How is it legal for Verizon Wireless to false advertise?
I have been a customer with Verizon wireless for 7 years. I am(was) 'grandfathered in' on unlimited data for my phone, but my wife and daughter didn't have a data plan. Our bill was always around $160. I got a call 3 weeks ago from a guy named Richard from Verizon, who wanted to discuss my account. He said I was only using 1/10 of a GB of data on my phone per month, and if I switched to the newer 'Share Everything' plan, we would have unlimited minutes and texts and that my wife and daughter could use data on their phones too. He said with a 1GB plan my bill would be $10 cheaper, but to add another GB was only $10/month. I told him I wasn't interested because their phones wouldn't connect to wi-fi and their phones would have limited access anyway. He researched further and said if I switched he could give me 3 new phones for FREE. I had 4 to pick from (one was an I-Phone 4, which my daughter had been wanting). I got his name and number and told him I would call him back after discussing it with my family.
The next day I called with the 3 phones we picked and made sure he repeated that they were free and my bill would stay exactly the same. He kept reassuring me. At certain parts of the process, he would mention the call was being recorded. I made sure to have him repeat that the phones were free and the bill would not change during the 'recorded' parts. After placing the order, he said I would have to agree to the phone prompts and that afterward I would get an email disclosing everything about the order. I had to agree to the 'terms and conditions' on this email for the order to be completed. I thought at least this would be the proof he wasn't lying to me. At the end he again stressed the importance of agreeing to the confirmation email.
After getting off the phone, I kept refreshing my email, but never got one. I checked throughout the next day and still nothing. I called Verizon , afraid of screwing up this sweet deal. They said the order was placed and that pressing '1' at the prompts on the call was 'agreeing' to the terms of the order. Oh well, it was all recorded at least.
So within the next 4 days or so of activating the new phones, I was checking my data, because now I have a teenager using it. I seen that with her on the plan we had already used .5 GB. I knew 2 GB wasn't going to be enough, but Richard also said I could add another 2GB for just $10/month more. That would bring my bill to around $170. I was looking through 'My Verizon' and clicked on my bill. The bill was over $400! I called Verizon to see why, and the lady I spoke with let me tell the story, and her and her supervisor researched the order for over an hour. She kept coming back on the line only to tell me they were still researching all this. Finally she told me that it wasn't Verizon that called me, it was one of their 3rd party companies that place orders, KIPANY PRODUCTIONS LTD. They charged me $100 for my phone, $90 in upgrade fees, and increased my bill by around $30/month! Convenient to have 3rd party scapegoats and assume no responsibilty. These people had access to my Verizon account, and to me changed it illegally. I didn't agree to any of this. The CSR told me finally that she could waive the upgrade fees because they could somehow 'see' that they weren't disclosed, and give me $50 off my phone. This was all she could do. I wasn't home at the time, so I asked her to call me back later that night after I could speak with my wife. In the meantime I sent an email to Verizon so this problem could reach the corporate end and maybe help stop it. Of course there was never a response. I also called the KIPANY PRODUCTIONS number several times only to be disconnected every time, and finally never allowed through again.
After the CSR called me back I asked her what we could do about KIPANY. She said they would file a '360' and get back to me. I just wanted this fixed. She told me that as long as I could have those new phones turned in within 5 days they could switch me to my old phones, but after bringing this up to my daughter she almost cried. She's a good kid and deserves a nice phone. My concern was how do they consider the phones 'returned'? When the shipment arrives? When they log them in? What if the shipment is later than promised, just like when I got them on Monday rather than the previous Friday I was promised? I finally figured I was just screwed and told her to waive what she could and we would deal with it.
I keep calling, to be told someone is going to call me. I guess the idea was to push me past the limit to return the phones. New contract stranglehold. WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE IN THIS SITUATION??
a year ago 2 Answers