Verizon is obviously anti-military. My story, as I am learning is just one of many horror stories the military has faced upon dealing with Verizon. How frustrating that our soldiers work so hard to fight for our country, to be forced to deal with businesses that have no appreciation for them whatsoever.
We are really shocked at how we have been treated throughout this whole ordeal. We have been Verizon customers since before they were Verizon (back when they were still Alltel). I had always enjoyed my services with them and as a result extended my services with them to include home phone and cable when we lived in an area that provided such. We had always had our account set up for automatic payment because we were aware of the amount and found this feature to be conveinent. In the 11 years with our service with them, we were never late on any bill.
In early August 2013, we were stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana. Upon our arrival with our 3 children one of which was our 2 month preemie, we quickly realized our wireless service did not work in this area. On August 5th, 2013, I contacted Verizon and ask what were my options. They explained that they were aware of the situation in our area and had no problem releasing us from our contract with no early termination fees (ETF), due to the circumstances. The represenative even explained how to port my number over to another carrier, so that my number of 11 years wouldnt have to change. I was very happy with the outcome and even surprised with how helpful they were. The represenative I spoke with, even sent his Verizon email, claiming should I have "any" problems, to contact him and he would make sure they were resolved. We recieved no further correspondence from Verizon.
On September 7th, 2013, Verizon deducted $561 out of my account. We called them immediatly, I was told there were no notes of our being military and that I had cancelled my contract therefore was subject to early termination fees. Over the course of the following two weeks, I spoke to around 10-15 different represenatives. I was required to send in military documentation and address confirmation, I had to fax, forward, call etc. During those 1st two weeks I spent more than 20 hours on the phone with Verizon, sometimes on hold, sometimes dealing with represenatives that had no interest in helping resolve the situation. I spoke to one represenative that told me point blank, it was my own fault for not stopping the automatic payment, and didn't I get a bill". I explained that after my number was ported over to a local carrier, Verizon closed my account therefore rendering me unable to access my online billing account, therefore I had no idea this would happen. I also ask him, if I had stopped automatic billing how would that have stopped Verizon from claiming I owed something, that I obviously do not. One represenative refused to listen to me speak and would even claim that she couldn't hear me when I spoke, but her line miracously cleared whenever she wanted to speak. I tried contacting the original represenative, the one that had left the email. After almost a full week, he finally wrote back with some excuse about being on vacation and that he would forward to his supervisor. Finally, after weeks of phone calls, I was told they had verified that in fact I was military and lived in a location without service, therefore they would refund my money in 4-6 weeks! I explained to them this simply wasn't acceptable, they had taken our housing payment. We had just moved to the area and while awaiting housing had to live in a motel for a month and a half with three children, our account was dangerously low, when Verizon cleaned us out. We were scheduled to move into our home September 10th. We were forced to sale some of our household goods to make ends meet, while we awaited the return of "our" money from Verizon.
Now today, is November 6th, 2013, we are 3 months into this ordeal with one day shy of being 2 months that Verizon still has our money. To date I have spoken to somewhere between 30-40 represeantives and have probably logged more than 100 hours on the telephone, being transferred to representavies, between departments, everyone passing the buck and no real resolution. On October 10th, 2013, Verizon claims to have deposited $500 of the $561 back into my account, they told me to expect it within 24-72 hours, days passed and nothing. I called again and again, each time I was given a new time when it would magically appear into my account. Once a customer service represenative did say that she could see that it had "not" processed because it was not submitted correctly, so I was then transferred back to financial services who claimed they did not see the error and it in fact was in my bank. I have contacted my bank and they have no information and or money from Verizon whatsoever. Finally I was told that it could take 3-15 "business" days to show in my account, because "some banks take longer", therefore making the deadline, November 1st,2013. No surpises it still isn't there. I called again on November 1st, 2013, were I was told they had in fact found the mistake in paperwork again, and in fact it had "never" been submitted, but it had been corrected and to expect our money within 24-72 hours. There again, today is November 6th, 2013 and still no money. I have spent yet "another" hour and a half on the phone with Verizon, it has been "escalated" again, now I am being told that I may recieve my money in 4-6 weeks once it goes through accounts payable.
I am flabbergasted. I have gotten angry, cried, been patient and a host of other emotions all behind Verizon stealing money that wasn't theirs. We like most American families are trying to make ends meet, our preemie child, requires more financial care than the average baby, for obvious reasons. That situation alone is very stressful on our family, being a military family can be stressful, moving, uprooting our lives and having my husband deploy or being sent out on missions, all of it stressful, yet we have companies such as Verizon who with no care, compassion or gratitude for our situations, treats their customers this way. Now the holidays are upon us and there is no end in sight as to when we will actually have our own money back. The money my husband spent months away from his family and traveled to foreign lands, to fight for our rights as Americans to be treated fair and justly, and this is the treatment we have recieved from Verizon.
Years of customer loyalty, and this is the end result. Hopefully, eventually, with God's grace we will have our own money back, but the real loss is the hours spent fighting for what was rightfully ours all along, could have been spent with my baby boy that was born 10 weeks too early and had to spend six of those in neonatal intensive care. That they can never repay.
The sad truth is after sharing my story with other military families, I have learned our story is far from original. Apparently, Verizon has a reputation for not caring for their military families. I will certainly do my part to share our story to hopefully prevent others from dealing with such a terrible company.