When I moved to a new home in 2017, I spent an ungodly amount of time on the phone with Verizon setting up FiOS service. As part of my initial service, VZ offered a free year of HBO. The customer service rep explicitly told me that HBO service would *not* continue after the first year without my opt-in. I did not opt in, but HBO service continued nonetheless -- and I was billed for it. I did not notice until I got the first bill.
I contacted VZ last week via online chat, where someone named Jessie said: "As you are already promised you will not have to pay for HBO. Please be rest assured." (Actual words.) However, she could not refund what was already billed, and told me I needed to call 1-800-837-4966 to get that done. I asked Jessie to e-mail me a copy of the chat, but she said VZ's policy is not to send chats -- I would have to copy/paste it myself, which I did. She said she would leave notes that could be seen by the phone people. OK.
However, when I called VZ today to cancel and get a refund, I was told by someone named Kelly that I would *not* be refunded for any usage of HBO before my cancellation date. She said she had no record of the original conversation in 2017; that she had no transcript of my online chat with Jessie; and that none of her notes reflected anything about a refund. When I told her that *I* had a transcript of the chat, showing the promise, she indicated that she did not care -- that all that matters is that VZ sent me the terms in writing, and that if I hadn't read them it was my fault.
I asked to be connected with a supervisor twice, but each time Kelly refused (!). She said she had spoken with a supervisor and that VZ would "meet you halfway" by refunding half of what they had promised. I was doubly insulted: First, that VZ thinks that reneging on *only* half of its explicit promise is "meeting me halfway" and second, that VZ would rather nickel-and-dime me out of a few dollars -- and force me to post a complaint in this public forum -- than simply make it right.
I have no idea what statistics Verizon is trying to pump up by fooling people into subscribing to HBO, but it's clear that its method for doing so -- telling people one thing via undocumented channels such as phone and chat, and then billing based on conflicting written communication -- is a deceptive business practice. I am reporting it as such to the Virginia authorities. It was not a lot of money, but maybe if enough people complain they will stop this dishonest practice.
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