Dropping the dime on Verizon

10 cent phone billUpstater emailed us with this story about closing out her Verizon landline:

Despite the fact I have had 5 plus decades on this earth, the economy finally made me brave enough to cut my landline and rely on my cell service. With trembling fingers I dialed up Verizon, reached India, and canceled my service. Imagine my surprise to receive the attached bill Friday...

10 cent phone bill large

Note that they needed five pages of paper to bill me. Mind you, I have had a Verizon landline (all the way back to the Ma Bell days) since 1970.
So okay, I'll bite, I'll pay the ten cents. Log on to my account, process the payment, only to have it rejected because Verizon won't accept any payment under a dollar. There is no way I'll spend more on a stamp to mail a check than the payment due.
Solution -- made a one dollar payment -- now they can send me a 90 cent refund!

One thing that struck us when we canceled our landline: you can't cancel your phone service online. You actually have to call Verizon to break up with them.


We recently switched from Verizon to Time Warner for the phone service for two billing problems. The first is that we are a non-profit tax-exempt organization and no matter how many times I send them the certificate, they will not remove the taxes. The second is problem is that they have been charging us $8.50/month for directory assistance - which we do not use. If I complain they credit us for six months, then the credit disappears and I have to complain again. Each time they tell me they will look into it and get back to me.

I'm still waiting.

I tried filling a complaint with the PSC - but they told me it was fraud and not their area of responsibility, I need to go file this problem with the Attorney Generals Office.

slow news day?

i haven't had a land line since 2002.
welcome to 2009 where i am posting this comment from, that's right, A TELEPHONE!

I've had that before with Time Warner, and called them and they waived the balance.

I can't give up the landline because I'm so old that I really and truly believe in I should be able to hear and be heard on the phone. I know that belief has gone the way of button shoes.

Have been with Time Warner for a number of years now. I hate to jinx it, but they may have the best customer service of any company I've dealt with in the last 25 years. I know others have had problems, but my experiences have been phenomenally and repeatedly positive. They've spent hours and hours solving weird technical problems. They've credited me every time I've had a complaint about lost service. They've fixed every problem promptly. Their hold times aren't interminable. And of course, they put Caller ID on my television, which to me is the Holy Grail.

As for having to cancel the service from the phone, and not online, that's probably a security measure to prevent hijinks, ensuring that someone with physical access to the phone wants it cut off (and not a malicious ex who knows your passwords).

Yes, CJ.

I also like the clarity and reliability of a land line. I find people with cells only are LESS accessible (didn't charge the phone; so many calls that they ignore the ring; don't get voicemails in a timely way; etc.)

And I have also had great luck with TW's customer service for cable and road runner.


Totally agree with the security issue! but thanks for the heads up as I too have a land line - otherwise how would all those politicians reach me during primary/election time?

I'm a Bell Head. My grandfather, all of his kids and a son-in-law all retired from Ma Bell or its spawn. A lot of family friends growing up were Bell Heads. I myself worked for AT&T in Clifton Park for four years (with Mary D., as it turns out). I'm glad we were all Bell Heads. In retrospect I suppose it made my family a little more modern than average, in a working-class way. Nobody, men or women, feared technology. Wasn't possible.

Verizon, though, is a shockingly loathsome and petty company to do business with. Correction: predictably loathsome and petty. Wanna hear my DSL story? Meh. You can probably guess the outlines. Cell service billing shock, high-handed CSRs, rules designed to trip me up. Hell, what other consumer service provider can *afford* to pull out the rule book on you as Verizon does? "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do." WTF? It's like an alternate consumer universe where Captain Kirk has no morals and an ambitious Mr. Spock wears a Fu Manchu. Down is up.

If you can remove Verizon absurdity from your life, do it. And when the absurd parting shots come -- and they will -- keep walking.


Landlines are WAY outdated.
I wanted to get one as an emergency backup, but.. surcharge for a voicemail? extra $5 a month to get my number unlisted? Verizon, which century you live in?

I dumped my conventional landline in favor of an Ooma device that connects through broadband. It cost $229 at Best Buy, and works like a charm. The voice quality is excellent. There's no additional charge after installation. So I pay nothing for monthly phone service.

Has anyone tried MagicJack? I am curious...

ro - I've got magic jack. It's a solid house phone. Sometimes it comes off a little techno-garbled, but only for seconds at a time every so often. Other than that, I've had no complaints. Very handy for long calls during the day, or if your cell service isn't that great at home.

You should leave the a message with your old land line as the call back number.

Star Trek reference, once a cliché, now obscure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror,_Mirror_(TOS_episode)

OK, so I dislike Verizon and figure I'm paying too much for my phone service through them. But I believe Verizon uses union workers and Time Warner doesn't, so that causes me some ethical qualms. Having said that, I don't give too much thought to union issues when selecting other products and services. So what do you think? Worth bearing in mind or should I lighten up and join the 21st century?

gave up verizon long time ago. Don't like companies that lie to my face. Use only cell now, but cell bill is high. Tried magic jack but never could connect it so it would work. Also it has the worst cs unit I have ever TRIED. No number to live person. New unit came out that u don't need a computer for. Never got unit they said my bank denied bill. Bank said they didn't. Had no other problems with bank. Good newa they never got my money'

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