I would probably pass out… but Bob St. Germain fought it out for over 4 years!
His dedication and determination paid off recently after Verizon finally decided to end the years long dispute by simply forgiving the debt.
It all started four years ago when St. Germain’s son, Bryan, now 26, tethered his cellphone to a laptop computer to connect to the Internet. That simple task racked up $18,000 in charges over the course of six weeks.
As he explains in the video above, St. Germain complained to the company, which eventually agreed to cut the $18,000 bill by half, to about $9,000 but being that the charges were excessive and unfounded, St. Germain never agreed to even a partial payment.
Verizon then sent the $9,000 bill to a collection agency, which totally destroyed St. Germains credit.
On Friday night, the company issued a statement saying it concluded that the remaining balance is “uncollectible” and that it considers the matter “closed.”
Despite making a substantial adjustment to the customer’s bill in 2006, we concluded last week the remaining balance was uncollectible, wrote it off and consider the matter closed. Bills of this nature are exceptionally rare given our policy of clear disclosure of price plan details at the point of sale and through confirmation letters, the customer’s ability to change price plans at any time without fees or extensions, and the many customer tools available for monitoring and managing voice and data usage via the Internet, from handsets, and by text or email notification.
This combination of transparency, flexibility, and technology serves our customers very well. For example, in March, over 97 percent of our customers did not exceed their voice minute plans. With our Parental Controls feature, customers can set voice and messaging allowances and receive free text alerts when a family member nears or reaches their limit. Our Mobile Broadband data customers are alerted through both email and text message when they reach 50, 75, 90, and 100 percent of their data plans.
The reality is the vast majority of our customers effectively manage their wireless accounts. The wireless industry is extraordinarily competitive and customers have many choices, which is why we continually focus on providing the best network, devices and account management tools to increase customer satisfaction.
St. Germain’s predicament has prompted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider adopting new rules to prevent such consumer “bill shock.”
The agency is now accepting comments from consumer groups and industry specialists about outrageously high wireless cellphone bills.
I recently got a “bill shock” of my own from Sprint after purchasing their 3g/4g wireless card. The first month I received a normal bill but in month two I was hit with an outrageous charge for going over my wireless usage.
Crazy thing is, each time I used the card I was on their 4G network, which they claim is unlimited. My bill wasn’t $18,000 (I woulda had a heart attack) but it was way more than it was supposed to be.
After spending literally hours on hold with someone probably overseas, I finally got someone to put a hold on the charges and they’re being disputed.
Hopefully I won’t have to wait 4 years like Mr. St. Germain…