Sometime in the late 90’s, telecommunications providers went the way of the Mafia. They went from being honest purveyors of a product into being Scam Artists. Whatever the advertised price was bore no relationship to what you would be charged after they locked you into a contract. This was true not only for cell phone providers but cable TV an internet providers.
It would indeed be funny…If it wasn’t a standard business practice for much of the industry. And after the hit you with that $300-400-500 “surprise”, or that $60 a month contract that escalates to $120..00 in a few months with multiple dubious add-ons — their collection methods would make a Mafia leg breaker blanch. They typically want $450 even to cancel the contract, They farm the bill out to multiple “Collection Agencies”, with little or no coordination, which frequently “forget” to inform the Credit Bureaus – and other collection agencies that you have indeed paid the bill.So it is not infrequent that folks are still getting “kneecapped” by the second and third nebulous “collection agency”, over a year after paying off the bill.
Your phone bill may seem high, but Ken Slusher’s bill must top them all.
When he checked his Verizon account balance last week, the Damascus man tells KPTV-TV the total topped $2.2 million. Slusher tells the TV station he’s received a series of erroneous bills since he and his girlfriend opened a Verizon account in November.
They initially expected a bill for $120 but were instead billed for $698, then received another bill for $9. He’s in the process of buying a house and is worried the bizarre bill may interfere with the deal.
They did their best to argue it down, got a second bill for $9, and canceled the service altogether in December. They returned the phones to a local Verizon store in January. But while customer service reps have said they agree there’s been a mistake, collection agencies have come calling. Slusher says his bank now won’t sign off on a mortgage he and his girlfriend need to buy their dream house for their kids. Verizon issued a statement Wednesday noting that a “programming error in an automated voice response system” caused the ridiculous figure, but said it was being resolved, reports the Oregonian
“We have apologized to an Oregon customer for a programming error in an automated voice response system that caused him to receive an incorrect message that he owed $2 million on his bill,” Verizon said in a written statement Wednesday. “We are correcting the error now and have resolved the issue to the customer’s satisfaction.”