My daughter made international calls on her cell phone. She met this person online and did not realize the person was located outside of the United States. It is a very odd situation in that the number she was dailing was an 868 area code and did not require any additional numbers. Due to the number having the same format as a US based number there was no way for me to know the usage charges that were being added to my account. Over the 2 months, she has incurred approximately $7500 in international charges.
I called Verizon on May 27th and notified them of the situation. I spoke with a great customer service rep. She tried her hardest to work with me. She applied a courtesy credit of $299 to the bill and indicated that she would retroactively add an international plan to my account.
Unfortunately, this is where the good customer service ended. When I checked my most recent bill the international plan was not added to the account. This was the first broken commitment. They indicated it was due to have a past due balance of greater than $25. Obviously based on the circumstances it would be impossible for me to pay the bill down to $25 in one payment.
On June 2, I was told that my call would be escalated to management and I would receive a call back in 24 - 48 hours. Today June 4, after 48 hours expired. I called Verizon as I did not receive a call back from the manager. The lack of the call back with the second broken commitment.
The customer service rep I spoke to today provided the worse service I have received so far. She made a couple of inappropriate comments. The first was:
1. I need to tell me daughter to stop making international calls. I am a responsible parent and I have disciplined my child. Verizon is a cell phone provider. Its not their place to give parenting advice. An appropriate customer service response is, "Let me see if there is anything we can do prevent this from occuring again"
2. Then agent told me the manager was not going to drop everything to respond to my call. I did not request the manager to do this. I waited the 48 hours that I was orginally given. An appropriate customer service response is"I apologize we did not meet our original times, let me see what I can do to get a manager to respond to you".
At this point, I am obligated to pay over $7,000 in cell phone charges which I will do as I am a person of my word. At this level of payment, I should be treated as a premium customer and I expect much better customer service from Verizon.
You owe Verizon over $7000. Until you pay them, you are a debtor, not a "premium customer." In my opinion, you should be grateful that they offered you a courtesy credit and have not suspended your account until it is paid up.
Catbird9 you could have kept that opinion to yourself. Who are you? The Verizon cell phone bill police?
It wasn't helpful at all.
$7000 is not a cell phone bill-- that's a vacation to Europe...a used car...college tuition. And it doesn't matter if she owes it or not, she is entitled to respect and courtesy from all Verizon employees at all times.
I hope you remember your comments to this mother and her daughter's $7000 bill. Because when you find yourself in a similar situation (and you will), with surprise high costs you weren't expecting to have to pay (it may or may not be money), you won't want those around you to show you the same level of empathy you have here--you will want the courtesy credits. So show a little empathy and save yourself the heartache. Karma is a b*tch and life is a hard teacher.
When are we going to learn that we are all in this together? We are one.
We are not the Verizon cell phone bill police.
What you are missing is the original poster did not come here for "help" on a HELP forum, but to vent and tell their tale of woe.
The first thing after finding out about the international calling is to place a block on the ability to do so. However the original poster thought international calling plan was placed on their account however it was not. Reason given seems reasonable. Owing that large amount is a valid reason.
Due to customer acts they now proclaim due to that large amount owed they should be considered a premium customer. Do you see a flaw in that statement? It would like me saying I owe $50,000.00 on my Bentley so my dealer should give me top of the line service before anyone else. (That is not going to happen, why would I expect it)?
Yes I agree that Verizon should follow through on promises to return calls. But when companies get this big they often forget how they became so large. Customers suffer. Its a shame but until changes are made this poster and others will suffer.
This is not an odd situation. MANY area codes are for international numbers. This is not an isolated location.
As to the CS agent not adding an international plan to your account, it may well have been when researching the number the CS agent realized an international plan would NOT reduce your cost to call this number. There is NO discount for calling Trinidad & Tobago(area code 868) whether or not you have an international plan. The cost is the same. Verizon simply charges a flat $1.49/$1.69 per minute for a landline/mobile phone call to area code 868 whether or not you are on an international plan. Adding the international plan would simply have INCREASED your bill by the monthly charge for the plan while doing NOTHING to decrease the amount you are charged for those calls.
With these charges in mind, I would find it more worrisome if my daughter was speaking with a person she met online for an AVERAGE of 1 hour/day for a 2 month period because it would have taken over 3000 minutes of calling time to accrue $7500 in additional charges.
I sympathize with your situation, but this may be a wake up call to more closely monitor you daughters online habits along with her phone habits before something more serious happens.
I would suggest placing an international block on your line to begin with.
Apologies, there is a discount when on the international plan to Trinidad & Tobago.
Still, I would add the international block on calls from my account.
Larga distancia internacional Value Plan for Trinidad & Tobago:
Voice Rate: Landline $0.05/min Mobile $0.05/min
Monthly Access Charge $5.00
*Puedes agregar de manera automática estos servicios a tu cuenta si tienes un historial de pago de 30 días y tu cuenta está al día. Si has sido cliente por menos de 90 días, llama al Servicio al cliente al 1.800.922.0204.
(AT&T offers a better plan - $0.01/min to Trinidad & Tobago, $5.00 monthly access)