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Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY

Can Verizon legally enforce a contract I never signed?

My roommate at the time opened an account for me under the agreement I pay the bill. However for several reasons it turned out I/we could not keep service..

- I made plans to move and get a place of my own. We were both going to be forced into moving as anyone in mental health/housing programs needed to move due to someone purchasing the apartment complexes and renovations.

- The area I moved to does not have Fios, Dsl, Cable, Wireless etc.. and my roommate did not have a need for the service nor would he be able to keep it either way.

- No money since I was moving away and needed money towards moving and stopped paying on the account.

When I we signed up for service we were not requested to physically sign anything nor were there any terms I had to agree to before the service could be used. As soon as service was activated it could be used without ever seeing a ToS page or clicking anything to agree to a contract or ToS.

I've gone round and round on the Direct forum with no resolution. But I'm thinking of trying again after realizing that I never signed a contract or agreed to terms and thought at the time the service was for month to month. It's difficult to do anything because the service is in my former roommates name and I don't really have contact with him anymore except seeing him once in a great while at the place he works. Plus his sister is very controlling of him and I'm afraid his sister found out about the bill, he went behind her back to open the account and kept it secret from here. So if that's the case I think he might be avoiding me because his sister found out and chewed his head off (not literally ofc) because of that.

I was the one who was responsible for the account such as payment and technical issues where calls to support were required, he had nothing to do with the account past supplying his name and ssn to get service.
--


texastown

join:2008-04-25
Plano, TX
If your roommate signed up and it's in his name, why do feel Verizon will want you to pay the ETF. Isn't it his problem as its his account?

Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY

2 edits
I convinced him to sign up as I couldn't so I'd have internet service. The agreement was the account was my responsibility i.e. I paid on the account and handled calls or emails to tech support and television was included. He went behind the back of his very controlling sister that feels he is too incompetent to handle anything on his own not that it's entirely untrue but she practically ruled his life and was afraid to do anything without asking her first. Neither of us ever physically signed or agreed to anything and everything was conducted over the phone. I don't remember a contract being mentioned and was under the assumption the service was month to month. It didn't seem I was paying the in contract price so maybe the rep sneakily slipped it by us or worded it as vaguely as possible that we wouldn't understand what was being mentioned. Presumably it's when I called back about adding or upgrading/downgrading our television package according to their records.

He's in his fifties and I was the only one using internet. He paid for the one box to watch television and payed half on bill for local channels. Eventually I took over the full bill for internet and television as per the original agreement, only asking to split the tv portion a few times due to lack of finances.

So if his sister found out she probably lit into him, the bill will never be paid unless by me as collections have a way to contact him to collect since we both moved and his current phone likely isn't under his name. But as I said we made a specific agreement due to certain circumstances that I already explained the op and am explaining in this post as well, redundancy ftw.. Basically my roommate was only a co-sign for service and past that I assumed responsibility of the account. If they drop the etf I can focus on paying the bill off but as it is Verizon and collections won't see a penny paid towards the final balance.

When he called and we both spoke to the rep about setting up service. The service was installed and activated without ever viewing an agreement or Tos nor ever signing or agreeing to anything. That said I don't think they can legally enforce the etf under such circumstances.

The lack of a physical signature or physically agreeing to anything, not so much as a ToS should be enough to void and wave the etf. On top of that we both had a legitimate reasons for having the service terminated.. With the upcoming move which was out of our control we did not have the finances to cover both the move and pay for service plus we couldn't get broadband service let alone Fios where I/we moved. I would have likely considered keeping service and paying on it if Verizon offered service out here but nope, nothing other than dial up, 3G or satellite being only six to eight miles outside the city in a semi-populated/rural area.

