Blowing the whistle again

I submitted the following complaint. I am future-posting this because some of this information could be used in a destructive way against me. See below:

Complaint Summary
I called Verizon to set up landline telephone service, and I am not sure of the exact date, but this form forced me to specify a date. The customer service person was polite, but this has nothing to do with my complaint. I asked her for the cheapest landline service. She sold me Regional service, promising me that this was the cheapest they had. I asked how much and she said it would come to $48 approx. I asked if this included taxes and she claimed it did. I also told her I wanted a totally unlisted number. She said it would cost extra but I said I wanted it anyway.

I had no issue with the installation. But I found out through Bankrate/Credit Karma that Verizon made a hard check on my credit score. I never consented to a credit check and in fact, I would have paid a deposit to avoid a credit check as what Verizon did, completely without my consent, harmed my credit. I was furious.

Next thing I found out was that my number wasn’t unlisted as I had requested. I cannot be listed as I have been stalked. It’s my understanding that if I tell a telephone company I do not want to be listed, they should take this extremely seriously and make sure I am not listed!

I called Verizon and asked them to change my number, do not forward from the old number, and do not list this new number. I told them I was upset with the previous representative for not following what i had asked for.

Then I found out that the Regional Service price quoted did not include the taxes. The original price, $48, was now going to be over $70. For only a landline! Insane!

I printed out the application for Lifeline, assuming this was my only option. I also considered changing telephone services to save money. I called Verizon to see how much this insanely high phone bill was going to be with the Lifeline added. They told me that I’d have to switch to Basic, the lowest-priced plan they have.

Now I was doubly furious. I believe the original representative was on commission and totally took advantage of me. I have worked in customer service myself and I can say with certainty that it’s totally illegal to sell based on deception. She lied about the total price, and she also lied by telling me the Regional was their cheapest. She collected info for me such as my Social Security number without asking me if it’s okay to do a credit check, and this was done without my consent.

I have switched to Basic now. The cost will be less than half of the cost of the Regional.

I am hoping this resolves the issue. However, my concern is deceptive marketing on the part of Verizon. Deceptive marketing is not legal! How many customers have they cheated like this? How many are paying more than they could pay without realizing it? How many receive their first bill and are shocked, or possibly cannot pay the high bill? How many women are found by their stalkers because of sloppiness by the local phone company? Do these companies realize the risk they’re putting people in?

What would you like the business to do to resolve your complaint?
I am alerting the Attorney General of this fraud in order to protect other consumers. I would like Verizon’s word to me, to the Attorney General and to the general public that they will cease deceptive marketing.

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Blowing the whistle is addictive. I hear that from other whistleblowers also. I have read that it takes a certain personality to become a whistleblower. I would imagine the following:

A strong sense of social justice
A strong sense of fairness/equity
Awareness of right and wrong, understanding of ethics and human rights, and a strong conscience
The ability to express oneself in writing and/or in speaking
The ability to take risks for the sake of others
Determination, energy, self-motivation
A sense of altruism

And…to survive it all, a decent sense of humor.

Spell-check helps, too.

Feedback and comments welcome!