It’s really not something you want to see on your credit report.
It was an uncollected $4,385 past-due balance from Verizon. Brick resident Eric Humphreys figured that it was what kept him from getting a loan recently. He also remembered he had gotten some bills from Verizon for its FiOS TV service a couple of years ago.
But here’s the thing: Verizon does not offer FiOS where he lives in Brick.
“I have never had a problem with my credit in my life,” Humphreys said. When he pulled up his credit report, and saw the hit from Verizon, “I realized it was that.”
How this could happen was a mystery.
The information on his credit report raised some questions. It said the Verizon account was opened in April 2006. “But I didn’t buy my house until September 2008, and I had Cablevision before that when I rented.”
He remembered he had been billed for FiOS in the past. A billed dated April 16, 2010, was for $3,663.87, including $3,592.70 past due. He had called Verizon to complain.
“You guys don’t even offer FiOS in my area so how am I getting a bill for FiOS?” he would say.
“I stopped getting bills after my fourth or fifth complaint,” Humphreys said.
Humphreys has since filed a fraud complaint, but he was asked to prove where he has been living since 2006 and file a police report.
“It’s just your mistake because you don’t even offer this service,” Humphreys said.
Humphreys sent an email to Press on Your Side. “Please HELP!!!!”
Press on Your Side contacted Verizon Communications.
Spokesman Lee Gierczynski said he would have someone at the company look into the matter. It was escalated to customer advocacy at Verizon.
The initial inquiry produced some interesting information. The FiOS service was for a home in Rowlett, Texas, and was installed on April 15, 2006, and disconnected on Oct. 21, 2010, Gierczynski said. The last payment on the account was Oct. 15, 2009. The final billing address was Humphreys’ in Brick.
Did Humphreys ever live in Texas? No. Prior to Brick, he lived in Lakewood for more than four years.
Customer advocacy teams in New Jersey and Texas spoke with Humphreys. The case has been worked on for several weeks.
Humphreys, the Brick resident, won’t be responsible for the Verizon bill from Texas, Gierczynski said.
So what’s the story? Verizon’s fraud unit is investigating this as a case of “suspected identity theft,” Gierczynski said.
It appears there was an outstanding balance for a Verizon account, which was sent to a collection agency, and the agency somehow linked Humphreys in New Jersey to the Texas address, he said in an email.
Humphreys thanked Press on Your Side for the help.
“I still have to show them proof of where I have been living since 2006 and file a police report, but they did determine that it was absolutely identity theft, and as soon as I can get those documents to them, they will clear it up,” Humphreys said in an email.
“I’m very thankful for the help you provided with this matter. The responses I am getting from them is now timely and they are no longer hanging up on me because they can’t figure out the mistake,” he said.