I don't know if you remember, but back in the days of complain-o-blog I had issues with Verizon.
I think the flaw in your assessment is your assumption that they don't do this by design.
VERIZON'S 'MISTAKES' NEVER COST THEM MONEY.
They always 'accidently' overcharge. I got a $600 phone bill because they signed me up for a phone plan that didn't include free weekends - such plans don't exist. Complete bullshit. I had a threefor plan (internet, homeline and cell) and there was no central authority to discuss the discount. Each had it's individual bill and couldn't account for the discount. They said I had to pay and get a refund. I paid what I owed instead, and when a few months later, I couldn't switch plans (or something) because I hadn't paid the money I didn't owe - they hadn't processed that I didn't owe the money.
I'm not claiming to be that needy, but I was dependant on freelance - and hustling to get freelance - to make enough to pay basic costs. Hours upon hours of problems was a major barrier to my working. Also, the extra $550 charge was way beyond my ability to pay.
You got off easy if it was only an hour and a half!
I'm fairly certian that people who don't have to pinch pennies let this stuff slip often enough for Verizon to make a couple bucks off of people who can't be bothered with the hassle.
In defense of the government, I believe it's sincere incompetence. "
From my friend at this blog. (By the way, check out his beautiful photos!)