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Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
HawK316
Member

 I have wasted most of the day today on the phone trying to get an issue resolved with my payment.

I made a payment on the 1st on the Verizon website, got an email confirmation of the payment a few minutes later. That is typically what happens and I don't think about it again until the next month. I have been doing this for a while now, ever since C19 had stores closed except by appoint. Previously I payed in store. Never had any issues until now.

Verizon did not withdraw the money from my account until the 3rd, not a big issue as the 1st was a holiday and the bill was not due until the 4th.

Today I get a notification on my phone that my bill is past due.

I call the support number and get someone that tells me there was a reversal of payment. I asked why because I did not authorize any such thing, I did not even know it was possible after the bill had been paid and my account was debited. They told me I would have to contact the bank to find out.

I called the bank and they assured me they did nothing and have no record of the payment being held back or request for it to be returned to the account. As far as they can tell the money was removed from my account without issue on the 3rd by Verizon.

So another call to Verizon support to another person that tells me the money was returned due to a manual reversal and that either I or my bank did it and I should call my bank. I explained that I had already spoken with the bank and they assured me they did not do it and I that most certainly did not do it so there had to be a mistake.

He informed me he would open a payment investigation and it would take a few days to get to the bottom of the situation.  Low and behold in less than 30 minutes I get an email stating they could not find any problem. So according to them l still owed my bill PLUS late fees, even though the bank shows they took the money out on the 3rd and it has not been returned to my account.

Another call to customer support where I can no longer get a live person on the phone and every time I press "1" for main menu  after it goes thru all of its automated process and doesn't give me an option to speak to anyone, i just get disconnected. I thought it may have dropped the call due to poor signal the first time since I was in a metal building. I went outside where I had better reception and I still got disconnected when I pressed "1".

After wasting almost an hour between the calls and then not getting anywhere, I shut down my business so I could go to the Verizon store and speak with someone in person.

Got to the store and explained everything to the gentleman that waited on me and he informed me they could only take payments in the store, they had no way to deal with any billing problem, but He did get me directly to a customer support person and he stayed with me the whole time I was on the phone, which according to my call log was 1 hour and 15 minutes.

During the hour and fifteen minutes I kept getting transferred. Every time I got transferred I would have to start all over giving them my identifying information, pin number, etc. and explaining the situation over again. Everyone would initially tell me the same thing, my bill is overdue, how would I like to pay it? Then I would explain it all over again that I had already paid it as verified by my bank, I even opened my mobile banking app and showed the store employee where it was taken from my account and that the funds had not been returned.

This is where it started getting really frustrating, they all told me that the funds had been manually returned on the 4th but each one would give a different reason!

Some said it was due to NSF which my bank verified was NOT the case, I mean if it wasn't there to start with they never could have taken it in the first place, but they clearly took it on the 3rd! One said the bank did it, one said I had to have called and done it. One told me that Verizon never took the money from my account at all. Each time I explained that no that was not the case, they would place me on hold and after a few minutes someone else would answer and I'd have to start all over.

The fourth person answered and started calling me by the wrong name and I explained I was not that person and after giving them my information and going thru everything I finally thought I was getting somewhere as this person began asking if there was anyone else on the account and if I knew anyone with the last 4 digits of the phone number xxxx.  They said it appeared that the funds I payed on my account had be rerouted to pay for someone else's bill, to which I assured them I most certainly did not do! They placed me on hold to look deeper into the matter and after a few minutes, low and behold someone else picks up on the line, I had been transferred AGAIN!

At this point even the store employee that has been with me all this time is starting to look annoyed.

Go thru it all again with the newest person, explaining what the last person told me and the store employee verified, even recalling the the last 4 digits of the phone number for me to give the support representative. They place me on hold to look into it.  Again I get transferred without warning.

I don't believe any of the those times I was transferred was due to the people I was speaking with, I think there is/was a problem with the Verizon systems be cause no one had said anything about them transferring me to someone else that could better help me or anything, they all said please hold while I look into this or gather more information.

At this point I am getting really frustrated having to go thru the entire identification, pin verification being told my bill is over due and having to explain the situation, so the store employee tries to help reduce the stress by trying to talk to the support person but she informs him she can't talk to him about my account, even though he has given her his store number, name, and other employee identifications and I am standing right next to him with the phone on speaker. I authorize him to talk with her about my account so she will speak to him. The service rep finally decides I need to speak to someone in the fraud department after we explain what the person said a couple of transfers ago and transfers me to the fraud department. Finally, we are getting somewhere! Or so I thought.

