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View Full Version : Verizon Wireless "Free Trials"


MadMike
04-18-2009, 09:42 PM
A few months ago, I decided to upgrade my phone, which involved renewing my service contract for another two years. I was told that the new contract include a month's free trial of VZ Navigator (a GPS-like service that provides driving directions) and web access.

My one friend has the Navigator service, and I thought it was pretty cool, but not cool enough to justify an extra $10. As for the web, I have no desire to access the internet on a two square inch screen. So I had both services cancelled about a week before the trial was to end -- or so I thought.

Last month I saw some mysterious charges on my bill -- a "Get it now download" for $9.99, and a few bucks for downloads. This struck me as odd since I hadn't downloaded anything. I don't even buy ringtones. I prefer to make my own. Verizon seems hell-bent on preventing it, but there's always a way. But that's another rant altogether.

I called in to find out what happened, and the $9.99 was for the VZ Navigator, which I had called in to cancel weeks ago. The other couple of bucks was for web access, which I hadn't used either, and had also called in to cancel. I was somewhat annoyed, but I was told that these services would be cancelled and a credit would appear on the next bill.

This month's bill did have the credits I was promised, but surpringly (or not), there was another $9.99 charge on this one. I called in again, and was once again promised that the service would be cancelled (turns out it still wasn't), and another credit would be issued. I'm really getting annoy at this point. This reminds me of the old horror stories from people trying to cancel AOL.

Is this how companies make their money these days? Give you "free trials", hoping you'll forget to cancel, and even if you do remember, not cancelling and hoping you won't notice? I swear, they're lucky I just renewed my contract or I'd be looking for a new provider. I'm really going to be pissed if this happens again next month!

Broomjockey
04-18-2009, 10:01 PM
That's not new. And in fact, that's a little less scummy than what my old provider did to me. When I'd renewed, they'd offered a free 3 month trial of some roadside assistance thing, only the way the sales person framed it, they made it seem as if it was free as long as you didn't use it. I can't even remember what it was, since I didn't have a car. It wasn't even my contract at the time, really, it was my parents' and they gave the phone to me so they could be sure to reach me. If it had been mine, I'd probably have paid closer attention. My dad had just said yes to it, since I don't think he got it either. Later, when charges started showing up, we called and were very upset. They eventually refunded most of the charges.

Dips
04-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Write a letter to them disputing the charges. That gives you legal rights that a phone call doesn't.

Then just keep calling and being politely persistent until they agree that you can't be charged for a service you cancelled properly.

They likely DO rely on people not paying attention or being reluctanct to dispute it.

It's frustrating as hell.

draggar
04-22-2009, 12:32 PM
Some companies are testing (many others are accused of doing this) of "extra billing" - billing people for extras they might not have used and see who calls for a credit and who doesn't. I'm sure over tens of millions of customers they could get a couple thousand not arging a $10 charge (or more for huge accounts?) a month.

Rapscallion
04-23-2009, 10:39 AM
Is this how companies make their money these days? Give you "free trials", hoping you'll forget to cancel, and even if you do remember, not cancelling and hoping you won't notice?

I've often thought that mail-in rebates work like that. If they can afford to do that, can't they just afford to reduce the price and look more competitive against their rivals? Nah - they're just relying on the ten percent or so who won't mail in to make them their money.

Just glad they're very rare over here so far.

Rapscallion

Bandit
04-23-2009, 11:11 AM
Nah - they're just relying on the ten percent or so who won't mail in to make them their money.


I used to work for an outfit that loved to push rebates. The "can't be arsed" brigade is closer to 80%.


B