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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  1. identicon
    Wizard Prang, 11 Jan 2007 @ 11:54am

    In defence of Verizon

    I used to have Sprint cellphone service. Reception in certain buildings was poor and they seemed incapable of getting by bills right...

    The last straw was when I called to ask them if they could changed the off-peak watershed from 9PM to 7PM. They said "no", so I went ahead and switched to Verizon, who was offering a better deal.

    After signing up with Verizon, I called Sprint to cancel. The gentleman asked if there was anything he could to to keep me. I told him what I had asked for half an hour earlier.

    "Sure, I can do that".

    "Your Customer Service people couldn't"

    "They're not allowed to. I can."

    "Too late - I just signed the contract."

    Since then I have used Verizon for my cellphone service for about four years now; mistakes are rare, and when they make them they have credited my account for double the difference.

    Also they are one of the only companies that I know that offered a credit ($20) for going paperless - everyone else just expects you to save them money while offering you nothing in return.

    The problem, such as it is, is not restricted to Verizon - or Sprint - it is a consequence of trying to get top-notch people for bottom-dollar wages.

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