This all occurred many months ago, but my frequent writing also ended around that time. I followed the advice that I received via comment and contacted Verizon’s legal group (they have an address if you dig around for it) to notify them I was taking them to small claims court. Within a day or two of sending that e-mail, I received a friendly response stating that my account was being looked into. Another day or two later, and I was contacted again asking how I would like to receive payment. They couldn’t get the amount owed straight for a few days since we had made a couple of partial payments as these odd amounts (our regular bill, this fee, and then a late fee) came due, but they finally got it right after another couple of back and forths, and shortly thereafter I had the full amount deposited into my bank account.
A happy ending, and who doesn’t like those?
Lesson learned: GET EVERY DAMNED CLAIM IN WRITING AND READ THE FINE PRINT. SERIOUSLY, BE THAT GUY.