The person that answered in the fraud department seemed very nice and sincere in their willingness to help but said I was in the wrong department because they only dealt with issues like someone trying to open an account in my name, not someone redirecting my payment to their account. She explained that she worked in the finance department before starting work in the fraud department and said it should be a simple issue for the finance department to resolve with a hub payment but she did not have access to that part of the system or she would do it.

 

So now I'm transferred BACK to finance, which I have been dealing with for almost an hour straight at this point. The person from finance asks for all the information which I have already had to give 10 times so far today just to tell me that my bill is over due. As I explain the situation they tell me that I need to speak to the fraud department, not the finance department. So I have to tell her that fraud is the one that transferred me to finance, which is the department I have been dealing with all morning with no resolution so far. At this point they inform me that they see a bunch of notes on my account, verifying that I have spoken to lots of people about the issue this morning, but I guess maybe the notes are not complete concerning the transfer of funds to another individuals account so I explain it and they swear there is no way they (finance department I guess, she never clarified) could know where the funds went to without doing a payment investigation and I had to open an email on my phone while talking to her and input my banking information so they could conduct the investigation, which I was told could take up to a week, just like they said this morning.

Not real sure why they need that information but I begrudgingly gave it to her, even though the previous payment investigation from this morning that lasted less than 30 minutes did not require it. Now I will be keeping a closer eye on my account than usual.

I kind of wonder if they aren't going to try and slip some money into my account so they can say I did request the funds to be returned so I still owe a late fee. I can think of no other reason she would ask for that information because if I had actually asked for the funds to be retuned, I'm sure they have a policy like most store to where the funds must go back to the same account from which they were drawn and they would already have that information.

I am goin to be extremely upset if they set me up on automated payment and that was why she wanted the information. I'll just have to wait and see.

So far, about 5 and a half hours after getting off the phone, I have not received an email saying Verizon doesn't see a problem like last time. Fingers crossed.

They also told me that in order to avoid a service interruption I needed to pay the bill plus late fees. A bill which my bank says I have already paid, on time. I could understand if I had a habit of being late or something, but I have never missed a payment or payed late the entire time I have been a Verizon customer going on several years now and they definitely have a record of me disputing the bill so they should offer some sort of grace at least until the investigation is completed.

The thing that really irks me, beside the repeated transfers, is how everyone I spoke with told me something different than the previous person. Why wouldn't they all have the same information available?

That and it appears to be impossible to get a simple matter such as "I did not authorize this" to be resolved. I am  not asking for money back. I have never asked for my money back or for it to be applied to anyone else's account. I am not trying to get over on any one or cheat the system. I simply want my account to reflect that I made the payment, which my bank shows I made, on time and to not be penalized for an error that was not mine.

Why is that such a hassle?

Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

HawK316,

 

I'm terribly sorry you've had such trouble getting this payment resolved. That's never our goal. We're glad to look into this for you and make sure we figure it out. I've sent you a private message. Please reply when you can so we can fully assist you. 

 

-Andrew

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
HawK316
Member

Several private messages later, to which every one I replied to was responded to by a different person, and after "authenticating my account" and going into a private chat where I was responded to by two different people, I still have no resolution.  The "chat" told me that the matter is under investigation and that I should make a payment arrangement to pay the overdue amount and late fees in order to avoid any service interruptions. I believe that I already stated that in my original post and that it was not satisfactory.

Seems I have wasted a bunch of time just to have them say the same thing over again.

 

I don't know how I can be any more clear, I WILL NOT PAY FOR AN ERROR THAT WAS NOT MINE!

I payed the bill ON TIME! I have the bank statements to prove it. I did not request the funds to be returned and neither did my bank. As of this moment the funds have not been returned to my bank so I consider the bill paid. I am not responsible for what happens to the funds after Verizon has possession of them. If Verizon misplaced or sent them to the wrong place or someone else found a way to steal the funds from Verizon, THAT IS NOT MY FAULT.

IF the funds somehow wind up back in my bank account, THEN and only then, will I pay the bill again, but I still refuse to pay any late fees because I did not request the funds back.

The last person on the chat and one person on the private message asked when did I get notified about the funds reversal and the simple fact of the matter is I never got notified about it. Which is rather odd considering that I have to use my phone to authorize even accessing my account to make a payment from my home computer. Even when I made payments in person at the store, I had to use my phone to allow the sales person to access my account so they could take my payment and apply it to my account. When I do make a payment I get an email, a text, and a notification on my app about it. Yet somehow when funds are taken away, reversed, or redirected, depending on who you talk to, I get nothing? No "hey is this you trying to do something on your account", not a single thing until "Your bill is overdue".

