This is my long story, I just feel so unspeakably aggrieved by this situation.
My sister, who is a college student in Boston, lost her phone on Sept 1st. Like any normal college student, she went looking for the phone, trying to track it down using track my iPhone, visiting Lost and Found, putting up social media posts inquiring about this phone. In the meanwhile, something sinister had been occurring without our knowledge. On September 7th, I received a phone call from Verizon Fraud Prevention Services about suspicious activity on the account. My sister went to a Verizon store yesterday to see what she could do about her missing phone, but was told that while my sister had been looking for her phone, whoever had found it had taken it, had removed the SIM card, put it in their own iphone and started making ludicrous amounts of international phone calls. Within a week, the international phone calls had accumulated to $400, easily the double the amount of our normal phone bill. Last night, I called Verizon confirming that no, it was not us making international phone calls over the week of Sept 1st - 7th and to figure out what we could do about this fraudulent charge. I was constantly put on hold to be sent from Customer Care to Fraud Prevention Services and after going through 5-6 different representatives and spending 2.5 hours, I was put on hold once again and then the call was dropped by Verizon. I called back only to be led to a new representative and having to repeat my story for the umpteenth time. This representative told me that there were notes that all these representatives had been taking about my situation and that he could finally forward me to financial services to dispute these charges. By then, it was past 10pm and their financial dept had closed. He assured me that whoever I would talk to the following day would know of my situation and it would be resolved quickly.
The next day, I called Verizon and the same situation occurred, the financial department told me I would have to speak with a customer care agent to resolve this issue. By the time I got to customer care, the agent told me he would be able to credit $45 towards the $400 fee and that we would have to pay the remaining $355. What was worse was that the notes he was reading said that I personally knew the person who had stolen the phone and made these calls. By then, I had spent about 3-4 hours with Verizon hoping that they would be understanding of my situation and they offered $40. When I told them about what had happened the previous night, they offered to pay up to $50, and then $100. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the agent said that I would be offered even less by the supervisor and that I should take his offer that was currently on the table. I tried again and again to explain to the agent that Verizon is basically asking us to be responsible for not thinking like a thief, as if we should have known that a missing SIM card would lead to something like this and in retribution we should sponsor this thief's phone calls despite Verizon being able to see (The employee at the verizon store that my sister went to could even track down the thief's iphone IMEI number and where the phone calls were being made to - Cuba) who is responsible for these fraudulent charges. The agent didn't budge and told me $100 was already over the limit they could help us with.
I work in tech, and I know that international charges are not actually based off of the difficulty of the task at hand and there is much lack of transparency regarding the issue of steep international charges - you can look this up, like this gizmodo link http://gizmodo.com/5538578/giz-explains-why-using-your-phone-in-another-country-costs-so-much But Verizon seemed insistent that they couldn't afford to help out a loyal customer of 15 years.
Frankly, I don't think I can handle another phone call to Verizon. This is somewhat my ultimatum. If they cannot be an empathetic service, I am probably going to leave Verizon despite having been a customer for so long.
This kind of stinks to hear all of this.
How long was the phone missing before your sister told you about it? The reason I ask is because, she should have told you immediately and then you could have called and reported it to Verizon and that device AND SIM would have been disabled on the network side thus preventing any fraudulent calls. If it took a week and the calls had been made BEFORE you reported it stolen then Verizon can look at it from a business case perspective. They don't know for sure that your sister (or you) didn't authorize the SIM to be switched from her phone to the other person's phone and that you now want to dispute the charges after the phone has been missing for over a week. Just playing Devil's Advocate here because if you waited over a week to report the phone stolen, Verizon' doesn't know if you authorized those calls and now are trying to "pull the wool" over their eyes. Had you reported the phone stolen to Verizon immediately....I know hindsight is 20/20. While I believe what you're saying, it sounds like you waited a for a week to pass after the phone went missing before attempting to do anything about it and according to your customer agreement, you are responsible for all charges.
If you feel like you need to leave Verizon, I get it. However, they will still hold you responsible for those charges and it will be reported to your credit if it goes unpaid.
I agree, you should have reported the phone lost/stolen and suspended the line. You can do this on My Verizon....then the charges never would have happened...
I am sure Verizon gets reports all the time from people who didn't actually lose their device, and just want credits for their charges (not saying yours was not stolen) and that is why they are not likely to credit you for those charges.
Yes. Please understand that my response was not to make you feel like you did anything incorrectly here. It was simply to point out why Verizon wouldn't be so quick to credit $400 worth of charges. It might also be wise to put a block on international calls on your lines if you don't call outside the USA.