Verizon – we charge you to see your bill

I got my most recent Verizon Wireless bill – it covered a period where I was travelling in Vancouver, and so there were so roaming charges. All I saw was a total – no info about how many calls, when, to whom, etc. I was quite surprised since the last time I had any actual usage charges on my bill (i.e., since before I signed up for one of those plans that is nationwide long-distance all inclusive etc.) there was a lot of detail available just for verification, etc.

I knew I could get that info via the website, but man, it takes a long time to go to the computer, find the site, remember your password, get the bill, go to the detailed page. Versus just looking quickly while you have the bill in your hand? A pain! I decided to write Verizon – this shouldn’t surprise anyone, I guess. I figured if they get enough complaints, they might think about changing it back.

I could not be more surprised by the response:
The wireless phone number referenced does not currently have Detailed Billing. With this feature you will have the ability to view information about each call. Once this feature is added, this information will be available on the paper copy of your bill.

Detailed Billing costs $1.99 monthly per line with your calling plan.

Wow! Verizon wants to charge me $1.99 PER MONTH to get information about what it is they are billing me for? So, I have to pay for the services and then I have to pay extra for the info about the services I’ve paid for? As if anyone really thinks they could spin “billing” into a value-add. It was rather disheartening to read that response – the sheer chutzpah of a company asking me to pay extra for information in the bill – information, incidentially, that they used to provide for free. I imagine the prime target is people who need to bill the detailed info for the calls back to their clients or employer and so it’s a business expense. But they’ve manufactured a product-to-charge-for out of something that is just basic customer service.

I guess it really reveals something about where companies like Verizon are at – despite their reputation as the best coverage and customer service, they really are operating like greedy bastards who know they have the power.


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