It has been a tough week here in New Jersey this week during and after Hurricane Sandy. We lost power all week but did not get flooding, so we feel pretty lucky compared to friends on the Jersey shore and along both sides of the Hudson River.

But we had a very unpleasant conversation with Verizon this morning after our family all got text messages that we were headed over our data usage this past hurricane week. That made sense since all of us had no power, no wifi, and only had our phones (some smart, some not) to connect in any way here in NJ during Hurricane Sandy.

I actually thought the call would go in a different direction. Why?

Well, this morning we got a Sunday mail delivery! The post office is trying to catch up and get missed mail through. Hurrah, U.S. Postal Service and their workers!

We lost power all week and plenty of people around us still have no power, but PSE&G and JCP&L crews have been out all week, day & night doing their best under tough conditions. Hurrah, to all those restoring power (including crews from outside our area).

Chase, PNC and I am sure other banks have been lifting fees and penalties for late payments and things like using out of network ATMs for this affected area. How often do we hurrah financial institutions?

Transit was running for free in NYC and the area during the worst of the storm.

Hurrah to the Red Cross, always out there at disasters.

Restaurants were giving out free meals and water.

Lots of people and places have been offering places to recharge and warm up.

So, what did I expect from Verizon? I honestly expected that they would tell me that for those customers in this affected area, there would be some data waiver for at least the week after the storm.

Nope. According to the “protocol” the representative was following, the only solution for us was to upgrade to a bigger and more expensive data plan!

Of course, normally, we don’t come close to using up our data allotment because we use the wifi at home and outside whenever possible.

Of course, our automated payment to Verizon went through during the storm.

Come on Verizon. You don’t have a great public image when it comes to communications plans. I don’t know that any phone company does at this point – so, it would have been a good thing to have been early and first to announce what you were doing to HELP after Hurricane Sandy.

You missed an opportunity to do the right thing. And this from a company based in New Jersey!

I am sure that I am not the only consumer/customer/potential customer who noticed and will remember.