I got up this morning and contacted the company who will not be named. The number that I was given that was supposed to connect me to their In House Fraud department ('Um...I really don't think this is fraud. I believe that you folks made a mistake.') Anyways I called the number, the one that I had verified before hanging up, and immediately was speaking to a very nice lady. Unfortunately, she worked for the Indiana Wesleyan State University Off-Campus Library. Thinking I had certainly misdialed, I verified the number. I dialed the right number. 'Huh,' I said. 'This is the number that Verizon gave me,' and she said, 'Don't I know it. We get a lot of calls for Verizon here.' Since she was going to be no help to me about my non-existant wireless account, I bid her good day, and redialed Verizon's number. I sat through a number of assurances of how important I was to them, and that someone would be right with me, and then, lo, somebody was. And she was nice, and she was apologetic, and she transferred me to the good folks that I needed to talk to, In House Recovery, after giving me their number, just in case we got disconnected. I verified the number and waited. And my call went to a big call center. I could hear everyone talking. I cannot tell you how many times I heard, 'I do apologize for this.' However, nobody said that directly to me. However, just hearing it said, over and over, made me a little bit hopeful. Surely someone would be able to fix this situation. Surely someone would tell me, 'I do apologize for this.' I waited, patiently, calling 'helllooooooo?' into the phone at fairly regular intervals. Finally I heard a voice say, ' Okay...' and then the phone was disconnected. My dander was up at that point. I called the number I had been given. Twice. I was not granted access to a live operator because I had no open account with them.
I called back to the original Verizon Wireless (oh wait...did I say that outloud?) number and spoke to a very brusque young man. I got brusque right back. His advice to me was that I needed to call the collection agency and straighten it out with them. "No. No I don't," I said. "how many times a day to they speak to bad debts who claim that they don't owe money? I prefer to straighten the problem out with the folks that turned me over to them. You made the mistake. You fix it.' The young man snottily told me that if I disputed with IC System that they had an 'inside line' and would be able to straighten things out with Verizon (oops.) I pointed out that I had my land line and my dsl through his company, and that I was a customer, and that I felt that Verizon's (dammit) motivation to get this resolved quickly might be just a bit greater than a fly by night debt collection place. I also pointed out that, "By God, you are the most exasperating company to deal with when there is a problem, because it is never handled in one call. If this is not resolved by the end of my conversation with you, we will find a new phone company, and we will find a new internet service carrier." He suggested that I call the In House Recovery like I'd been instructed. I suggested that he connect me to an operator so that I could avoid the automated system. He told me he couldn't. I told him I wished to speak with his supervisor. He said 'Let me work on this...' and I was back on hold, listening to repeated assurances that I was most important to Verizon (sorry). Several minutes later, Mr. Snotty had figured out how to connect me to In House Recovery. Daniel told me that the issue was taken care of, the debt removed. I asked for an explanation of how this had happened to begin with. How did my name get in their files? What was the bill for? And he brusquely told me that it had been taken care of, repeatedly. I took down his operator number and name and he told me that I would receive something in writing. He said, 'Be aware this might take 4 - 6 weeks.' Inside, I thought, 'There'd be hell to pay if my payment took 4 - 6 weeks.'
So, that's how it went. The situation is resolved, supposedly, but no one has offered any explanation. If I had a wireless cell phone account, I'd be checking that bill carefully. And if any of you see my name listed on your charges, give me a call. On my land line. You'll have to. We don't have, nor have we ever had, a Verizon cell phone.
Now. If you will excuse me, I've got a bunch of raking to do. I seem to get more of it done when I'm mad as all get out. I guess that's one thing I can thank Verizon for.