Verizon seems to have some issues with training their CSRs to respond correctly. Having worked in telecommunications for over a decade, I can say that there are procedures that are enacted in emergency situations that DO NOT require an overdue bill to be paid even though in this situation, unfortunately, it had happened.
In fact, there is specifics to what telecommunications personnel have to abide by when it comes to emergency protocol. Whether or not it’s a CSR training issue or perhaps something that was screwed up in the communications between the emergency personnel and call center, I don’t know. But I found this article to be thrown out there without understanding how the process works.
Unfortunately, my ties with Verizon Wireless from a vendor side has been a long time and they might have changed how it works internally. But it still goes to show that someone out there needs the right training because the procedures are there that overrule any “unpaid bills”.