This Verizon mistake cost him big time!

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By Christopher Elliott

Shawn Corridan wants a refund for a decade’s worth of phone service he says he never used. This Verizon mistake cost him a bundle and he wants his money returned. How did this happen?

Question

Why should a Verizon mistake cost me money? Verizon has overcharged me for 10 years for a service they are not providing. This address doesn’t exist, and the phone number that was terminated 10 years ago. They refuse to stop billing me and threaten to send my account to collections if I stop payment.

The account in question is a Verizon dial-up service we had in 2006 when we lived in Manhattan Beach, Calif. We terminated our contract with Verizon when we moved to Florida.

The address no longer exists. You can’t even get Verizon landline service in Manhattan Beach anymore. But that didn’t stop Verizon from charging me $24.99 per month.

We terminated the landline and dial-up service in 2006 when we moved to Florida. We have tried to get this resolved for years. Verizon owes us thousands of dollars. Can you help? — Shawn Corridan, Merritt Island, Fla.

Answer

This is one of the strangest cases I’ve ever come across. You’re saying that Verizon has charged you for more than a decade for service you are no longer using. And when you tried to terminate the service, they threatened to report you to a collection agency?

At this point in the mediation process, I would reach out to Verizon to fill in some missing pieces of information. How long has it known about this allegedly rogue account? Is it even possible to have a dial-up account at an address that doesn’t exist? (Related: Verizon won’t replace my broken phone, do I still owe an early termination fee?)

I contacted Verizon in California on your behalf, and although it never responded to me, a representative called you. You asked the representative to disconnect your service and she promised to “get back to you,” you said.

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Several weeks went by. I decided to contact Verizon again, this time in Florida, since that’s where you live. This time, I heard back from a representative who agreed to review your case. “My apologies for our poor performance,” he told you.

Let’s correct this Verizon mistake

But he handed it off to another representative in California, and the case went cold. The bills are still coming.

This is exceedingly frustrating — for both of us. You deserve a straight answer about your dial-up service and these bills you’ve been getting. I’m mystified that this has gone on for so long. For now, at least, my biggest takeaway is that if you’re being billed for something you’re not getting, you shouldn’t be afraid of a collection agency. A debt like that is not valid. The Federal Trade Commission has a great overview of debt collection rules on its site.

I’m still hopeful that you can get a refund for the service you didn’t receive or use. Perhaps this article will help.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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