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
    Philip, 11 Jan 2007 @ 2:26pm

    Almost wanted to side with Verizon

    After listening to 10 minutes of that wave, I almost wanted to side with Verizon.

    Yes, the guy is right. Yes, Verizon looked like fools saying they didn't know the difference between .002$ and .002c but this guy was explaining things all the wrong way and causing even MORE confusion than necessary.

    Look, not everybody is good with math. It's a fact of life you have to learn to live with. This guy was going good when he was talking to the initial supervisor on the wave file, but screwed up right here;
    When he asked the supervisor to do the math, the supervisor started to say, outloud, .002 times 3 .. and then the guy interrupted him and asked him "of what?" .. Hello .. You cannot tell your calculator what denomination. You have to wait until /after/ he gets the answer before you correct the denomination.

    The rest of the entire call was a pointless call. It could have finished within the first 5 minutes, easily, but the caller was a horrible teach and went about explaining his side completely the wrong way.

    He should have came across with the math like he did and then explained to them when you multiple cents by units, the end result is still in cents: .002 times 38xx is At that time is when he should have told them that is in cents, not dollars. And leave out the whole math thing.

    People suck at math, leave it at that. Don't attempt to explain the finite details of math to them cause they will get even MORE confused about math.

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