September 03, 2008

It's Not Just Me (or, "Verizon Sucks")

We waited. Eight months we waited. After moving to southern California, we wanted southern California phone numbers, and we wanted them to be with AT&T, since that would mean we could call our many AT&T relatives for free; but we had to wait eight months for our contract with Verizon to expire.

A few weeks ago, it did. So we signed up with AT&T (who did give us local Long Beach phone numbers once we requested them).

After allowing friends & family a week to note the change, we called Verizon today to cancel. We were informed that there is a $145 fee per line for early termination. Apparently, during a call to customer service last February, the Verizon phone representative offered some bonus minutes at no charge, and we of course said yes. (Wouldn't you?) He never mentioned that this involved the establishment of a new one-year contract. Hmm, he must have skipped that part.

The Verizon rep we spoke to today also said that we needed to have AT&T disconnect us from Verizon--something called porting. I said I just wanted to cancel our Verizon account, thank you very much. The unclear-on-the-concept Verizon rep said "I'm sorry, but by law, that's how it is."

So, another call to AT&T. After being transferred around and placed on hold for 46 minutes, I was told that none of this made sense, because we received new phone numbers. I said that it didn't make sense to me either, but that that was what the Verizon rep said.

So now I have to call Verizon again and tell them (again) to just cancel our service. And I'll tell them that, yes, I'll pay the $145 per line ($290 total), because I don't want to have anything to do with Verizon any longer.

(Now, if one of the candidates for president could somehow get big corporations to treat thier customers like human beings, he'd get my vote for sure!)

I'm not sure that AT&T will be any better. So far they are, but I'm still in that 30-day period in which I can cancel with no penalty. After that, I'm theirs. My expectations are low.

The only real consolation in all this is that a quick Google search ("Verizon sucks," if you must know) let me know that Verizon has done this to numerous people. It's not just me. There are countless webpages written by people who have been scammed by Verizon. And now there's one more.


Peggy said...

Im still glad you switched to AT&T! Thanks!

Dan Mayes said...

By the way, the California State Supreme Court just agreed to hear a class action suit against TMobile. If it succeeds, early term fees will be illegal, and you may be in line for a refund.
Also, if you can get someone to take over your Verizon contract for you then they have to waive the fees.

Joann said...

Hi Danny –

Thanks for sharing your Verizon experience with us. Since you're now in living in Southern California, I thought this might be interesting to you. I work with a law firm that’s investigating Verizon Wireless’ practice of charging California consumers a flat $5 late fee and whether the practice violates California’s consumer rights laws.

Customers are charged a late fee if they don’t pay bills on time but according to California state law there may be some issues with charging a fixed late fee as a penalty. There may also be issues with charging all customers the same flat fee, regardless of the cost of monthly plans.

As part of the investigation, Hagens Berman wants to hear from any Verizon customer living in California who’s paid at least one late fee in the past four years.

You can contact the firm at or (206) 623-7292. More information on the investigation is on the firm’s Web site,

I. M. Pissedoff said...

For what it's worth: