The Washington Times - July 6, 2009, 04:14PM

Verizon, the regional telecom titan, likes to brag about its FiOS system being more substantial than cable’s offerings. This may be the case, but today, July 6, Verizon’s online bill payment system is apparently back in the stone age.

Your blogger logged on to pay a bill, only to be greeted with the following:


Your Verizon Account Information has changed since your previous login to ‘Pay Bill.’
For security reasons, please re-enter your ‘Verizon account number’ and ‘Billing Zip Code’ below as it is shown on your most recent bill.

Fair enough, so I enter the required information, data which hasn’t changed since we moved to our present location about 18 months ago.

After clicking on the “continue” button, I found this helpful bit:

The Verizon account information you filled out does not match our records. Please try again or contact Verizon customer service.

This was followed by close to 90 minutes on the phone waiting to spend a total of 10 minutes speaking with two employees who said (a) they couldn’t process a payment and (b) I could either wait and try tomorrow or file a “trouble ticket.” If I don’t pay “on time,” even though Verizon’s at fault (rep number two said, “it appears we are having problems with the Web site today.” You think?), I’ll get dinged for a late fee.

Somewhere, maybe, someone at Comcast is smiling. Those of us who are Verizon customers may not be so sanguine. I’ve written to an “inside” contact at Verizon, and I’m a-waitin’ for an answer.

If you’ve had a similar experience, please e-mail mkellner [at] Let’s compare notes.