Confounding cable bill

Seven On Your Side
December 15, 2008 3:46:39 PM PST
Powerless and frustrated beyond belief is how one customer summed up his eight month odyssey to have a hefty fee taken off his cable bill.For Mark Widder, a call to Verizon's customer service has become his weekly ritual.

"I'm still trying to get my FiOS TV mystery resolved," Mark Widder told 7 On Your Side's Tappy Phillips.

The mystery? A charge of nearly $1300 for Verizon FiOS service.

But Mark points out one little problem, "I don't have FiOS Tv service at all, never ordered it."

Mark gets his phone and internet service from Verizon. But his cable is from Cablevision - not Verizon. He even has the cable boxes to prove it.

"My television has been Cablevision since the day I moved in here about 23 years ago," says Mark. "(I) never called Verizon about about FiOS, nothing."

For the past 8 months Mark has been phoning FiOS to no avail. "I have left (one of their customer service reps) 9 messages. She has never returned a call, now the bill is up to $1599 as of last week, with all the late charges."

Now, Mark is even getting suspension notices from Verizon. "I don't know what else to do. So I figured I was going to call you."

And after we called Verizon? We found a much different result.

"This is wonderful because my problem is finally solved," says Mark.

Verizon credited him back the full amount - just under $1600. "It's done now and again thank you very much."

Verizon told Mark that his complaint was in several different departments and apparently each one thought another was taking care of it. A Verizon spokesman told us "there have been an isolated number of customers who may have experienced occasional customer service problems," and they are working to resolve each problem quickly.


For more information on disputing your bills:

New York State Public Utilities Commission:

For cable TV disputes - Federal Communications Commission:

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities:

Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone