If you subscribe to a utility company, for home or business, beware because “slamming” does exist and it is incredibly annoying to deal with.
We recently opened an office and purchased a “business bundle” with Verizon. A month or so after we were set up and running a phone call came in to the office. An employee answered and her end of the conversation which went something like this…
“Yes, we do have Verizon.”
“Yes, that is the company name.”
“We don’t have any questions about the service.”
etc., etc., etc.
It seemed like a routine customer service call, until the questions became repetitive and went on for longer than what we deemed to be a regular call. So, she ended the conversation and hung up.
For a few weeks after that, the same person or company kept calling asking the same questions over and over. The second call we ended within a couple of questions; The third, maybe after the first question; and the fourth time I recognized the number, picked up the phone and told the person that we were going to take action for solicitation harassment (sounded good at the time) if the person didn’t stop calling.
Shortly thereafter I received a service notice from Verizon that I ignored because I hadn’t ordered any service. I figured it was just a glitch in the system. And then the bill came.
The bill was about $100 more than what it should have been, so I took the time to scan all 8 pages and found at the end of the bill a company name I didn’t recognize and substantial charges billed by that company. I called Verizon and was told that I had changed my long distance service to another carrier and that I was no longer receiving the promotional package rate. WHAT?! So I told the customer service rep that there was a mistake– I told her about the strange phone calls which must have been related to this, and how incredible this was, and what has this world come to, etc. She told me that we had been slammed and that she would amend the bill and the previous bill (which I hadn’t checked thoroughly) and would cancel the offending party’s service agreement. She also put a freeze on my account so that I am the only person who can make service changes.
But that wasn’t all. A month later another bill came with $50 in charges from this other company. I called Verizon immediately.
Me: “I called a month ago about a slamming incident and it appears that this other company is still charging me for services that we never ordered.”
Verizon: “I can take care of that for you.”
Verizon: “In the future what you might want to do is call this company and cancel the service yourself”.
Me: “But I never ordered the service.”
Verizon: “Right, but you need to cancel it.”
Me: “But isn’t is illegal…what they did?”
Verizon: “Well, yes.”
Me: “But I still need to call them? I don’t want to call them. They are a nefarious organization that is doing something illegal. Why should I have to call them?”
Verizon: “Well, I’m just saying this is how you can best end the problem.”
Me: “Uh huh. Well, thanks. Bye.”
I’m waiting for the next bill.