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Verizon sends $3,000 bill to business that doesn't use Verizon
Talking Points Memo recently received a bill from Verizon for $3,019.95. Considering TPM doesn’t use Verizon for any service (and hasn’t since 2012), they were a bit shocked to be receiving anything from Verizon.
So, just call up Verizon and set things straight?
“So after a little internal due diligence, someone on staff contacted Verizon basically to ask WTF was going on. Only they couldn’t tell us because for security reasons we need to confirm our identity with a number on a recent phone bill? But we can’t do that because … right we’re not a Verizon customer.” – TPM
TPM wasn’t even able to be told whether the company being charged in the bill was TPM Media LLC because of security reasons. Finally, Verizon tells TPM that a “Gregory E.” was the one who contracted for the service. As TPM notes, no Gregory E. actually works or has ever worked at TPM.
But it gets even better for TPM.
“During the time I’ve been writing, Verizon came up with a new explanation which may or may not involve “Gregory E.”: it must be a government mandated emergency phone line which we never knew about.” – TPM
But Verizon also has a third theory for TPM.
“PostScript: As of 3:10 PM, the latest is that Verizon says two of our old lines “regenerated” after we terminated service with them. So it seems like some version of the plot line in the third Star Trek film.” – TPM
At the moment, there is no conclusion to this story. Maybe Verizon will soon come up with a 4th theory for the bills?
Verizon has quite the history with mysterious or bogus charges:
- Earlier this month, Verizon was caught charging FiOS voice users a new below-the-line fee (i.e. a fee that allows Verizon to keep the advertised price at an certain amount yet tack on fees to increase the bill) with a “FDV Administrative Charge.”
- Verizon was caught charging customers $1.99 for a data access fee on many phone bills who didn’t even use data. As David Pogue at the NY Times noted in a a column, Verizon was aware of the glitch yet did nothing because they wanted to continue making millions in additional revenue.
It should be noted that Verizon is not even remotely the only carrier billing customers with mysterious or below-the-line charges.