I accidentally overpaid my Verizon bill. I meant to pay $229.22 but I typed in 2229.22 in my bank's online bill pay. I did not realize my error until the payment cleared my checking account on March 20. Initially I did not panic, figuring that Verizon would have a standard procedure to refund inadvertant overpayments. Was I ever wrong about that!
I first called on Mar. 20 and the rep told me to contact the bank because the payment had not yet been posted. I explained to her that I had made the payment 4 days earlier and I could see in my statement that it indeed had cleared. She insisted that I call my bank so I did. The bank told me what I already knew: The payment had posted and Verizon had the money. They told me it would take 14 days to investigate and it would be much quicker to get it back from Verizon. I called Verizon again and a ticket was opened. I asked them to escalate it because the overpayment was my whole paycheck and I needed it to live on. On March 22 I called back because I still did not see the money returned to my bank account. The rep told me that my ticket had been put on hold because I had paid with a paper check and that it would take 14 days. I don't know where they got that idea from since I had thoroughly explained on Monday that I had made an error with my online banking. I asked why nobody had called or emailed me to let me know that the ticket had been put on hold. He told me there was no contact information on the ticket. I asked to speak to a supervisor and I told him it was urgent that I get my accidental overpayment returned to me. He said that it would take 3 to 5 days. I called back on Thursday to check and make sure that I would have my money by the weekend. The rep whom I spoke with finally seemed concerned about what had happened. She tried to connect me with a supervisor and even offered to stay on the line during a 3 way call. However, I was on hold for 30 minutes. Finally someone came on the line to tell me that all the supervisors were busy with other customers. Later that evening, I received a voicemail from a so -called supervisor stating that she was giving me a courtesy call to let me know it would take 14 days to get the money refunded to my bank account. She did not leave her direct line, only the general Verizon phone number as her contact, and had the audacity to end her voicemail by telling me to " enjoy the rest of my day". I was very irritated that she left a voicemail delivering me such bad news but that I should just enjoy the rest of my day as I try to figure out how many more days I can survive financially without my paycheck. On Friday I went in person to the Verizon store and the headquarters. The employees there could not help me because the bill was for a landline, not cell phone. The manager gave me the number to a store in Philadelphia an hour away. I called but he said there was absolutely nothing he could do for any billing related matters. Friday afternoon I received a phone call from someone in the financial department. Apparently she was calling because the kind representative from the previous day had somehow brought it to her attention. This woman told me that I needed to fax her my bank statement showing that my checking account had not gone into a negative balance in order for the matter to be resolved in three to five days. I told her that this wasn't fair because nobody had informed me of this on Monday, five days earlier, when I had made the very first call. I explained that I really needed the money to live on and could she figure out a way to escalate it. She told me there was nothing she could do. Her tone of voice was robotic, cold and uncaring. I faxed the bank statement that was requested.
At this point, I have no confidence whatsover that my bank account will be credited back with the overpayment because Verizon is very disorganized and the reps have all been unprepared to handle this type of error.
This is very nerve-wracking not to mention time consuming!
Surely there must be laws to protect consumers in case of an accidental overpayment!
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