Woman tries to get her $400 deposit back from cell phone company

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PHOENIX -- An East Valley woman says a cell phone company has made a $400 mistake so she contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

Four hundred dollars is a lot of money.

And it's all because this Valley woman wanted to become a Verizon Wireless customer.

All she had to do was put down a $400 deposit. Well, she did but then things got "disconnected."

"I have to have access to calling the places I need to with my job and to always be in contact with my children," Jennifer Dubecky said.

Dubecky said having reliable cell phone service is crucial for her so she decided to go with one of the largest cell phone providers around.

"I went into a local Verizon store to hook up a phone," she said. "I brought in my own personal phone that I had through Verizon a few months back."

Dubecky was initially on a shared plan with a friend, but she wanted a plan in her own name. So she took her phone into a Verizon store in Chandler to establish service.

"They required a $400 deposit from me since I've never had Verizon in my name," she said.

So she paid the $400 by using her debit card, but the Verizon employee was unable to get her phone connected.

"Something was with the phone where I could not hook that up," Dubecky said. "They were like, 'Buy a new phone."

Not wanting to buy a new phone, Dubecky decided to cancel the deal before she even left the store.

"At that time I requested my $400 back and they said they couldn't do that right away," she said.

Maybe not right away but Verizon assured Dubecky it would return her $400,

"They said it would be three to five business days before they could return that deposit back to me," Dubecky said.

But that refund never happened.

"I waited another three to five days, called him back, and he said it's going to be three to five days because some paperwork didn't go through," Dubecky said.

After nearly two weeks, Dubecky disputed the charge with her credit union and she says the credit union actually put the money back into her account for her, temporarily, at least until they figured out why Verizon wasn't returning the money.

"The money needs to be paid back," Dubecky said. "It's not their money."

After 3 On Your Side got involved, we discovered that Verizon actually did nothing wrong.

In fact, remember that $400 that was credited to Dubecky's bank account? Well, her credit union didn't do that. That credit was actually from Verizon Wireless.

So, that refund was sitting there all along, meaning Dubecky was stressed out for nothing.

"It wasn't $50. It wasn't 100. It was $400 dollars!" Dubecky said.

And it was there the whole time. Dubecky just didn't realize it until 3 On Your Side got involved and cleared things up.