$18,000 Verizon bill? Oops!

4 years ago, a Verizon customer signed up for a plan. Said plan included 2 years of free data usage, which the customer did take advantage of, and use to tether his laptop. Then one day, disaster!

Turns out the the this particular Verizon customer missed exactly when that 2 free years of data expired. After the end of that special offer, Verizon started billing per kb, as data plans do. Unfortunately, the customer didn’t know that the plan expired until he got the bill. For a rather shocking $12,000. It was even more shocking when the customer called Verizon to complain, and told there was nothing that Verizon could do. Oh, and there was another bill on the way, this one for $6000.

The customer is now suing Verizon, saying that they should have notified him when his bill was climbing so high. Verizon says too bad, and promptly sent the bill to the most understanding of people, a collections agency.

[via Technically Correct]

Update: Got this response from Verizon, they sent this as a letter to the editor at the Boston Globe.

On April 30, the Globe published an article about a Verizon customer who disputed a 2006 bill. This story paints an inaccurate picture about the clear disclosure of calling plan information we provide and neglects to include any of the many tools available to our customers to help manage their accounts.

The wireless industry is extraordinarily competitive and customers have choices. We work to win, and keep, customers every day – and we understand our customers don’t like surprises. Neither do we – it’s bad business. Which is why we clearly explain service plan details in brochures, during the purchase process, in our customer agreements and again through confirmation letters. We provide access to tons of account information through the MyVerizon webpage, and by dialing #BAL (balance information), #DATA (data usage), and #MIN (available minutes).

We also provide numerous tools through the Internet to manage your family’s cell phone use, including the ability to: set voice and messaging allowances and receive free text alerts when a family member nears or reaches their limit; designate specific times when a family member can’t call, message or use data on his/her cell phone; create lists of blocked phone numbers to prevent unwanted calls and text messages from being sent/received.
Situations like the one in the article are exceedingly rare. However, when customers share unusual situations, like the one featured from 2006, we work on a case-by-case basis to resolve them. At Verizon, we believe in upholding the highest ethical standards. Anything less would be unacceptable.

Howard Waterman
Executive Director of Public Relations for Verizon Wireless Northeast Area