Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen
APL999
Enthusiast - Level 1

As a Father's Day gift we gave my in-laws a cash gift so that they could upgrade their television service. My mother-in-law contacted Verizon FiOS and a salesperson told her about a Triple Play offer that included a $300 Prepaid Visa Card and a free LG tablet. My mother-in-law thought it sounded like a good offer and agreed to order the Triple Play plan and in doing so asked the salesperson to confirm that the LG tablet would be free with no other commitments and he confirmed it on a recorded line. She was so looking forward to the FiOS service and the new tablet that she could play around with.

However, after FiOS had been installed she was now told by Customer Service that there were strings attached to the "free" tablet and that a 2-year Verizon Wireless activation was required in order to get it. My mother-in-law countered that the salesperson who sold her the plan clearly stated on a recorded line that there were no other commitments required. The Customer Service representative said it didn't matter and that she should check the confirmation email which my mother-in-law had not looked at carefully.

Deflated, my mother-in-law who is a senior citizen and not the most technologically sophisticated person contacted me for help.  In reviewing the confirmation email, it does say that a 2-year Verizon Wireless activation is required for the free tablet but that was contrary to what the salesperson had told her so it sounded to me like a misleading sales practice. I then called Customer Service myself and the representative that I talked to assured me that the tablet was indeed free and that Verizon Wireless activation was not required and to just wait for the coupon to arrive.

The coupon then arrived and it does state that a 2-year Verizon Wireless activation is required for the tablet. My mother-in-law and my wife contacted Customer Service again and the first representative they talked to was actually unaware of the Verizon Wireless activation requirement but she then transferred them to another representative to take care of them.  The second representative then did another about face and said that activation was indeed required. He kept on saying the tablet is indeed free but requires a 2-year wireless agreements and that there was nothing he could do.

Has anyone else had an issue like this with the "free" tablet?  It seems like some representatives are clearly promising something, whether intentionally or ignorantly, which Verizon then is not following through on.  We are planning to file a complaint with the NY Attorney General's office and with the BBB but wanted to see if others have had a similar problem. 

Being a long-time Verizon Residential and Wireless customer myself (and also a Verizon shareholder), this is very disappointing.

1 Solution
xxxx9
Enthusiast - Level 2

The worst part is they don't tell the cost and call the monthly fee "activation", so one can be easily misled into thinking the initial $35 activation fee is all it costs. Since when is activation every month? Also, minimum tablet fee is for 2GB ($30) which is more than cell phone fee. Misleading at best.

(To add insult to injury they probably charge you sales tax in some states for the "free" phone.)

But I suppose it is still a good deal for some?

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31 Replies
JackE50
Newbie

APL999,

It's not just senior citizen's that are being taken advantage of, I was too and I found a number of complaints about this issue on various websites.  Customer service wasn't interested in addressing the problem. They told me to call Verizon Wireless to straighten it out. I replied that's like asking me to call Walmart, it's a different company, Verizon FiOS made the offer so they should be accountable. To file a complaint I was told to send a letter to the corporate office in New York, or use the Contact Us page. I searched this site high and low to file a compaint and there simply isnt' a method on this site that allows you to submit a formal complaint so here I am. Hope this helpful to anyone else who's told they will get a 'Free' tablet.

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ElizabethS
Moderator Emeritus

Hello JackE50

Sorry you are having difficulty, an agent with access to your account will reach out to you directly by email, private message in the Forums and/or the billing telephone number on your Verizon account for more information to help you resolve your issue.

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ostone
Newbie

I have same issue. This is my first business with VF but I feel like being cheated...

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amyeharris3
Enthusiast - Level 2

OK - 

So was this really ever solved? I too, have fallen prey to this bait and switch.  

I switched mainly because of this awesome "free tablet" offer, and because it would be slighly lower than Comcast.  

Now told that there is nothing anyone can do - I can get a tablet, but at a cost of $30 / month.  The service is something I don't need, and certainly can afford.  

