Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Changing Plans Without Your Knowledge

Recently a few carriers have either been sued or otherwise penalized for changes made to subscribers' plans without their knowledge. It actually happens often, and it happened to me again recently. We replaced one of our Verizon phones with a new all-digital model, and even after asking the store representative not to do so, the plan associated with that phone was changed. Of course that change resulted in higher monthly charges.

I watched the agent enter the order and I watched that he did not change the plan. Therefore, I must conclude that the billing computer made the change automatically. This isn't really illegal, but it isn't ethical. Fortunately, Verizon Wireless allows changes back to previous plans within 30 days, but you and I need to be aware of these changes. It makes sense to read over your monthly bill to catch these, and other changes, which are easy to overlook if your detailed billing is only available online.

Always check your account after any plan or phone change. The machines may be programmed to help "adjust" your decisions, and then there's the human error thing, too.

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