VerizonInternationalPlanAdsThis is really becoming too common of a story. A telecom company charges a customer thousands of dollars for something that the telecom did…..refuses to make changes when the customer complains….and only reverses the charges when the media becomes involved.

Today, we have a story from California where a Verizon customer was charged more than $3600 after trips to Europe and Mexico. While some Verizon customers may go to Europe and Mexico without making changes to their data plans (and therefore incur ridiculous amounts of charges), this woman made the smart decision to call up Verizon before her international trips.

For each trip, she set up a temporary international calling plan. Specifically, she set an international plan for Europe before her Europe trip. When she returned from Europe, she set up a plan for Mexico. But when she got her latest Verizon bill, she was greeted with a $3600+ bill. Why?

When she ordered the Mexico package, Verizon retroactively made it effective to the beginning of the month when she was still in Europe. The data she used in Europe incurred tons of roaming charges. Harlan talked to a supervisor, then a supervisor’s supervisor and then corporate, but no one could help her. – ABC 7 News

Essentially, Verizon made the mistake and still want their money. Why wouldn’t they? Verizon knows that this customer will likely pay it rather than go through the ridiculously long and painful process of court. But rather than pay the extortion fees, the woman made the smart decision and contacted a local TV station, ABC’s 7 On Your Side, and Verizon immediately reversed the $3,600 charge.

VerizonInternationalPlansDataThis situation isn’t that uncommon for Verizon. They sent one woman a $42,000 bill earlier this year. The WSJ has also written a number of different stories detailing customers issues with large bills from AT&T and Verizon after international travels.

Is it any wonder that in 2011, Verizon was one of the loudest critics about the FCC’s plan to have wireless carriers inform customers when their data usage reached a certain percentage of their data cap? It is 2015….and still, multi-billion dollar wireless companies seem unable to let customers know when their bill goes into the tens of thousands of dollars.