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Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. #5457485 06/19/20 07:31 AM
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mrsilv04 Offline OP
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My sister is in a huge mess with Verizon Wireless.

In the first days of COVID here in Illinois, her phone died, and she's a healthcare worker. She has to have a phone. She went to Best Buy to get a new phone and new service with Verizon. She had been previously using a "month to month" carrier for service, where you buy cards for service at Wal-Mart. She was ready to "move up" to Verizon.

She picks out her new phone, does all of the paperwork, but Best Buy can't get the phone to activate in the store. Again, this was in the very first days of the COVID shutdown here in Illinois, and things were all screwed up...everywhere. After a couple of hours waiting in the store, the staff at Best Buy tells her to take the phone and they'll keep working on getting her service established.

Three days later, the phone still doesn't work. No service, no nothing. She gives up and takes the phone back to Best Buy and they give her money back for the phone.

Now... she's in collections with Verizon for $335, for cell service that she never had. No monthly bills, no nothing. Just a collections letter out of nowhere.

In the letter, Verizon provided a phone number for her to call to address the issue. When she calls the number for Verizon, no one will help her, as she doesn't have a PIN number, for an account that never worked. No PIN, no assistance from Verizon. Yesterday, she spent over 2 hours calling Verizon, and tried 5 different times with 5 different reps at Verizon. No one at the number that Verizon provided is able to help. When she doesn't have a PIN, the Verizon reps end the call, as they don't know what else to do. She's asked for a supervisor and they can't do that, as the undertrained droids that take the calls can't establish ownership of the account though a PIN number.

So what is one supposed to do, when Verizon pulls a stunt like this? They won't talk to her, in her attempt to resolve a problem that they created.

It has been 21 years since I've dealt with establishing new service on a cell phone, and I can't remember how it all works, and it probably has all changed since then.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457494 06/19/20 07:45 AM
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supton Offline
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The Best Buy store is a Verizon front, right? Can she go in there where she bought the phone and get them to help? What paperwork did she get buying and giving the phone back?

I'm guessing Verizon is trying to collect on the early termination clause?

Not sure how she wouldn't have set up a PIN at the Best Buy store though. Isn't that part of setting up the account?


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457496 06/19/20 07:47 AM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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call the state public service commission and the attorney general.

Rod

Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457501 06/19/20 07:56 AM
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Donald Offline
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Well they must have a process for a lost PIN. Try that to get a PIN. Maybe they mail it.

As far as collections go, she needs to write them and demand a copy of the contract that she signed requesting the service and that the service was provided. They have to provide that so one can determine its a legitimate debt.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457508 06/19/20 08:03 AM
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MNgopher Offline
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Have you asked best buy to help you? Sounds like that is where the mess originated?

Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457515 06/19/20 08:18 AM
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Gebo Offline
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This info may not help you, but could help someone else.

After many mess ups in my cell phone life, I now make it a priority to go to a Verizon Company store. I understand, they are
all closed in my area. I'm just making a suggestion for future dealings. That's all.

And my sister-in-law found out why it is best to go direct to Apple and skip Best Buy as well. The nearest Apple store is about
3 hour drive round trip but she made 4 trips to Best Buy (1 1/2 hr round trips). She finally gave up and ate the $150 charge.
Somehow Best Buy's paperwork didn't jive with Apple's paperwork.

It's messed up but....

She needs to go back to Best Buy.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457523 06/19/20 08:29 AM
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ryster Offline
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Take all of the receipts from Best Buy, especially the one showing the phone was returned, and the letter from Verizon indicating she owes money. Skip Best Buy and go directly to a Verizon Wireless retail location (not a subcontractor, an actual Verizon Wireless company owned store.) The company owned stores have a counter where billing issues can be resolved. Go to the billing counter, prove the phone was returned 3 days after first purchasing it, and that should be enough for the representative at the Verizon Wireless store to take care of it.

