Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Begins with a V, Rhymes with Horizon

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.

11 comments:

WhiteStone said...

Ah, the rush of adrenalin. Forget the raking. It's a good time to clean house...you'll be surprised two weeks down the road when you realize how much 'good' stuff you've cleaned out and hauled to the Goodwill. roflol

Tammy said...

I am going thru a "situation" with a very big online retailer who's name is the same as a rain forest. The difference is, I hate to shop & do most of my Christmas shopping with them. However, a charge appeared on my account to another company the same day their legitimate charge came through. My bank said it is the same terminal number as the Rain Forest company. All I want them to tell me is how this happened. How was my account compromised by their company? No one can answer me that to date. And Christmas is fast approaching....

Reb said...

We went through this with one of the satalite radio companies. We did not have, had NEVER had satalite radio. They somehow managed to get our bank account # which tied into our credit card account. They put a $3,000 charge on it! This was after 2 years of fighting with them on the phone. We quickly got a lawyer,and contacted the State Attorney's office. Whowee! Those charges were removed and they have never bothered us again. Still bugs the heck out of me that they were able to get our account #s. We got new ones the next week. Sometimes sure feels like "Big Brother"

Bush Babe said...

Gosh this is quite scary... and just the stress you DIDN't need. I wonder how many people just pay up? Just like those internet providers who send out accounts for domain names when they come due regardless of whether they have held the account previously... very very blurry lines in business these days.
*grabs walking stick to hobble off, muttering about the Good Old Days*

Caroline said...

Um, I don't deal with Verizon. They misled me and lied to me a few years back. They will never get my business again....

Anonymous said...

Sounds like its good for the raking anyhow. Also sounds like a very good column for a newspaper under a pen name and without putting their full name in - there are probably at least a million plus sisters and brothers out there! Although you probably could do without the publicity as much as Verizon can.
It is a bit of a worry how much access to our personal details there are across the globe these days. I only ever use a credit card with a fairly low limit that is not linked to any bank account for internet purchases and never give out my email address on questionnaires etc unless it is for a very very good reason. I just don't trust ticking the box on forms for not passing on your personal details.
Good luck with them doing the 'right' thing! I usually find a furious letter sent via a registered mail that someone has to sign for and you get the signed receipt back to prove they received the mail works also. Nver hear another word after that. Barb

Debby said...

Actually, BB, the thing got me all fired up, but really it is not what I call a stress-er. I was getting more and more fired up as I made one call after the other, but the fact is, I handled myself very well. I did not swear, not even once. I was very firm, refused to back down, argued clearly. It was exhilerating. I felt triumphant when it was all done. I'd gotten the thing accomplished, never lost my cool, and did not shed one angry tear. Maybe I'm growing up in my old age.

jeanie said...

Oooh my - I can only hope that we don't see the Part 3 of this series - for their sakes, because phones may have to explode...

Bill of Wasilla said...

Well, nightmare though it was, I'm glad you got it worked out. Now, they need to reimburse you for all your time that they wasted.

Of course, they won't do that.

Lori said...

Glad it's done, even if they didn't tell you how it happened in the first place. And I hope it never happens again. I hate having to deal with companies like that.

quid said...

ARGGHHHH! Customer service. A myth?

quid