The only way I am even aware of a "funds reversal" is because that is what 7 of 9 people I spoke with in the finance depart said happened, even though none of them gave the same reasons. Two of them said it was automatic, one claiming due to NSF and the other saying I would have to contact the bank to find out. Some of the others said it was a manual reversal but they couldn't tell me why it was done. One person said I must have made the request.  Another person said the funds were redirected from my account to pay another persons bill. Yet another person, the last one I spoke with on the 5th of January, told me they had no way of knowing anything about why the reversal happened, even though all the others proffered a myriad of reasons, and that I should be dealing with the fraud department instead of finance but since fraud sent me to them the only thing they could do was initiate a payment investigation, again. 

At least it looks like they may be taking this second investigation more seriously than the first one that they completed in only 20 minutes. Or it could be just sitting in a folder somewhere and has not even been looked at for all I know. So far this entire fiasco has only eroded my confidence in Verizon. I switched to them years ago because they had better coverage and a cheaper rate, but I no longer travel so coverage is a non issue and the cheaper rate can not make up for the headaches this has been so far.

 

 

 

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

Hello, HawK316. We want to make sure this issue is being resolved for you. We have sent you Private Note to assist you further. *Cassie

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

Hello, HawK316. When was the second payment investigation filed and did you receive a ticket number for it. *Cassie

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
HawK316
Member

The funds never went back to my bank account during the 72 hour (3 days) window that support said it would take. Low and behold on the 4th day I have an email that sates Verizon has correctly applied the payment to my account.  So that's a good thing, they now show my bill has been paid in the exact amount I originally paid on January 1st and they took possession of on January 3rd. My Verizon account however shows the bill as being paid on January 8th. That is after the due date and the email makes no mention of if there is a credit for any late fees.

Is there a way for me to find out the details of what the investigation turned up?

I would like a little transparency as to what happened and how it happened as well as what Verizon is going to do to make sure it does not happen again in the future. Was it a malfunction in the Verizon accounting system, or a mistake by an employee, or was it actually a case of fraud? Is Verizon going to have software updated to prevent such future errors or implement better training standards or prosecute someone or is this just going to be brushed under the rug and forgotten about and pretend like nothing happened?

 I can say Verizon employees definitely should receive better training so they can all give the same answers to questions instead of each one having a different answer. Not only did I get different answers as to what happened from each person I spoke with, each person told me different amounts of time to complete the payment investigations. Some said a short as a few days, some said up to 5 days, some said 5 to 10 business days.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad that Verizon did get the payment back on to my account, but the entire process and the transparency of the process leaves much to be desired.

Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

HawK316, we are here for your support and we want to thank you for sharing this update. We will be more than happy to review the findings of your payment investigation ticket. We have sent you a Private Message. Can you please respond to that message? Thank you.  -Sylvia

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
HawK316
Member

Well a private chat at least confirmed that my payment was directed to the wrong account, but the chat window timed out before I got a response as to how it happened or what was being done to make sure it doesn't happen again in the future or if I was also given any credit for any claimed late fees.

It would seem to me that Verizon could and should have included such information in the email they sent me about the result of the payment investigation, rather than making me go through the process of having to ask.

Then again, they also should have notified me instantly about the supposed payment reversal that turned out to be a payment redirect, instead of a reversal, in the beginning before my bill became overdue.

 

I sincerely hope that someone in a position of authority at Verizon has a chance to read this post and do something about the circumstances that lead to this situation in the first place.

 

I hate to imagine some older person on a fixed income that has to go through this same thing and doesn't push beyond the initial 20 minute investigation in which Verizon claimed to have found no fault and then says they have to pay again.

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
HawK316
Member

Just got my bill and sure enough, Verizon is trying to charge me a late fee for someone else's mistake. A mistake that they determined through their own investigation was not of my doing.

  I made the payment on time, someone else redirected the payment to pay for a different account, which I did not authorize, and Verizon finally corrected the mistake but they are still charging me a late fee for the initial mistake that was not mine.

So what hoops must I jump through now to get Verizon to fix this latest mistake?

I was assured by several different Verizon representatives that I would be given a credit for any late fees so I would not be charged for them. Surely all of this information is readily available due to the many notes from all of the different people I talked to on the phone, plus the chats from here, plus the payment investigations.

What happened to that?

Why is it always so difficult to get a problem completely resolved the first time?

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Re: Billing disputes seem impossible to get resolved, now I have to pay twice plus late fee?
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

We certainly want to make sure everything is corrected for your account, HawK316! We've sent a Private Note to assist. -Nikki

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