Unfortunately, the wireless service industry is largely commission based. Reps at the stores do not want to help if there is nothing in it for them. They get paid nothing to deal with billing issues. It will take some persistence to get the issue resolved, but if the phone itself was never activated Verizon should be able to see that in the account profile as well as see that no calls/texts/data was ever used on the line. Should be an easy thing to resolve once you get a rep to just look at the account. Much easier face to face at the Verizon store than dealing with Best Buy or trying to get someone on the phone to understand.

As others have also said...never get a wireless contract from Best Buy/Walmart/Target etc. Just go to the actual carrier's store or website and buy direct.

Last edited by ryster; 06/19/20 08:31 AM.

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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457545 06/19/20 08:49 AM
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mk378 Offline
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What @ryster said-- Most "Verizon" stores though they have full Verizon regalia and only sell Verizon phones are actually Authorized Resellers, which are third parties. Find a true corporate store.

It used to be on a postpaid account, the PIN defaults to the last four digits of the customer's SSN.

In most if not all states you have at least 14 days to return the phone for any reason which will cancel the contract and you only owe for time used.

Last edited by mk378; 06/19/20 08:51 AM.
Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: ryster] #5457549 06/19/20 08:55 AM
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mrsilv04 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ryster
As others have also said...never get a wireless contract from Best Buy/Walmart/Target etc. Just go to the actual carrier's store or website and buy direct.


Normally, yes. But in this case, it would have been really difficult, since our ignorant Governor had shut down everything except places like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart. Apparenltly, COVID was hiding out in Verizon company stores, ready to attack everyone... but not at Best Buy which is across the street from the Verizon company store.

However, the rest of your advice will be our next move.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457576 06/19/20 09:23 AM
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Rand Offline
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we have verizon stores here they have been open for months.(early may)

the best way is to talk to a real verizon store manager.. second best

There is an executive relations email and phone you can try.
https://fairshake.com/verizon-wireless/executive-contact/

Quote


Contact the Verizon Wireless Executive Customer Relations team by phone or email.

By E-mail:
[email protected] (Northeast Region),
[email protected] (Midwest),
[email protected] (South),
[email protected] (West)

Phone: (800) 779-2067 (try entering all zeros as your “Case ID”)

Verizon Wireless’ Executive Customer Relations team deals with complaints that have been escalated from the lower levels of customer support.

If you contact Verizon Wireless through the Executive Response team, you might get Verizon Wireless to listen. The specialists are better trained to expedite your issue.

Call the main line for Verizon Wireless’ Corporate Offices at (908) 559-2001.

At this direct line to Verizon Wireless’ corporate office you can use the phone directory to look up senior Verizon Wireless executives like the CEO or General Counsel (the top lawyer).


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457587 06/19/20 09:38 AM
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Pew Offline
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Physically go into a store with a state issued ID, and at least two utility bills that show your proof of address, and the store employees should be able to reset the PIN at least if not completely give her the account details.

Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457597 06/19/20 09:53 AM
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Trav Offline
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Make sure they don't ding her credit score.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: mrsilv04] #5457630 06/19/20 10:49 AM
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csandste Offline
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Bought a Boost replacement phone at a Best Buy about eight years ago. Remember the "customer assistance" person said she'd set it up for me (not necessary), was working on it and was told by her supervisor not to work with prepaid phones--so she handed it back to me halfway through the process. A bit hazy in my memory but remember I had two accounts and numbers for several days. Sometimes help from Best Buy is no help.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: Trav] #5457631 06/19/20 10:50 AM
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jmsjags Offline
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Originally Posted by Trav
Make sure they don't ding her credit score.

It's already affected her credit score if it's in collections. She will need to get them to remove the collection account off the credit report.


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Re: Issue with Verizon wireless, in collections but never had service. [Re: ragtoplvr] #5457737 06/19/20 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
call the state public service commission and the attorney general.

Rod

What rag says.

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