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A SWAT to Verizon for trying to squeeze people who want to leave

Submitted by on Friday, 25 December 2009 No Comment

Pity the poor ginormous telecom that’s forced to scrape for every nickel and dime it can find in order to stay afloat. Eventually, those costs have to be passed along to the consumer, you know.

I’m sure that’s the only reason Verizon wants to double its early termination fee for smart phone customers, to $350 from the mere $175 it charges those with dumb phones who want out of their contracts. Prorated, of course, but that still comes to $120 for a smart-phone customer who wants out a month early, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

In case there’s something other than dire financial straits coming into play, though, the Federal Communications Commission is taking a look. It sent a letter last month to Verizon asking for explanations about several details.

If the FCC continues to look, its answer to Verizon should be “Nah. Don’t think so.” Verizon’s “explanation” is so clearly Oscar Mayer on so many fronts that a child could figure out that blatant phony baloney.

Verizon says it needs the higher fee in part in order to recoup the costs of the more-expensive smart phones and to pay for the extra staff time spent dealing with customers too dumb to figure the devices out for themselves.

Let’s see, a Blackberry Storm costs a little over $200 to manufacture. Verizon’s current price, with a two-year contract, is $279. By my math, that puts the buyer, not Verizon, in a $79 hole.

Secondly, the “extra service” that came when I purchased my Storm consisted of the salesman spending roughly five minutes setting up my email account to feed into the phone – something I told him I could figure out myself, though he insisted on doing it. I guess because the guys had accompanied me to the store, I had “dumb mom” written all over me.

He spent at least twice that long trying to sell me “essential” extra equipment – but that also happens when you buy a dumb phone, so I’m not counting that time.

A week later, there was a three-minute conversation that I waited 15 minutes to  have after I lost a  software disc. The response when I asked for a new one was “dunno” and “did you try Googling.” Dang those dumb-mom cooties. They’re really sticking these days.

In total, though, that meant I’d taken up a total of eight minutes of Verizon’s valuable time in getting help – part of which I didn’t need or want – with a  phone that they made $79 profit on in selling to me at a “discount.”

Verizon, Stop Wasting America’s Time by trying to bilk customers for expenses you don’t have. Just admit to the FCC that you’re full of it and drop your transparent attempt to gouge people.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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