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Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

[Pricing] Verizon's Tiered Billing Practice

We just received our first bill with a tiered data package on it. My line is unlimited while my fiance just got the 4GB promo package with her new Droid 4.

Verizon continues to show my data usage in kilobytes on the invoice; last month I used 2,184,811. By contrast, her tiered plan is only shown in gigabytes and is rounded up to the next whole gigabyte.

The bill shows her allowance as 3GB (presumably prorated for the partial month) and her usage as 2GB. In actuality she used about 1.2GB. This is incredibly lame and deceptive on the part of Verizon Wireless; if we had the 2GB plan rather than the 4GB promo it would appear as though she had used 100% of her data allotment when she actually used about 60%.

I talked to their billing department about this and there is apparently no way to get the bill to show kilobytes or even megabytes. Nor will they show a decimal for gigabytes. From my perspective this seems like a thinly veiled attempt to trick people into paying for higher priced data tiers that they may not even need. You can still obtain the actual usage totals out of their webpage with a little bit of work in Excel but one should not have to dig through the Verizon webpage to find out how much data they actually used.



beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Stablehost.com

Shady. Remember when cells first started and every call was rounded to 1 minute? And eventually they just used seconds instead. Now they are doing that shady practice again.

Greed knows no bounds.
--
Some people are like slinkies - not really good for much.
But they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.


Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

The call rounding doesn't bother me _too_ much. At least they are up front about it. Billing calls in six second increments (0.1/sec, easy to do with decimals) would be nice but what can you do?

This practice bothers me though; there is no way to get a true data usage total without going into usage for the previous month on the VZW webpage, exporting it as a CSV into Excel, deleting the stupid "GB" that they add to the end of each field and running a SUM() operation. Most people will not be able to successfully navigate that process.

Something tells me they are going to get smacked down by the FCC for this. Of course whatever fine they wind up paying will pale in comparison to the extra money they made from people buying larger plans they didn't need.


decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

Let me guess, they are counting the upload with the download as one? Probably some tcp overhead too

/sigh, as Beck said, "greed knows no bounds"

What ever happened to proud companies that wanted a sound and popular product that was both enjoyable and profitable?


Lamiel

join:2008-04-05
Saint Johns, MI
reply to Crookshanks

The MyVerizon app doesn't show the usage in megabytes? I have a 3G phone myself, but my brother-in-law has the Galaxy Nexus, and he can see his usage in MBs.


Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Yes, you can see the actual usage for the current month with the VZW app or the webpage. That's not the point though.

Name another industry that could get away with inflating your usage of a metered product by 67% on a monthly invoice? They can't even claim it's a billing system limitation since my unlimited plan still shows kilobytes on the monthly invoice. It's just a naked ploy to try and trick people into buying plan upgrades. "Woh, I used 2GB, better get the 5GB plan so I don't have overages!"

Can you imagine if they billed minutes in the same way? They currently have 450, 900 and unlimited minute plans. If they adopted this practice for voice calling and you used 451 minutes the bill would show 900 minutes used.