I was a loyal Verizon customer for years. A few years ago, while in law school, I had Verizon for internet and phone. When I left my apartment around September, my roommate stayed and a mutual friend of ours took my place and signed a new lease. Before I left, I contacted Verizon and had the account switched out of my name and into the new roommate's name. When I switched the account out of my name, I was led to believe that my account was fully paid up. Switching the account to the new roommate made sense because, my roommate and the new guy moving in both wanted to keep Verizon's services, and didn’t want to bother sending in our equipment only to have the same equipment returned to them to set up the new account. And, in fact, Verizon never changed the equipment, even after they eventually switched the account out of my name!
Over a year later, I check my credit report and notice that Verizon had put negative information on it. They claimed I owed $79 and never paid. THIS WAS THE FIRST NOTICE I RECEIVED THAT VERIZON CLAIMED I OWED THEM MONEY. I called Verizon and was told that the charges were incurred after the account was switched out of my name. However, Verizon further told me that they didn't actually switch the account until months later.
I then tried to contact someone at Verizon to discuss this issue. I got hung up on more times than I can count (I was continuously being transferred and then the line would just cut off). I finally got someone, who I pleaded with not to transfer me to anyone else. Presumably feeling bad for me, she assured me she would get me to the right person and wouldn't hang up on me.
I spoke to the dispute department, and they asked me to submit a letter, which I did. Verizon never contacted me to let me know the results of my dispute. I finally got ahold of someone who told me my dispute was denied.
Verizon's collection agency, Receivables Performance Management, THEN CONTACTED MY MOTHER about the debt. When I contacted them, they were very rude and violated many federal laws. When I looked the collection agency up online, they had over 300 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, many of which claimed that Verizon's collection agency stole their credit card information and made fraudulent charges on it. Needless to say, even if I legitimately owed the debt (which I don't) I wasn't giving any of my information to this company.
To this day Verizon still does not know who the account is registered to. I still receive emails from Verizon addressed to the guy who took over the account after I left (years ago).
The most despicable aspect of this whole situation is that Verizon never contacted me prior to putting the negative information on my credit report. I did not leave a forwarding address when I moved, but Verizon has contacted me by phone and email on numerous occasions to promote and sell their products and to provide other messages and notifications, far less important matters (to me, at least). BUT THEY CAN’T CALL OR EMAIL ME WHEN THEY ARE ABOUT TO POST NEGATIVE INFORMATION ON MY CREDIT REPORT – SOMETHING THAT WILL HAVE A LONG-LASTING NEGATIVE IMPACT ON MY FINANCIAL WELLBEING FOR YEARS TO COME??????
Had Verizon contacted me prior to posting this negative information on my credit report, I probably would have just paid the $79, even though I didn’t owe it, just to make it go away. It’s only $79, which I can easily afford. But they didn’t contact me, at all. And every time I try to reach out to Verizon, I can never get ahold of anyone who can help and never receive a response.
It is truly mind boggling to me that Verizon would post negative information to my credit report – without first contacting me and allowing me a chance to pay – which will have a long lasting impact on my financial future. It is even more absurd that they have no department to address these issues and don’t ever get back to people. Credit history is one of the most important things to all people. Yet when Verizon incorrectly negatively effects their customers’ credit histories, resolving the issue is of almost no importance to them. Indeed, it is much, much easier to order HBO from Verizon than it is to resolve a mistake which has a far reaching and long lasting impact on their customer’s lives.
For anyone who is concerned about their financial future (which should be everyone), you should be wary of Verizon. If an issue does arise and incorrect, negative information is reported on your credit report, Verizon does not have any adequate mechanisms for addressing this. You may have to live with your damaged credit because of Verizon’s lack of care about their customer’s lives and wellbeing.
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