Verizon isn't exactly known for its math skills. It's taken some flack in the past for some hilariously wrong
claims, sometimes creating ridiculously confused
discussions. For the most part, that's just been some very confused customer service folks who are unable to figure out how decimal places work. However, it may now have reached an institutional level. On Monday, JR Raphael at Computerworld noted that when Google and Verizon started selling the LTE Chromebook Pixel last year, part of the pitch was that it came with 100MB per month of data access from from Verizon.
Except, that in the last few months, that "free" 100MB has disappeared with Verizon claiming it had no idea
that "2 years" was actually "1 year."
Verizon is telling customers that as far as it's concerned, the plans were valid only for one year -- and that's why those initiated last spring are now expiring. I called the carrier's customer service line and, after holding for 15 minutes and then talking in circles to an agent for another 10, was able to get through to a supervisor. That person politely told me he wasn't aware of any two-year commitment and that -- despite my pointing out official documentation to the contrary -- there was nothing he could do to help me.
To make matters even more confusing (and/or appealing to lawyers...), Google's original announcement actually promised three years
, and that's still online as I type this (screenshot below in case it disappears):
After the story started to get some attention, Google quickly offered users a $150 credit
to make up for the missing data. However, Verizon is... still trying to figure out how calendars work
We understand that some Chromebook Pixel customers may have lost their promotional data, 100MB a month for two years, early… We apologize for this and are working on a solution for those customers.
Of course, as Broadband Reports notes
, it appears that the class action lawyers are already swarming
around the "misleading advertising" effort, and there's a decent chance of a lawsuit soon. Google's quick promise of credit will probably limit that damage, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Verizon offer something similar pretty quickly as well to minimize the threat of a lawsuit. Either way, the situation is fairly ridiculous -- whether it was crossed signals on whatever deal Google and Verizon had, or if there was just some bad math involved.