There seems to be no recourse other than convincing Verizon to drop the etf, not like I can go to court to dispute a bill under someone's name other than my own. I just want to know if there is enough grounds to get Verizon to drop the etf, if it matters that I never signed or agreed to anything the I can respond in the direct section or call them and have them drop the etf. Even after they suspended the service they still charged me the next month for service then came the etf. Oh and even after asking a rep directly if I was or will be charged an early termination fee and being assured I wouldn't be charged an etf Verizon still ended up charging me an etf. So I think I have enough of a case to get the etf waived but I want to make sure.


houkouonchi

join:2002-07-22
Ontario, CA

1 recommendation

reply to Xtreme2damax
Just use 20TB+ of bandwidth in a month and then VZ will come and threaten to disconnect your service and let you out of your contract.
--
300/150 mbit Bonded Verizon FiOS connection FTW!

Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY

2 edits
Uh.. maybe if I could use that much data in a month. Even with Steam, streaming, torrents and other large downloads I think the best I ever did was 1 terabyte lol. Even then I'm sure they would still charge an etf regardless of how service was terminated. That's pretty much a loophole for anyone to break a contract without consequence and the corps can't have anyone using loopholes unless it's them. Plus service has long been disconnected and sent to collections. I can still get most of the final bill waived if I get around to returning the equipment; which is hard for me to make a trip to drop it somewhere. Due to losing the shipping label I won't be able to call for a pickup unless I pay for shipping, I don't drive and live in a rural area. However convincing Verizon to waive the etf is what I can do atm but I need to know if what I've mentioned is enough to get them to waive the etf.

Why the non-serious replies now? The two replies don't offer any further information or confirmation of what I inquired about. This isn't a typical situation one would normally expect.

The on'y information that currently matters and am seeking answers answers or further information for is the following..

If we never physically signed a contract or agreed to anything, not so much as a ToS can they (legally) enforce the early termination fee and is there any way to get them to wave it?

Especially since being told by a rep I would not be charged an etf but was charged and etf anyway. Other than that I was billed for service for another month or two after the account was suspended and eventually terminated which is going to be more difficult to figure out and prove.


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
You don't have to physically sign anything for the ETF to be enforceable. If you ordered service or upgraded service via the phone, they likely have you or your friend recorded saying "yes" to a question such as "do you agree to the terms" or "do you want me to process your order". That would be enough to constitute "signing" the contract as long as it was mentioned at some point during the conversation that you'd be on a 2 year agreement. I don't think they specifically have to mention an ETF.

Getting Verizon to waive the ETF because you didn't physically sign anything will likely get you nowhere - it doesn't matter that your signature is not on a piece of paper. Complaining enough that the terms of service were not made clear to you when ordering may get you somewhere, but it'll take a lot of complaining and many hours on the phone with supervisors.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!

Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY

1 edit
Does that even hold up in court? Inb4 mentioning you can't file a court case due to absolving themselves of any liability in the ToS and you agree not to dispute anything in court. Which is a crock, most certainly not legally enforceable and the fact there's precedences where that clause doesn't hold any water. There is a fine line that has to be drawn anyway much like disobeying a direct order from a military or police officer if they request you do something highly illegal. Verizon claiming I was informed I would be under contract vs me claiming the opposite is why verbal contracts are a bad idea and should not be legally binding. Plus they have no way of verifying whether or not it's actually the real Joe Schtick or some imposter schmuck pretending to be them with their information.

I could probably go to court with my former roommate. state our situation and submit a verbal testimony and any evidence. Since Verizon would likely not show it would be ruled in out favor. Since the etf is peanuts to them anyways they likely wouldn't invest the time and resources i.e. cash to fight it. Anything else to support the case such as them sneakily changing rates and the terms without requiring me to sign or verbally agree to a new contract is further guarantees we will get off the hook. No even though it's in their ToS they don't legally "reserve the right" to change the terms at any time, at least not without presenting the new contract and/or terms and them being agreed to by the agreeing party.

Usually contracts are signed because if it's verbal anyone can say anything vs anyone, it's your word vs their word. Now if we were presented with a ToS to agree to that would hold us liable. No I don't think it was mentioned, at least not clearly and I was under the assumption it was month to month. My roommate at the time was and still is technologically inept to understand this stuff someone shouldn't be held liable for agreeing to something not made immediately clear to them and they understand what they are agreeing to. He wasn't the agreeing party anyway, he only supplied his information over the phone then handed the phone to me and I took care of everything else. Not that it's necessarily true but he can claim someone used his information without his consent and wipe the entire bill from his history. I'm sure his sister may consider that route if she found out or ever finds out.

