KPRC 2 Investigates: Cell phone bill charges and what users should check on their own bill

PEARLAND, Texas – Cell phone deals and promotions to get you in to buy a new phone or sign up for service are all over the internet. But once you make the purchase you don’t always get what you were promised. One Pearland man called KPRC 2 Investigator Amy Davis when Verizon Wireless put him off for one full year!

Brian Allison knew if he didn’t pay his monthly bill that was $15 over what he was supposed to pay that Verizon would send him to collections. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max was definitely something Brian Allison wanted. But he didn’t need the $1,249 device.

“I just wasn’t willing to pay for a premium price. I was waiting for it to go on sale,” said Brian.

After a few weeks, Brian found a deal for $350 off from Verizon. He took a screenshot of the deal then reached out to a Verizon rep on chat.

“I just wanted to make sure that there was no fine print that I missed. You know, is this an upgrade your line kind of thing? Do I have to trade in my phone?” said Brian.

Courtney from Verizon answered the chat. “The $350 off is not a trade-in offer. The device is just $350 off at this time.”

Wrong charges on cell phone bill

Brian made the purchase and took another screenshot. But his first bill didn’t show the discount at all. It shows him paying the full $1249 in monthly installments.

“So you know, of course, I’m frustrated because this is not what they confirmed online,” he said.

Numerous times over chat and inside a Verizon store employees told him his bill would be adjusted but after a full year, it never happened.

“Honor your sale price take care of what you’re supposed to do. I mean, it’s just the right thing, do the right thing. It’s that simple,” said Brian.

KPRC 2 Investigates gets answers for frustrated viewer

When we reached out to Verizon Wireless, it credited Brian’s account the $350 in less than four hours. But when we asked what happened and how customers can make sure they get the promotion they were promised a representative said privacy laws kept them from answering the question. Online, we found other customers complaining of the same issue. (See the complaint here, here, and here too.)

In almost every complaint the customers say Verizon employees told them their discounts would be applied after the first few billing cycles. Four months later when they still were not Verizon told them the deal had expired or they were not eligible.

How to make a complaint against a cell phone company

One big lesson learned here - definitely take those screenshots of the offer and of any chats you have with the cell phone company or its employees and don’t let up.

Share it on the company’s social media pages, and complain to the following places:

Better Business Bureau

Attorney General’s Office

Federal Trade Commission

You can always let us know if you have a problem and we will work to find answers. Fill out the contact form here and we will get back to you!

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.