Am being told all over the place (e-mail, phone) that there's nothing more I can do.  It's in the fine print, true, but the sales rep. said nothing about activation.  In fact, he said I could do either a free tablet or $150 off my bill.  

i get that they may be covered legally, but this is pretty sad.  I'll be switching the second my contract is up if there's no resolution.  

Did anyone get a resolution....?

MHFP
Newbie

Just faced the same issue. Was looking to cut some services to save money. The sales rep upgraded my internet speed and got me a discount on Premium channels, with a minimal savings, but I needed to sign on for a 2 year contract which I wasnt interested in doing. He noted that I would then get a FREE LG tablet or $200 towards any other tablet at the Verizon store. No mention of any additional charges, costs or committment.

I am not a senior, am a physician and consider myself an intelligent person who understands English and expects to receive promised services.

My internet was being upgraded and I had to sign the contract on my smart phone. The need for a 2 year committment was buried in the email received and was not noted. Even so, there was no mention of a minimum per month charge for this committment to receive the tablet.

The letter and certificate for the FREE TABLET did not arrive until just after the 30 day window to cancel. It was clearly marked with the need to "Activate your new tablet with a two-year Verizon Wireless line of service for as little as $10/month line access".

I saw this and fuming, contacted Verizon Customer Service. I was told it was clearly noted and they would not honor the Verbal Promise made by their sales agent. Neither would they would not cancel my 2 year contract.

I spoke to Miss Jones, a supervisor and she told me there was nothing she could do to rectify the situation.

Have been a customer since 1988 and am now counting the days until my 2 year contract is up and I will be cancelling all Verizon services at that time.

To me this is a clear cut an example of consumer fraud, and I will be pursuing other avenues for remediation.

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cacaca1
Enthusiast - Level 1
so if you have already previous plan, all you have to do is to add, paying 30 monthly without initial 35 so called activation fee?
Randy40
Enthusiast - Level 1

I have the same basic problem. The free tablet is not free. The Verizon store insist upon a two-year activation in order to receive the so-called free tablet. There is also nothing indicating a two-year activation requirement for the tablet prior to receiving the confirmation e-mail. I will restate what I posted on Verizon's Facebook page since I was unable to locate a customer service e-mail address to send in the complaint.:

Why was there no mention in your advertisements about a two-year contract on the free tablet a customer would receive if signing up for Verizon? I received the coupon for the free tablet after installing Verizon and I see that it now requires a two-year Verizon activation contract in order to receive it. I find this to be unacceptable. After a month now of having Verizon and given the fact that I cannot trust your promotions or advertisements to be accurate I think that I would have been better off staying with Cox cable. I'm discouraged enough to strongly suspect that I will switch back to Cox cable the instant my contract is up with Verizon! I can buy my own tablet for under $100 without a problem but your offer of a free tablet was the deciding factor in going with Verizon. You people should be ashamed and I do plan on filing a complaint with consumer protection so that your dishonesty will be publicized. And I am certainly not going to pay for a two-year contract on a tablet just to receive one for free.

And if you would've publicized a way to reach your customer service by e-mail I would not have to publicly post a complaint. I Definitely Should Have Stayed with Cox Cable!

bophi
Newbie

i got my paper to get the free tablet today , then i find out i have to pay 10 $ a month for 2 years (240$) for a free tablet, i called verizon they said i should have read my email, but that was 4 days after the 2 year new bundle package agreement.i was not told about the 2 year wireless agreement for 10 $ a month. i have a ipad, and use my wireless router at home, and other places that have wireless access, why would any one want to do this wireless service. when my 2 years are up i will leave verizon.

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Rachel861
Newbie

I never received my certificate for the free LG tablet.  Does anyone know what i can do get another one? 

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amyeharris3
Enthusiast - Level 2

You sure you want one? I'm not using mine.  Not about to pay an additional $30 / month.

ElizabethS
Moderator Emeritus

You would need to contact Verizon directly.

