St. Louis soldier returns home to find $800 phone bill

ST. LOUIS, MO — A financial shock was the last thing Army Sergeant Kevin Sabourin thought he’d be dealing with as he prepared to return home from a year serving in South Korea.

Before deploying, Kevin called Verizon to suspend his cell phone account. It’s something he says he’d done without issue before a previous deployment to Afghanistan. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, members of the military can suspend or cancel phone contracts without penalties or extra fees when deployed for at least 90 days.

“They said no issues, we’ll get it taken care of. Resume my bill as soon as I get back,” said Sabourin.

Nearly a year after that conversation and just a few weeks before returning to St. Louis, Kevin learned there was an issue with his account. Verizon sent him to collections. He owed a little more than $800.

“I called Verizon countless times, and they were like unfortunately, we can't talk to you. We went straight to the debt collecting agency. Tried talking to them,” said Sabourin.

Getting nowhere on his own, Kevin reached out to Contact 2. Our team quickly went to work. At our urging, a Verizon representative looked into the case and told us the proper steps for processing Kevin’s request were not appropriately followed.

“I’ve been with Verizon for nearly a decade. For them to do this, it’s hurtful and stressful.” said Sabourin.

To Verizon’s credit they’re working to make it right. In a statement the company told Fox 2's Mike Colombo it’s their goal to provide the world-class experience its customers expect and deserve - with every interaction. In this case, Verizon said it did not meet its customer's expectations. Verizon appreciates the opportunity to resolve Mr. Sabourin's issue and hopes to earn his continued loyalty.

“For me to contact you guys, it was a reliable source, it helped, it was quick and stressful. (Laughs) I mean less stressful!” added Sabourin.

Kevin will really be stress free once the collection agency fully repairs his credit. Verizon tells Fox 2 that process is already underway.

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