Verizon has been known to do shady stuff and I recently had a runaround over resolving something that was their fault to begin with. If I hadn't immediately spoke up they would have gotten away with it. I wouldn't put it past them to sneakily put us under contract or use some carefully worded jargon that didn't make it clear that we were or were going to be put under a contract.

As I said I was told by a rep the account was not charged an etf and was reassured the account would not be charged an etf after making sure to ask that out of concern. Even though it's true in this case it's another reason why verbal contracts and agreements are a good idea and shouldn't be legally binding. But I guess it's only ok for them to break a contract or agreement without repercussions.

Then as I said there is the whole issue of moving. Not moving voluntarily, being forced to move due to the complex being bought and planned renovations. I had to go with the most financially sensible option and somewhere I had a guaranteed place to move into. I knew the landlady for a while since me and my parents moved here in 2005 and did some work for her. Because she knew me and knew my parents who are good tenants she had no issues with renting a place to me and held it for a while until I got my stuff together to move.

Out here we can't get Fios or Dsl, only Verizon landline phone service, slow a** dial up, 3G or satellite. So there was no option other than to terminate service to put money towards the move.
--



birdfeedr
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-11
Warwick, RI
kudos:9
reply to Xtreme2damax
This is one of those character-building events.

VZ will charge the ETF. CSR saying yes or no doesn't matter. Someone agreed to the TOS which specifies the ETF, and while there may have been waivers in the past, not so much lately. VZ is looking for ways to increase their revenue, and ETF exceptions don't.

The fact you didn't sign any paperwork is meaningless in this digital age. Even if the contract was month to month, it's still a contract. If you can find a reference in any email communication that indicates 2-year term, the ETF applies.

So, what can you do?
1. Account is in his name, they ding him for the bill, and his sister is right.
2. Somehow, find a way to live up to your agreement.
3. Maybe convince him to split the ETF with you.
4. Try to make a case to Executive Resolutions to permit waiver of ETF, but I think you may have difficulty with that.
5. Skip out of town and change your name.
6. Never do business with anyone that requires you to make a promise you can't keep.

Ignore whether VZ is the big bad company or not. It's a matter of understanding a complex contract, and verifying status of account. If you allow someone to go so fast in explaining terms that you don't get it all, then you have to ask them to explain it again until you get it.

I've done it before myself. I am so eager to get the shiny new toy, that I say yes yes anything, just sign me up now. Sometimes I have regrets, but I have to take responsibility for my action.

Light Guy

join:2006-05-12
Somerville, NJ
reply to Xtreme2damax
As far as the TOS goes, Verizon implemented a walled garden policy in the fall of 2012. This required a Verizon account to be set up online before the internet could be accessed. This included agreeing to the TOS, this was required to everyone, contract or no contract.

BDF

join:2007-12-24
reply to Xtreme2damax
You wrote that you are moving to an area that FIOS does not service; did you tell Verizon this? It used to be the ETF was waived if you moved out of the service area, perhaps this is no longer the case (which would be good to know!)


PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
Premium
join:2003-06-08
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Xtreme2damax
VZ will write the debt off to an outside collection agency, they won't take you to court directly - the collection agency would

Verizon will also not let your friend sign up for any VZ related services until that debt is paid.
--
Add a signature here


Rattler

join:2001-04-13
Havertown, PA

1 recommendation

reply to BDF
said by BDF:

You wrote that you are moving to an area that FIOS does not service; did you tell Verizon this? It used to be the ETF was waived if you moved out of the service area, perhaps this is no longer the case (which would be good to know!)

So far as I know, now, if you terminate because of a move, and don't sign up for FiOS in your new place, even if it's not available there, they still ding you for the ETF.

