Caveat Emptor Verizon

I left Verizon Wireless two years ago for the lower prices at Sprint. Sprint was a big service disappointment, so I decided to return to Verizon. I dashed into a Verizon store two weeks ago and figured out what I wanted in about 5 minutes—4 lines, the first two at $99 and the second two at $9.95 each.

Then, I returned a week ago to sign up for new service and buy phones. It was taking a long time and I had to be somewhere, so I had the sales person do all the paperwork, and I returned an hour later to pick up the phones and sign on the dotted line.

OK, this is ultimately my fault: I didn't read the fine print to see what the extra surcharges were. I figured the surcharges were equally egregious as all cell phone companies'.

Then the first bill arrived. Additional surcharges and taxes amounted to 69% of the monthly fees, i.e., a hidden $82 on top of the $120 that they were advertising. Taxes are a small piece of that—most of it is for Verizon.

Yes, when I go back and read the fine print, I see those charges were described. So yes, it is my fault. My fault for trusting my new cell phone provider and assuming that they won't try to reach into my pockets to grab cash when I'm not looking!