Verizon Vexation
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 Mendo Coast Critique

Verizon Vexation

September 24, 2016
Many of you may recall that I had been ripped off by Verizon nine months ago. You may be wondering what happened with that whole ordeal. Here is a synopsis of everything that has happened. Hopefully, my experience will cause you to think twice- or ten times- before doing business with Verizon. This is one of my longer entries, but I think you will find it worthwhile to read it.

I had been wanting to get service that would allow me to have access to the internet on my computer wherever I was, so I headed to the local Verizon Store. I picked up a Wi-Fi hot spot and, since I don’t like contracts, got Wi-Fi service with 2GB of coverage. It seemed to be good service, but with my usage I blew right through the 2 GB. So, I decided to step up to the next level.

I was new to the mobile Wi-Fi world, and I knew this type of thing might happen, so I was not upset. I just wanted to get more Wi-Fi time. It’s kind of like the pay as you go phones—when you use up your “minutes” you buy more.

I was having trouble doing the transaction online and could not get through to anyone on the phone. Every time I called the number I was given to buy more time, there were too many callers to even be put on hold. The system would just disconnect me—so I went back into the store, where a service rep completed the transaction.

When I got home, I attempted to go online but the hot spot was not registering the added service. I got back in my truck and headed back to the store with my hot spot device. I explained to the rep what was going on, and neither one of the reps in the store could figure out why it wasn’t working. The rep who had added the new service called the customer service number. He was immediately put on hold.

After a few minutes, an operator came on the line. The rep explained the situation but neither he nor I could not understand the operator because of his accent. We finally figured out that the operator was telling us that everything looked fine on his end and that as soon as I used all of the time I had originally purchased the new time would automatically start. Of course, I had already done that so I knew what the operator was saying wasn’t true.

The rep was trying to help two other people who had come in, so I left without having resolved the issue—but not before the rep recommended getting contracted service because it is so much cheaper and better.

After I left, I went on Facebook and sent a message to Verizon explaining the situation and letting them know I would be contacting regulatory agencies if they did not have the problem remedied within the hour. I also advised them to take a look at my blog. I received a response from someone telling me to call the customer service number—the one that no one ever answers.

I responded to let them know that I would not play their “shuffle” game and told them to contact a supervisor. I let them know it was their last chance to do the right thing. I got a message back stating that their “side” had nothing to do with non-contracted customers and that I needed to call the number to contact the other “side” and that it would be much better if I became a contracted customer.

Oh yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to do—because of the magnificent service I had gotten in the short period of time I had been a customer.

I sent them one final message letting them know that there was no way they were going to convince me that they were unable to contact a supervisor regarding this matter. They make it sound like it a totally different company on the other “side.” I also looked through all of the complaints from customers on their Facebook page. They never resolve the problems. All they do is tell people to send them private messages, which never bring a solution—as you will see if you check out their page. THEY DON’T CARE.

After weeks of going back and forth with these people, reporting them to regulatory agencies, and submitting evidence of payments, I received a $35 refund. At one point, Verizon offered to send me $120— not even close to my loss since I don’t have Wi-Fi and can’t use the device I bought— they never sent it.

I finally decided to take Verizon to small claims court. I filed paperwork suing for $2000 and had the Sheriff’s Office serve the store in the Boatyard Shopping Center, where I had bought the Wi-Fi device and service. Now I just want to say that I did not really expect to get $2000. I had not spent near that much, but I wanted to make a point.

I had to wait several weeks for the hearing. When it came, no one from Verizon showed. Judge Clayton Brennan told me that I can’t have the local store served and have to serve a designated office. I don’t believe that is true, but I was not going to argue with him. I knew that would get me nowhere.

So, I got a new court date and had the headquarters in New York served. Not long after this, I got a phone call from a Verizon Representative—Daniel Reed. He left a voice mail. I was not about to talk on the phone with this guy and have no record to use in court. Even if you tell someone you are recording a phone conversation, many times they aren’t admissible in court. So, I found the emails I had exchanged months earlier with Verizon and sent a message letting them know that they could inform Daniel that all correspondence between us would be in writing. I did not hear anything else from him after that.

Before long, however, I got a certified letter from Verizon. It had a request to appear by phone at the court hearing. It did not have an official court stamp and had not been signed, so I thought Verizon had sent it to me expecting me to file it with the court. I soon found that I was wrong on this one when I received a denial by Judge Brennan. I had been sent a copy of the document Verizon had filed with the court. Judge Brennan was not going to allow Verizon to slide by that easily. Someone would have to make a physical appearance at the hearing.

I was very happy about this decision. In fact, I had a good laugh over it. These slimy pigs want to make a habit of ripping off their customers and then be allowed privileges so they can greedily clench money in their trifling fists instead of having to shell out money for someone to travel to the hearing. Well, it wasn’t going to happen this time.

The day of the hearing arrived. This time, Judge Eric Labowitz was presiding over the case. I explained the whole ordeal and referred to paperwork I had submitted as evidence. Included in this paperwork were all of my receipts, emails, and Facebook conversations I had engaged in with Verizon representatives.