The way the TOS is written, if you use the service, you accept their terms, which are unilaterally set by V*, from time to time, without consultation, just a notice that they have changed.
--
Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. -- Red Buttons


Boooost

@151.190.40.x
reply to Xtreme2damax
said by Xtreme2damax:

Can Verizon legally enforce a contract I never signed?

Short answer: Yes.
Why? Because Verizon has more lawyers than you.

KGB7

join:2003-12-17
Rockville, MD
reply to Xtreme2damax
You should be talking to an attorney and not to people on the forums.

Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY

3 edits
reply to Light Guy
Nope.. only time I saw that walled garden was when service got suspended. There was nothing to agree to, simply would not let me on the net until the back balance was paid. At the time of service I didn't have to do any such thing before I could use the service.

The contract was never made clear and the former roommate to inept to know what a contract was, what would happen if service was terminated before the contract was fulfilled, what he was agreeing or getting into.

As I said we had to move, it was simply out of our control. Fios or Dsl service is not available where I moved, not sure about him.

I was told by a Verizon representative the account would not be dinged with an etf but I forgot it's ok for them to lie and break contracts and agreements. -_-

As it is currently the account is going to sit in collection without being paid on. It will be bounced around to other collection agencies. Eventually the statute of limitations will kick in where they won't be able to legally file a judgement then will fade into obscurity from my former roommates credit report after seven to ten year. Not being able to get Verizon service under his name again is only but a small hindrance. He can always sign up with a voip provider such as phone service through time warner or vonage, get service through a reseller, have his sister or someone else co-sign and open the account in their name.

The service was supposed to be month to month but we may have been placed under contract sneakily, supposedly when I called about adding or upgrading/downgrading television service or our television package. The rep either neglected to mention the contract or vaguely worded it so it was not apparent we were being placed under contract.The price I/we were paying was not or did not appear to be the in contract price. I believe I was paying either $85 or $89 for internet service, $75 or $79 for the 50/25 package at first then went up to $85 or $89 after upgrading to 75/35. When the the service was terminated I think I was paying $75 or $79 for the 50/25 package. Then I was also paying $13 for basic local television service plus the price of the boxes and any fees. I'd have to see if I can find the bill to see how much I was actually paying.

The fact that Verizon has royally screwed up then tried to screw me over due to their own incompetence. I mean they messed up so bad there wasn't an account attached to the service. I was receiving service despite never receiving or paying a bill. I went through a lot of trouble just to explain the issue so they would understand, figure out what the hell was going on and cancel the account. Much headaches with the back and forth in the direct section and over the phone. It took months to get that resolved. Had been trying to cancel since December after finding out from a Verizon tech I couldn't get Dsl. Actually the account was supposed to be cancelled right when they couldn't provide me with Dsl but a I think there was a glitch in their system. All calls to support resulted in being told to wait and the order showed as pending. Then the account must have been canceled after a while because I couldn't log in, retrieve or reset my information but service remained active. After being told by support after a couple months to wait longer I finally spoke up and tried to explain the issue to them better. So it took three months or so to resolve that nightmare.

When I signed up the agreement was for a bundle (Dsl + Phone) with phone service discounted at $20 /mo with a total cost of $39.99 /mo for both. They couldn't provide Dsl so the account and service was supposed to be immediate cancelled. The tech told me service should be cancelled but to keep an eye out to make sure I wasn't charged anything. Then after resolving the mess Verizon tried to stick me with a $150 then sneakily sent it to collections immediately without giving me a change to dispute it or pay anything towards the balance. So after I received the collections notice I said, "Nuh-uh, not gonna happen" and went another two rounds in the direct section and over the phone.