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tjgriffin1
Enthusiast - Level 1
If you have a cell plan, it's $10 added on to your current monthly cell bill. The sales ARE lying. They may plead ignorance, but they're told to do that. And it's perfectly legal.

I came here because I was suspicious of this tablet offer extended to me on a sales call. Now I know.

The ONLY thing counts is what is in writing and in the contact. They can tell you you'll get free chocolate chip cookies for life, even a recorded line, but if it's not in the contact you signed, forget it. It sucks, it's morally void, but it's perfectly legal. Your only defence is to read the contract before you sign it.
pixological
Enthusiast - Level 1

You should have read through the fine print before you gave you in-laws the cash "donation". I believe its partly your fault for setting them up to fail. Senior citizens need help from their families. They need smart kids that can help not hurt.

ferdinando
Enthusiast - Level 1

never seen the ad only spoke with salesman

I was told that if sign up for 2 years for Fios Triple Play I would get a free LG G tablet no mention of sign in in for 2 year with Verizon Wireless. When I got a redemption code I went to the store I was told the only way to get it free if I sign a contract for $10.00 a month for 2 years. I called the salesman who sold me the contract he had no idea. To me this is false advertisement

xxxx9
Enthusiast - Level 2

Maybe so, but it is also intentionally misleading.

SinCara
Specialist - Level 2

The tablets do in fact require a new 2 year activation. The certificate that Verizon mails out for it states so. You can't just walk into a wireless store and walk out with a free tablet. My parents who I refered to fios and signed up tried it, but of course didn't work. A data contract is required to get it.

The rep. who said you did not need to sign a new 2 year agreement for wireless service for the tablet as wrong and was most likely just saying it to get a sale. This is why I never deal with phone sales with any company. It's online or I don't do it. 

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xxxx9
Enthusiast - Level 2

The worst part is they don't tell the cost and call the monthly fee "activation", so one can be easily misled into thinking the initial $35 activation fee is all it costs. Since when is activation every month? Also, minimum tablet fee is for 2GB ($30) which is more than cell phone fee. Misleading at best.

(To add insult to injury they probably charge you sales tax in some states for the "free" phone.)

But I suppose it is still a good deal for some?

tns2
Community Leader
Community Leader

@xxxx wrote:

The worst part is they don't tell the cost and call the monthly fee "activation", so one can be easily misled into thinking the initial $35 activation fee is all it costs. Since when is activation every month? Also, minimum tablet fee is for 2GB ($30) which is more than cell phone fee. Misleading at best.

(To add insult to injury they probably charge you sales tax in some states for the "free" phone.)

But I suppose it is still a good deal for some?



"...activate the tablet on a new 2-year Verizon Wireless line of service"

Pretty clear at least on the web site.  Not a great deal  but the details are shown.  No comment about some of the sales representative either being unaware of details or actually making things up.

And to someone else asking do they monitor for complaints here.  No Not Really.  The Verizon people who monitor these boards look for things that they can do to help.  They may mention that some are complaining to the other areas but that is always occurring, even when actually Verizon is not at fault.  If they see a deal that does exist and doesn't appear to be being honored they will help.  The ones here are actually usually knowledgeable and helpful but there as limit to what they can do. 

Sensor
Enthusiast - Level 2
I wonder if Verizon monitors this forum to see what their customers think of what can be perceived as deceptive and misleading practices in their quest to steal away comcast customers. Or maybe they just don't even care .
Sensor
Enthusiast - Level 2
I too have just signed up for fios . In doing so I asked the sales rep if anything additional would be needed to use the pad as I was receiving a wireless router . I did see the thing about the two year wireless agreement but was assured I could use the tablet at home with the new service I signed up for if I paid a $35:00 activation fee. I have not tried this yet but it sounds that I may have some difficulty as well redeeming the voucher for the free tablet. I would hope this is not a deceptive sales practice on the part of Verizon we will see.
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