I stopped reading OPs post when he stated;
1. No, divorce has nothing to do with it, not paying your bills has a tendency to scortch ones credit!
2. You're the only one who "needs" a cel phone? Verizon's other 100 million+ customers just "want" a cel phone? .... and that's why they singled you out?
Anyway, here's my suggestion to you. You don't need an attorney to sue Verizon. Since the amount of money is small, you can sue them in small claims court. Most states cap the amount in small claims at $5,000.00. You just need to file a claim and pay a small fee. (Usually $25 to $75.... this is to pay the local sherriff to serve papers on the defendant)
If everything you claim is 100% truth and you can back it up with paperwork, cancelled checks, etc. and be prepared, the Judge will most likely want it to be, you should prevail. However, remember Verizon will have the opportunity (if they show up) to present thier side... and rest assured, they will have paperwork to support thier side. If they don't show up, you win by default, provided you show up.
Best of luck,
You may have been dealing with a third party or authorized reseller, rather than a corporate store. I say this based on three things you said, and the difficulty you are having (not even taking into account late payments, if there were any or not).
1. Deposit of $500 - as far as I know, Verizon requires up to $400, not $500.
2. Return in 6 months - again, as far as I know, Verizon holds the deposit for 12 months, and does require NO late payments,
3. You mentioned changing your plan - this can trigger all sorts of consequences when dealing with a third party retailer.
In any case, if dealing directly with Verizon, you would get your deposit back after 12 consecutive months of on time payments - one late payment would reset the clock. And I don't know if there is a time limit when/if the deposit gets forfeited.
If you were/are dealing with a third party, be it an authorized reseller or other outfit, then they make their own rules, which sounds like what is happening here (the deposit amount, the time frame).
Just my thoughts on reading through the thread...
My divorce did scorch my credit. My ex took out several credit cards and did things like join book clubs in my name among other things while the divorce was going on. We were still going through the process of divorce, she knew my social and went to town with this. It's fraud and it should affect her but because she did it in my name, it affected me. I've been fighting this for almost 4 years and it doesn't go away. The only way to do this is to claim bankruptcy. Because of my work, I do need a cell phone but because of what I do it's not considered a business expense. I never said they singled me out, I implied that they take advantage of the policies they create and it affected me. To put words into what I've stated is arrogant and makes your comments look fallacious. These same things affect others as well if you read the comments on this blog. Taking Verizon to court over $500 isn't going to happen, it's unrealistic. Nothing can be verified through paperwork because I never signed anything but a contract that had no stipulation of the deposit in it. I was told one thing when I set up the contract and Verizon created something else to cover themselves. They've done this to enough people that it's created massive lawsuits with Verizon. Besides, Verizon placed the blame on the staff at their store for "misinforming" me.
If you want to make assumptions, that's your prerogative. But it's just a suggestion. I also made a comment that some on here seem to get a kick out of acting like monday morning quarterbacks to issues others have. Looks like you seem to tag teaming with someone else on my comments for this same kick.
I'll give a great example of a company that fronted money for me to be a customer, the bank that did the mortgage on my home did this thanks to my real estate agent and that is one massive investment. Some car companies do the exact same thing to attract customers. There is no such thing as a "credit risk" or "credit worthy". If people were not considered a "credit risk" nobody would be signing lengthy contracts for service; cable companies, apartments and even your bank does this. Besides, credit is only good for one thing, obtaining more credit.
And you also have a security deposit on your mortgage in the form of your house. If you are late on your payments or fail to make them, the mortgage lender starts forclosure proceedings on your house. THIS deposit stays in place until the ENTIRE mortgage has been fulfilled. Same thing with cars. This is completely different with cellphones, since they do not have any claim to the phone you have purchased.
People do not sign lengthy contracts for cellular service because they are credit risks, but ONLY because Verizon gives them a $300-$500 credit(or discount) on the purchase of a phone. There are people who do not sign contracts for their cellular service, but just pay full retail for their phone. These people STILL have to have good credit or pay a security deposit to get service.
Another thing credit is good for, is to purchase things for which you currently do not have the funds to purchase. Otherwise, the VAST majority of people would NEVER be able to buy a house or other big ticket items.