New Verizon customer waiting a year for promised perks

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A Scottsdale woman says Verizon offered her a hot deal to switch providers but almost a year later has yet to deliver with no explanation.

It's one thing for a company to say that somehow you're to blame for a delay. Maybe your documentation is incomplete or you missed a deadline. It's another thing entirely when a large cell phone provider like Verizon says you've done everything right and they have no idea why you're still waiting.

Dr. Shana Helmholdt says she stopped by a Verizon kiosk inside Costco. The rep had an awesome offer: Buy one iPhone, get one free.

"I have four lines on my account, so I decided to switch from Sprint to Verizon and take advantage of the offer," Helmholdt said.

Helmholdt bought four phones and was entitled to $650 in credits on two of them. The credits would apply to future Verizon bills. She says she submitted all the required paperwork but three months later still didn't have the credits. That's when the calls to Verizon began.

"To the customer service line, they did not tell me anything that I needed to do; anything further that I needed to provide," Helmholdt said.

Between multiple calls and several visits to Verizon stores, Helmholdt has spent over a year trying to get her credits. She says everyone at Verizon tells her the same thing: 'All her paperwork is in order, Verizon just can't figure out how to apply her credits.' She says It's been a time-intensive, frustrating battle.

"I think I've fulfilled all of my obligations; I mean I've paid my bill on time, in full," Helmholdt said.

Over a month ago, Helmholdt says a supervisor promised to solve this mystery.

"It would be resolved within, I think she told me about a week; I've not heard anything back from them on that," Helmholdt said.

Helmholdt's mother told her not to give up but to call me instead. I contacted Verizon and within an hour they posted that $1,300 credit to her account. Our thanks to Verizon for the ultra-quick work in resolving this frustrating matter.

This is a common problem in the cell phone industry: Providers failing to apply deals due to internal communications problems. Verizon would not provide details on what went wrong, so why we got something resolved in an hour that Helmholdt couldn't in a year is still a bit of a mystery.

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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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