Free HBO offer -- deceptive business practices in Virginia

When I moved to a new home in 2017, I spent an ungodly amount of time on the phone with Verizon setting up FiOS service.  As part of my initial service, VZ offered a free year of HBO.  The customer service rep explicitly told me that HBO service would *not* continue after the first year without my opt-in.  I did not opt in, but HBO service continued nonetheless -- and I was billed for it.  I did not notice until I got the first bill.

I contacted VZ last week via online chat, where someone named Jessie said: "As you are already promised you will not have to pay for HBO. Please be rest assured."  (Actual words.)  However, she could not refund what was already billed, and told me I needed to call 1-800-837-4966 to get that done.  I asked Jessie to e-mail me a copy of the chat, but she said VZ's policy is not to send chats -- I would have to copy/paste it myself, which I did.  She said she would leave notes that could be seen by the phone people.  OK.

However, when I called VZ today to cancel and get a refund, I was told by someone named Kelly that I would *not* be refunded for any usage of HBO before my cancellation date.  She said she had no record of the original conversation in 2017; that she had no transcript of my online chat with Jessie; and that none of her notes reflected anything about a refund.  When I told her that *I* had a transcript of the chat, showing the promise, she indicated that she did not care -- that all that matters is that VZ sent me the terms in writing, and that if I hadn't read them it was my fault.

I asked to be connected with a supervisor twice, but each time Kelly refused (!).  She said she had spoken with a supervisor and that VZ would "meet you halfway" by refunding half of what they had promised.  I was doubly insulted: First, that VZ thinks that reneging on *only* half of its explicit promise is "meeting me halfway" and second, that VZ would rather nickel-and-dime me out of a few dollars -- and force me to post a complaint in this public forum -- than simply make it right.

I have no idea what statistics Verizon is trying to pump up by fooling people into subscribing to HBO, but it's clear that its method for doing so -- telling people one thing via undocumented channels such as phone and chat, and then billing based on conflicting written communication -- is a deceptive business practice.  I am reporting it as such to the Virginia authorities.  It was not a lot of money, but maybe if enough people complain they will stop this dishonest practice.

Re: Free HBO offer -- deceptive business practices in Virginia

Hi @Hoopla, 

Your issue has been escalated to a Verizon agent.  Please check your Private Message Inbox for a message from Verizon_Support.  You can find your Inbox by clicking on your username at the top right corner of this page.  Please direct all correspondence concerning your issue to the agents who will be assisting you privately.