Honestly this is why verbal contracts just don't work and shouldn't be legally enforceable, it's their word vs mine and someone could pretend to be me using my information. Every contract or agreement should be signed either physically or digitally.

said by Boooost :
Short answer: Yes.
Why? Because Verizon has more lawyers than you.
They still have to follow state, local and consumer protection laws. They may be able to slide with some stuff but eventually someone's going to bring the hammer down. You think the etf really matters that much to them? It's just a warning a miniscule consequence of breaking the contract and they aren't going to waste time, money, resources to show up in court if you dispute it. The early termination fee is just peanuts among the billions they currently have so they aren't going to bother wasting time, money and resources fighting someone in court. What's going to happen anyway.. the balance will stagnate in collections, be bounced between different collection agencies, statute of limitations will pass and the debt fades into obscurity at the seven to ten year mark after the debt was created. So why would they bother fighting it, they are likely going to let it go. It would be in their better interest to work something out so they have a chance to actually collect anything towards the balance.

I read an article about someone who got out of contract scott free. He gathered evidence to support his claim, filed a court case, presented his case and it was ruled in his favor due to the company and/or their lawyers never showing. Others got out of a wireless contact due to a regulatory fee being changed. A contract is mutually binding meaning they can't suddenly change anything without mentioning the new terms and you agreeing to them whether it's a verbal, a physical or digital signature/fingerprint. Another interesting tidbit is they can't legally enforce the arbitration clause in their ToS. This is a recent stunt companies are pulling with their ToS where you can't hire a lawyer and/or sue them in court and must arbitrate all disputes directly with them. Turns out precedences have been set where that clause holds no ground.

Yeah I do my research and read up on stuff. My father has to read up on laws due to being a business major with a Masters degree and the safety manager at a transportation chain. There's enough information and evidence to support that I/we should be let off the hook with the etf. If Verizon still refuses then I'll be heading to court with my former roommate to get it waived.

--


PJL

join:2008-07-24
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to Xtreme2damax
To the OP: You keep talking about "we" with regard to the service contract. You said that the service was not in your name, so you're speaking here on behalf of the person who's name was on the contract, not you.

If YOU go to court, YOU will have no standing since you were not a party of the contract. It apparently is between your roommate and Verizon. The first thing any court will ask YOU is "Is the service contract in your name." And if the court doesn't ask the question, then Verizon will.

billhere

join:2011-10-21
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·GoDaddy Hosting
reply to Xtreme2damax
I like the suggestion about contacting a lawyer -- either by you, roommate, or his sister.

That is not my usual suggestion but twice in our lives so far we got out of bad situations, not involving monetary payments in either case, with one letter from a lawyer to the complaining party.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

4 recommendations

reply to Xtreme2damax
So since your a deadbeat and couldn't order the service, you had your fiend sign up, now you move and your a deadbeat again and instead of paying 180.00 or less your ok with trashing your friends credit rating or making him pay your debt.

How about this, man up and pay your bills instead of looking for ways not to be responsible.

In the end, paying the ETF is the same as if you went month to month no contract as its 20 bucks more a month, your just trying to cheat the system and whining about it here in this forum


birdfeedr
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-11
Warwick, RI
kudos:9

2 recommendations

reply to Xtreme2damax
There will be two court cases. The first where your friend loses the ETF dispute with VZ. You won't have a legal standing in that one unless you help your friend by making payments.

The second one will be where your friend and his sister get Judge Judy to dish out some justice. If you want to figure out what you should do, figure out "what would Judge Judy do?"

There's always two sides to the coin, but his sister's right. He got taken advantage of. Probably again. No wonder she's mad as a hornet.


gsuburban

join:2000-02-29
Glendora, CA

1 recommendation

reply to Xtreme2damax
I don't think you stand a chance however, if you are young enough, you could try to avoid them since you have less at risk than someone 40 years old and good credit and needs good credit etc.

Also, Terms of service jargon that are on line etc. these days all suggest you agree, signature or not.

Xtreme2damax

join:2007-03-21
Port Byron, NY
reply to guppy_fish
So you didn't bother reading huh? Right to the assumptions and personal attacks.. Aren't you one of the idiots from the Hughesnet section that was all gung ho defending them like some shill?

Read the full story like a good lil potato before yammering and making yourself look like a fool.

