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Verizon and the Mystery of the Zombie Phone Lines


About two and half years ago we canceled our Verizon phone service and switched to an Internet "VOIP" based phone service. According to Verizon this is what happened. We canceled our account (no dispute on this). But two of the phone numbers we had when we were Verizon customers were not absorbed by any other carrier. So they were like orphaned 10 digit numeric sequences adrift on what we used to call the Information Superhighway.

According to Verizon, since no other service absorbed these numbers, they on their own "regenerated" themselves. They came back to life. Specifically, they created new business phone service accounts for themselves - with us! With TPM media.

So now, like a digital age paternity suit, they've come to us out of the blue looking for money, our spawn we never knew we had.

Now I said above that I think we've got the actual story. And what I mean by that is unlike the bizarre "government mandated emergency phone line" story we got at one point, I think it's quite credible that this is what happened as some sort or weird administrative or programmatic goof. But to them it makes perfect sense somehow that these (de novo) new accounts they created in our name after we terminated our service with them are our responsibility. And that seems frankly insane.

About The Author


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.