Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Verizon and Debt Collection

I've written in the past about Verizon and their debt collection practices. They're back again.

I got a call this morning about an old disputed cell phone bill. The caller said she was from NES. I'm thinking this is Nintendo calling trying to sell me a Wii, but no. NES stood for something else, National something Systems?

So she tells me this is about my "debt" of $473. She tries to intimidate me by telling me my social security number and asking me if it's correct. I refused to answer that one of course. Then she tells me she knows I'm self-employed. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. All of this, of course, in a nasty tone.

Meanwhile I'm laughing throughout the call. I asked her how old this debt was. She answers "2001". So it gets even funnier for me, since the statute of limitations on breach of contract is 6 years. I suppose I should find these calls scary but it's really just pathetic.

The underlying story is this: I switched from Verizon Wireless to Sprint because I wanted a Palm Treo smartphone and Verizon didn't sell it. Verizon sends me a bill for my monthly usage (about $130), and two termination fees of $170 each. I figured I was responsible for "a" termination fee, not termination fees. I called Verizon to try to resolve the issue. They said the fee was per line, and we had two lines.

Well, I didn't agree to pay two termination fees. I only agreed to pay "a" termination fee. I asked her to send me proof that I'd agreed to this. She mailed me something that said "a termination fee may apply" in big bold print on the front, and I did see that in a microfont on the back it said "per line."

I didn't think that was fair and said I'd pay the $300 I owed but I refused to pay the extra $170. Verizon refused to accept my $300. Okay.

It's been over six years now and they can't get over it. At this point, of course, I wouldn't pay a dollar to get rid of this. I was willing to pay what was fair back then, but after six years of harassment I'm not paying anything. I suppose it should be annoying me but instead it's just too darn funny.

What's really wrong about this is that they do it to regular people who don't know enough to laugh off the calls.
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