing cycle because they needed the appropriate time to make sure the port of my one number was not disrupted. I told her so basically I am paying for to carriers on one number? I also stated that this was a scam, I will never use Verizon again. Very expensive and poor service all around.

FYI….So far, T-mobile has worked far above my expectations. Calls are super clear and not one dropped call.

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Corinne September 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for this post, it encouraged me to keep battling on the phone, and they ended up saying that they’d “make a special exception for me” and cancel my account today, the 13th, instead of me having to pay until next month’s 9th. Ridiculous! I appreciate your warning!
On another note, I’m having some somewhat similar sorts of troubles with United Airlines on claiming reimbursement for a canceled flight… I’d encourage everyone to always “ask for documentation” and for the laws on things like bills and accounts with all these major companies. This is a new lesson that I’m only learning this last year!

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ej August 28, 2013 at 10:08 am

thanks for the article, you saved me $90. I had the same issue called in and after 15 minutes had “earned back” $90 of my money. I encourage anyone to take the time to call verizon on this they are just stealing money otherwise under this bs “company policy”.

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carol A March 11, 2016 at 5:46 pm

My story is a nightmare I was sold a tablet and being 85 did not totally understand what I was getting in to. The tablet was very very slow to open and than shut down when you were in the middle of using it. A cheap product, no problem I had 14 days to return it, yeah right for hundreds of dollars.No way would they take it back. want $625.00 to disconnect. MY connect fee plus a tablet for $200.00 minus &100.00 rebate is $541.00
I,m writing the FCC Better Business Bureau. Then Monday I am calling our state Consumer Protection Bureau. If none of that works I will take it to court. I do believe cheating seniors is against the law

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Jim July 3, 2017 at 10:11 am

Here are my two cents regarding Verizon. 1. They billed me for an action where someone went into a Verizon store and bought something under my account, they said that whom ever it was walked in to the store and all they needed was my sub account number (phone number), apparently no id was required. This included a service that was never billed to me or at my address. I had no clue, they stated it was to my sub account. I never authorized a sub account. We argued and they sent it to collection after awhile as I refused to pay it. After many threats and the fact that they cold not present something I signed making the purchase, they agreed after I filed a police report to clear it from my account. Their error, they try to get me to pay. 2. I recently closed my account, they said they were sorry to see me go and hoped I would come back someday. Nice, well a month later they bill the account again for an amount less than normal but the account is closed. I called and they stated they only canceled the main number the were still billing for the second phone on the account? I canceled the account, they agreed and said they hated to see me go. Now they want paid for a month because they did not close both phones? One could not make this up, are they so hard up they need to screw their customers? All I can say is if you want Verizon service, make certain you know that they do not provide reasonable service and watch your bill for things that you did not ask for and make certain they follow through with what you ask them to do.

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