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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Verizon customers, check your bills closely!

About a week ago, I mentioned the bill formatting change that Verizon introduced recently. After getting a second email this weekend notifying me that my electronic statement was available online to review, I started scratching my head, and decided to take another look.

I found two very interesting things. #1, my wife's call detail is now available, whereas it wasn't a week ago. Good. #2, I looked more closely at my own details, and discovered that I had been charged for a dozen IN calls totaling 26 minutes, and I'm pretty sure that we have the IN option on our plan.

Normally, I wouldn't bat an eye at getting dinged for 26 minutes of airtime, as we rarely use our full plan allowance. However, in October I had a few work calls during peak hours and that pushed us over the edge, to the tune of $20 in overage charges.

So, a quick call to customer service (*611) was in order. She confirmed that yes, I have the IN option on the plan, and no, I definitely should not have been charged those 26 minutes of airtime. She also told me that the formatting change had caused some other funkiness, and the CSRs were going crazy because they were used to the old format and have to retrain their eyes to adjust now. I told her that my data collection had been thrown off by this change as well and she was rather sympathetic to my plight, but obviously there was nothing she could do about it (I wasn't accusatory, and she didn't get defensive). She put in the correction on my account and the credit should kick in within 3 business days. She'll even give me a phone call when it gets applied! Total call time: under 6 minutes, and no time spent waiting in an on-hold queue.

So, to recap: If you use Verizon, check your bill carefully. Make sure all your IN calls (listed in the Usage Type column on your detailed statement) have no aitrime charges associated with them. If you find that there are any of these charges, call up customer service, they should take care of it without trouble.

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