Anyone reading my rants knows I’ve been railing against Verizon Wireless (VzW) phone contracts, and why not? The carrier just keeps giving me more ammunition.
Here’s two more little gotchas that I discovered. Beware: VzW is constantly trying to get you to re-up your contract even when your starting out in a new contract.
For example, during a recent dispute over unauthorized charges on an inactive phone I chronicled here, my son, wanting to be the hero, said he’d call VzW after I was stonewalled. Proudly, he called back, saying he got a $20 promotion that would take $9.95 of my bill for the next two months.
It wasn’t until I got a cryptic and lawyerly `you did this’ notification in the mail from VzW that I realized the promotion was a veiled inducement to lengthen my contract. My son said contract extension was never mentioned when he accepted the promotion.
I noticed my the contract date had been pushed out on the line in question. I called VzW and learned that accepting the promotion automatically extended the contract for another two years – from the end of the existing contract! Customer service agreed to cancel the deceptive promotion.
Of course, lawyerly language, confusion, endless details and a lack of transparency are all part of the strategy. The slightest change you make on your service can trigger a longer contract commitment. Here’s another example.
I recently had to suspend service on a phone that a family member lost. Because I could not reach customer service (a payment was four days late so VzW so calling VzW automatically steered me to financial services, which was closed because it was the weekend. VzW would not connect me a regular customer service person.), I went to MyVerizon to suspend the line.
After finding the right choice (MyVerizon–>manage my device–>suspend service) in a sea of options, suspending the line forced me to answer a “step 2:” should VzW keep billing me for the suspended line? If I checked no, I was agreeing to extend the contract another two years (see illustration).
I had to read the two options several times to understand what I was agreeing to. It was like Verizon was putting words in my mouth. I was dealing with the stress of a lost smart phone….I was in no mood to extend a contract.
I checked `keep billing me’ as someday soon, I have the full expectation of leaving VzW forever as a customer.
What’s your opinion of VzW contracts? Are you as put off by them as me?
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