Legal Issues

by Karl Bode




Verizon Draws More Attention To Telco's Dubious Math Skills

from the Streisand-effect dept

A Verizon Wireless customer on their "unlimited" EVDO data plan (aka their limited data plan) recently took a trip to Canada. Before leaving, he confirmed with Verizon Wireless that their advertised ".002 cents per kilobyte" out of country data charge was correct, since it seemed ridiculously inexpensive. When he returned to the States, he was greeted with a bill for $71, and discovered that he had been billed $.002/KB, or "point zero zero 2 dollars per kilobyte," a hundred times more than the price he was originally quoted. When he called Verizon Wireless to straighten out their incorrectly advertised price, he found that both support reps and management couldn't tell the difference. After a hilariously painful recording of the conversation was posted to his blog, the media attention forced Verizon to offer a full refund, though as of mid-December the company was still quoting the wrong price to users. To have a little bit of fun, the user started selling T-shirts on his blog making fun of Verizon's math skills, much to the chagrin of the telco's legal department. They've since sent him a lawyergram (pdf) warning him to stop using the Verizon logo. Obviously Verizon is ignoring the Streisand effect -- and any resulting legal action against the site will only serve to bring attention to the fact Verizon can't differentiate between dollars and cents.

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    chris (profile), 11 Jan 2007 @ 6:41am

    sounds like beer math to me

    in the military on long engagements in the field, the brass will bring in beer to help the troops unwind a bit. the usual ratio is 2 beers per person... apparently that is the ideal dose for a good time without incident.

    so, if your platoon is 30 men, and you require two beers for each one, then the beer algorithm looks something like this:

    2beers * 30soldiers / 24per case = 32 cases of beer per platoon.

    go ahead, add it up on any calculator with a beer function. it's a precise science.

    so, if you apply the beer algorithm to the pricing scheme, you can see that the price is really quite reasonable, especially when you factor in the number of channels you are getting.

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