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Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

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APL999
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Registered: ‎07-02-2014

Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

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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.

 

 

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Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 12 of 32
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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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xxxx
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 2 of 32
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Activation is $35 one time. You will probably also have to pay at least $30/month (plus taxes and fees) for access from the tablet, which a verizon rep told me is the minimum for a tablet, unless you already have a verizon wireless plan. (I think the mimimum for a phone is $10/month).

The offer on the web just says activation fee and 2 years service agreement but does not tell you what that entails - you have to ask. The inclination for newbies is to say "I just paid for a wireless router and fios for two years, now you want more unspecified amount?"

Like everything these companies like verizon and comcast do, it is misleading legalized theft, it's not easy to get honest answers and they pay off the pols in the form of "campaign contributions" to get away with it.

Sensor
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Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 3 of 32
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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.
xxxx
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 4 of 32
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Not sure why you would have to sign another "two year wireless agreement" if there were not charges associated with it, since I assume you already signed a two year agreement with verizon for triple play.

Have you got your first bill?

I don't think you are going to get that free tablet until you agree to pay monthy "activation" for 2 years at about $30/month plus taxes and fees. The dual use of the term "activation" is purposely misleading, as is the fine print.

Sensor
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Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 5 of 32
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I only signed up for the triple play package for two years as I do not need a wireless provider as that is handled thru work. I have received the voucher and was going to contact a local store and see what happens . Will update with my findings
tns2
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
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Posts: 4,437
Registered: ‎12-16-2012

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 6 of 32
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Can the LG tablet be used without Wireles phone service.  I.E. WIFI on your home network?  Yes I understand that they might want to have you signup Wireless access, but for most tablets such access is optional.

Sensor
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Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 7 of 32
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I was told it could by the sales rep. But I was also told it only required a one time fee of $35.00 to activate it. Both appear to be inaccurate from the post above.
xxxx
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 8 of 32
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I think they require you to pay for 2GB plan at $30/month locked in for 24 months plus $35 initial fee. If you bought the tablet yourself, you could get a 1GB plan for $20/month with no lock-in and no initial fee.

The difference is $275 more over 24 months, which pays Verizon for the "free" tablet.

If this is correct, the practice is indeed misleading and deceptive but probably legal since Verizon has squadrons of lawyers making sure it is OK and plaltoons of lobbyists in case it isn't.

xxxx
Copper Contributor
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Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-08-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 9 of 32
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Three Verizon reps told me, after much dialog, I must sign up  to pay initial and monthly fee for 24 months to take advantage of offer.

If that is not so, THEY (rather than the initial offer) are all being deceptive.

Best I can tell, if you bought the tablet yourself, you probably could get a better deal if you are a light user or can get access via work.

SinCara
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Posts: 628
Registered: ‎06-06-2014

Re: Bait and Switch on "Free" LG Tablet - Taking Advantage of a Senior Citizen

Message 10 of 32
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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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