Periodically I log into my elderly mother's Verizon pre-pay cell phone account to check her balance. She is on a monthly prepay account. Last time I logged in, my mom had approximately $400 in rollover credit for airtime. This week I checked and she had just $16 and change. I need to know where this money went. My mother rarely makes calls over 3 minutes, and then only 4 or 5 per month. Nothing that is call related should have caused this drain on her account. Going through her usage records and billing records, I am unable as an end user to view monthly balances prior to this month. Therefore, I'm unable to determine exactly when the money went poof. I'd like to (A) understand what happened, and (B) get the money back if possible. Does anybody out there got a suggestion as to where I should start?
Yes, if the balance wasn’t depleted by usage the funds may have expired based on the payments that were previously made (below).
If you call into prepaid customer service with her present they could go over the account details with you to determine what happened.
|Payment Amount||Expires In|
|$0.01 - 29.99||30 days|
|$30 - 74.99||90 days|
|$75 - 99.99||180 days|
|$100 or more|
Welcome to Verizon’s prepaid scam. Using my case as an example: I am a long-term prepaid customer. During the past 12 months, I accumulated over three months’ worth of advanced payments in the account when I discovered my account had been suspended due to insufficient funds. What happened to the three months of advanced payments in my account? Answer, Verizon’s terminology, the funds were forfeited, lost, dropped or deleted because I did not make a payment within their undisclosed time frame. Here is what is really going on behind the scenes; Verizon has programmed their software to sweep or steal the prepaid funds from your account if a payment is not made within a specific time frame only known by Verizon employees. This contradicts their published prepaid terms and conditions posted on their website which clearly state: "At time of renewal, if funds are available, account will be renewed for another month." However, the reality is the entire credit balance is swept or stolen out of your account, causing the account to become suspended because it shows a zero balance. You have 60 days to make a minimum monthly payment which reactivates your account, or you can decide not to make any more payments, at which time your account is cancelled. In both scenarios, your previous credit balance funds are not returned to your account unless you take further action.
Solution; file a complaint online with the FCC and your state's SCC. This will get you a response from Verizon’s Executive Relations. Despite the fancy title, they are just a baby step above the front-line customer service representatives. They will attempt to mislead you but will eventually, “as a courtesy”, return your funds back to your account once you make an additional payment unless it has been cancelled. It a bit like extortion. Do yourself a big favor and only communicate by email so everything is in writing. They are not to be trusted.