Troubleshooter: International call dilemma

ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson

June 4, 2010 4:32:35 PM PDT
A phone call to Africa has left a Triangle man with a mounting home phone bill.Michael Greer says he didn't have an international calling plan with his phone provider, so instead he and his wife used calling cards.

Greer says they used the calling cards often and never had a problem, that's until they got an expensive bill.

One phone call resulted in a bill of $455.

Greer's wife made the call in February to her sister in Morocco trying to use her calling card.

"When she hung up she checked how many minutes were on the card and was surprised to see how many minutes were on the card," Greer said.

The calling card was still full, something she couldn't understand since she talked for about an hour.

Thinking it was just a glitch, Greer says he and his wife never thought about it again, until they got a call from their phone provider.

"Someone called from Verizon and she said, 'you put up a really big bill on your phone call to Morroco,'" Greer said.

He asked just how much the bill was and with tax it was $455.

"I about had a panic attack and I said how can this happen, my wife called on a phone card," Greer said.

But the phone card didn't register, instead Greer's wife must have made a mistake when entering the calling card, and instead the call to Morocco went right through Verizon at a price of more than $6 a minute.

"They basically said you made a mistake and you have to pay for it," Greer said.

Greer says he didn't even think they could dial any international calls through Verizon since they didn't have an international plan, but he was wrong. He said Verizon wasn't willing to budge on the bill.

"The most they were able to do was spread it to two payments," Greer said.

So Greer e-mailed ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and I got in touch with Verizon.

"All of a sudden I got an e-mail and phone call that they were going to pay the $455 back," Greer said. "Thanks I appreciate it; it's really going to make a big difference."

A representative with Verizon said they understood Michael's frustrations and plight and that's why they refunded Greer the $455 for the phone call. She added, customer's need to know that just because they don't have an international plan with Verizon, doesn't mean they can't place international calls.

They also say be extra careful if you do use a calling card or another plan, as if you do mis-dial just one number, it could end up costing you, because the call still goes through.

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