I couldn't keep service because I had to move. I did not have any choice, the complex we were in was bought and those in certain apartments were forced to make other housing arrangements. As for why my roommate had to "co-sign" that's none of your goddamn business and I shouldn't have to explain myself. Sure I made some not so decent choices but I am moving forward and improving. Don't judge or belittle me.. you don't know me, you don't know what I've went through in life or what I had and still have to to deal with, what hardships I've had to overcome.

For someone diagnosed and dealing with ADHD, OCD, severe anxiety, depression, social issues and autistic symptoms I'm lucky to have gotten as far as I did in life. My other diagnosis included oppositional defiance disorder and pervasive developmental disorder which apparently no longer apply now that I'm older. I spent most of my childhood in residential institutions and foster care. I do not have many friends nor do I socialize much and don't have luck getting a date with anyone. You know how that feels.. to be made to feel like an outcast and no one wants anything to do with you and any friends you have start to abandon you despite never doing anything wrong or having a bad bone in your body? Despite all that I overcame most of my hardships, I matured and became more laid back, mellow and reasonable. My temper isn't like it used to be unless someone pushes me, Say what you want about me attacking you but I have the right to defend myself and not allow people to knock me down, I've let people walk all over me all my life because I never wanted to speak up for fear of causing conflict.

I was on a potent combination of medication, I took an anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and an anti-psychotic. For around 18 years I was on Risperdal, Prozac and Buspirone. Last year after I moved I decided I was well enough to stop my medication besides the fact the were a hindrance due to the side effects. Stopped cold turkey, waited out initial withdrawal and was fine for a while then the crippling anxiety returned. Turns out Risperdal withdrawal is a nasty thing and could take months or years even to recover especially with the potent combination I was on. The medication plus other factors caused me to become severely lethargic but wait there's more, on top of being lethargic I had trouble sleeping due to anxiety so I also suffered from anxiety. Any goddamn noise no matter how quiet has the power to wake me from a deep sleep. I suppose that's both a gift and a curse, a gift because I can wake up and quickly respond to any dangers.

I got as far as getting my GED, I would have prefered a regents diploma but it was out of my control since I was forced into special education. I went to college for a few semesters, did well but ultimately struggled with some of the curriculum because I did not have a normal education. I worked a couple jobs but it became to stressful on my mental health and too strenuous on my body. For a while I stopped caring, I was ready to give up on life and everything. I was hospitalized in 2012 for attempting to take my own life after falling into severe depression due to some recent events at that time. I am independent now, do everything on my own without assistance. Not completely independent as a mental health housing program is managing my money but I'm about ready to cut them loose. I'm at a point where I am stable enough to take care of everything on my own.

I had a place lined up to move to. The guy that last rented the place finally moved out, I have been waiting for him to move so I could finally rent the place. I knew the landlady since I was living with my parents when they moved here around ten years ago. She knew I was a decent person, keep to myself and don't cause any trouble so she was eager to rent to me.

Over the years I took the time to learn a lot about computers and computer security. Bought parts to assemble my own systems since 2008. When I go back to school I be getting a degree in computer tech or computer science and/or electronic circuitry. Then have plans to run my own business to secure myself financially for the future.

Have a good day, next time think before you yap or post stuff you have no idea about. Gotta love how two idiots (friends?) agreed with you.

Yeah maybe next time refrain from calling me a deadbeat without knowing the full story or reading the full details. I'm to the point where I'm tired of letting people walk on me and am just going to start being a dick to everyone unless they give me a reason not to. My confidence and well being have been at stake for far too long.

So fine sir what may you be having with your wine tonight? You seem a little tense, perhaps mad or as the kids are calling it butthurt. I mean why suddenly jump to the personal attacks and unsubstantiated claims that I'm a deadbeat, such an accusation would only come from someone angry or perhaps temperamental. Perhaps I can offer you a way to promptly remove that stick from your posterior and then we can all have a good laugh while eating some cheese?

Tbh I don't care if I get banned for this or not. There are several other communities I am active at and where the people are more pleasant. This place is dying anyway and if this is the type of responses other members got then it's no wonder why everyone has sailed ship to better lands.
--


System
reply to Xtreme2damax
This topic has been closed. Reason: run its course