Hello, I am Cpl Lauryn Powell and I'm Active duty in the United States Marine Corps and currently deployed overseas as of December 2020. My husband is also Active duty in the United States Marine Corps. This is my first time being deployed. Before deploying, I spoke to Verizon representatives about the steps I needed to take in order to still use my phone and spend the least amount of money. I was told turning off the Cellular data, connecting to Wifi and being put on the "PAY AS YOU GO" International Service Plan option would set me up for success financially. All of those steps were taken. " PAY AS YOU GO" was turned on the day I arrived in Spain, 28 December 2020. I was never explained the difference between PAY AS YOU GO and the Travel $10/day Pass and failed to be informed that the Travel Pass would be the smartest option. About ten to fourteen days later, we received our December phone bill and were very astonished by the amount that we were being charged which was $1400. Not sure if this is known but the Military hardly makes Minimum Wage.
On January 11th 2021, I called Verizon with concerns about the bill. The representative that I spoke to, assured me that the charges were not valid and an investigation would be started. Seven days later, I was notified that the international charges were accurate. December's billing cycle had International charges that accumulated over a ten day period.
During the few days after, we spoke to multiple Verizon representatives in an effort to decrease the amount on our bill. My line was military suspended, the phone was put on airplane mode and the SIM card was removed on January 19th. Although $400 was taken off the amount, the representatives that we spoke with failed to guide and inform us of the best options forward to prevent this amount of charges in the future. We then went ahead and paid in full the amount of $1061.97 on the day prior to the scheduled due date of January 31st 2021. My husband and I have not once missed or failed to pay a bill during the two years of being customers with Verizon. The following weeks after, my husband and I were under the impression that we were not being charged anymore. That our January bill would be back at a normal amount. February 6th 2021, we proceeded to check on the January bill and it displayed an estimated bill for my husband's line only of $74.84. The bill was checked again on February 8th 2021, and it displayed the amount of $4500, the billing cycle was from January 9th to February 9th. January 9th to January 19th ( the 19th is when the line was suspended) is when International charges were made to the account which like December's billing cycle, is only ten days worth of charges. We are confused on how with the same amount of days, there could be such a significant difference. We should not be held accountable to pay this amount to a phone bill, when several representatives failed to inform us of the correct actions we needed to take. Your company prides itself on putting Service Members first but that has not been the case with our situation. My primary mission is to be fully focused on the duties assigned to me as a forward deployed Service member. The amount in question, even split into six equal payments ,(which is the max that your company allows) we would not be able to afford and puts our living situation at risk. We hope all of the facts are taken in consideration and the amount being charged to our account is reconsidered.
We would like to thank you for the time you have taken to read about our experiences that we have had as Service Members being customers with your company.