Unethical Billing Practices - Claims Management Resources - Verizon "Damages"


I recently returned from vacation to find a letter from Claims Managment Resources ("CMR") claiming to be billing me for "damages to VERIZON facilities."  The letter is attempting to collect $762.24 for "Verizon Cost to Repair Facility"!  This a completely outrageous and fabricated claim!  It references damage to a drop wire.  There is a "Verizon Billing Statement" attached to the letter (which has never previously been sent to me by Verizon).  The attached "billing statement" also references a construction & landscaping firm in Sterling, VA under a heading of "Verizon Special Projects Billing."  

So, the background.  We moved into a brand new house in Northern Virginia in August 2016.  Verizon had a terrible time getting our service to work.  They initially laid a temporary line as our house had not been prepared with their fiber optic cable.  On a subsequent visit, the line was buried.  This "permanent" line failed at some point when Verizon technicians were servicing a neighbor's line.  I know this because I work from our home and when the internet service dropped, I went outside to find the guys working on a line for our next door neighbor.  When they realized they had cut the line, they laid another temporary line.  Ultimately, Verizon went through 2 or 3 temporary lines before getting us stable service in January (five months later!).

I have left two voicemails for the contact at CMR Claims to dispute this "bill", but they have not returned my  call.  (see update below)

Yesterday, I spent over 3 hours with numerous different Verizon reps - not one of the reps was able to address my concerns.  I spoke with 6-8 different reps and was transferred (or dropped) at least five times.  Now, I am theoretically waiting for a Supervisor from the Technical Support Team to call me.  The promise was that would happen yesterday, but not response yet...

So, this certainly feels like a huge scam!  The seems to be two logical conclusions.  Either CMR Claims is a completely fraudulent group trying to pass itself off as a Verizon collection agent, or Verizon is arbitrarily and unjustifiably assigning charges to customers without providing any rationale for the bill and without providing any recourse to its customers.  This is a classic case of big corporates using threatenting tactics and then avoiding their customers.  Now I am wasting my time trying to address a specious claim with no one willing to answer my questions.  Terrible, unethical, and potentially fraudulent!


As of today, I finally got a call from CMR.  The woman explained that the collection attempt is for the referenced landscape company and not for me personally.  Even though their cover letter is directed to ME and specifically says "Please mail payment to the address listed below."  This is an incredibly misleading practice - to ask a consumer to pay for the presumed liabilty of a local business!  Her explanation was that since our line was damaged, they were trying to reach me to discuss the liable landscape company and that they were not trying to collect their debt from me, despite their direct soliciation of payment from me!  VERY BAD PRACTICE!