Daniel then started in on his defense. He made all kinds of excuses, even stating that I had bought the Wi-Fi device from an independent retailer asserting that I had not bought the device from Verizon. He was not aware that I had already been down that road—attempting to sue the local store. He also claimed that Verizon had provided Wi-Fi time on the device after I had gone round and round with them.

Once he was done spewing his bucket of excuses and lies, I quickly pointed out that I had already been to one hearing where I had tried to hold the local store accountable. I also let the judge know that no time had ever been added to my Wi-Fi device for the second purchase. I informed the judge that I had checked the device on a regular basis over the period of weeks that I spent fighting with Verizon.

Daniel told the judge that Verizon was willing to provide the time on the device. I told the judge that I wanted nothing more to do with Verizon. He said he would make his decision and send out a judgement in the mail. A week went by. Two weeks went by. I tried to be patient, but after returning from a rather lengthy trip—a month after the hearing— I still had not received anything from the court.

I went to the courthouse to find out how long this judgement was going to take. I gave the dark-haired woman at the counter my case number and asked her how long the judgement would take. She looked at me like I was from outer space. She looked at the number and said it looked like a small claims case. I confirmed that it was, and she again looked at me like I was from outer space.

After what seemed like an eternity of awkward silence, she turned and started typing. She scrolled up and down, scanning the information. At one point, she looked around like she was hoping help would appear and then looked back at the computer—scanning some more. Finally, she got up and walked towards the back of the building. After a couple of minutes, she returned and handed me some paperwork.

It did not look like any order I had ever seen, and there was no signature on it. I asked her if Verizon had been mailed a copy of the paperwork or if it would be mailed. She told me it was my responsibility to handle it with Verizon. I could tell by the look on her face that she was going to do nothing more for me. I left the courthouse disgusted. I threw the paperwork on my dashboard, where it sat for the next two days. After all, it really did me no good without a judge’s signature.

I finally decided I had to do something with this paperwork. I retrieved it from my dashboard and examined it more closely. I realized that I was right—it was not an order. It was actually the trial minutes. What was even worse was the fact that the judge had made his decision THE DAY OF THE HEARING. With the way the decision was worded, I thought I was not going to be able to get the money back for the device since it included a time limit. So—back to the courthouse I went. I had mixed feelings when I saw the dark-haired woman again. I wanted to tell her off, but I wanted to talk to someone who actually knew what they were doing.

I went up to the window and told her that two days earlier she had given me the paperwork but that it was not an order—just trial minutes. I pointed to the title of the document near the top of the page. She looked flustered and confused. I didn’t care. I just wanted resolution. She went to the back of the building again and then returned, handing the paperwork back to me. She said I would have to wait until the judge completed the paperwork process. I asked her how long that would be. She just shrugged her shoulders and said I would have to wait for the judge. Soooo, I exited the courthouse disgusted once again.

I was so mad. I had already gotten the run around from Verizon for months without resolution. It had been a month since the hearing—and now I would have to wait again for an indefinite amount of time before I actually got my money back. I was being awarded a refund, but part of it was contingent on my returning the Wi-Fi device to Verizon first. Basically, I was awarded the money I had spent plus $50. It wasn’t the amount I had sued for, but as I said previously—that was mainly to make a point. Plus Verizon ended up having the expense of attending the hearing—whatever that was.

I decided to file additional paperwork with the court. I also sent an email to Verizon with the trial minutes attached. I received a response from Daniel stating that they had not received the judgement yet—and pointing out that I obviously hadn’t either. I was so infuriated, I didn’t even finish reading the email. All I could do at this point was wait.

A couple of days later, I got another voice mail from Daniel. He was asking about the Wi-Fi device and mentioned his email. I pulled up the email and started reading it again. After the line about not having a judgement, he had stated that Verizon wanted to resolve the matter. He had attached a mailing label to the email and said as soon as they received the device they would send a check.

I did not like the thought of this. Once I sent it, they could claim they never received it. I contemplated my options. I could go into the local store and return it, recording the return on video. It would be a great move if there were new customers in the store. They might choose not to do business with Verizon. It would bring me great joy to cost Verizon customers. The only problem with this option was Verizon could claim damages and try to avoid having to pay me.

I decided to go ahead and send it back with the label that had been provided. I videotaped myself putting the device into the envelope and dropping it in the FedEx box. A couple of days later, I got a voice mail from Daniel saying that he had received the device. He wanted an address so the check could be sent. They had sent mail to my post office box previously, but now they were playing dumb like they had no clue where to send the check.

Several days went by and I still had not received a check. I sent Daniel an email demanding that the check be sent via overnight delivery. He responded that because the address I had provided was a post office box it could not be delivered overnight. WOW- REALLY?!?! You mean the rest of the world can send things via overnight express mail but you can’t? He said that since no judgement had been received yet, Verizon was completely within their rights in their actions.

Oh, what was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind. Of course it is your right to steal from your customers by not providing the services they paid for. It is also completely within your rights to get the merchandise back from your customers and make them wait until you are good and ready to send out the money the judge decided you owe. Yes—and it is totally within your rights to lie and say you sent out a check when you obviously haven’t since it would have arrived in my mailbox by now.

And here I sit without the product I bought—and without my money.
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