On 11.09.12, as a birthday gift for earning all As, I purchased for my 13-year-old his first cell phone from a local Verizon store: 1913 E Big Beaver, Troy MI 48083.
At that time, I stated explicitly that I wanted the plan for his phone to include only call and text capabilities and to exclude web access. I was told web access would not be included and that I could add it to the plan at any time for something like $10 per month.
Imagine my surprise when, the following month, I received a Verizon bill for $408. When I visited the Verizon store to investigate the matter, I was told my son's phone had incurred $175 in web browsing charges. I explained that, when I purchased the phone, never would I have leftr the store without having been fully assured that my son's plan included calling and texting only.
Call me naive, if you want, but I had absolutely no idea and never was told that, even if I did not include the web access fee in the plan, web browsing would still be available at a premium price.
And at the time of purchase, not once was I informated that, if I truly wanted web access not to be available, I needed to request to have it blocked.
Whether or not Verizon's error was intentional, it cost my family dearly. After explaining this experience to store personnel in detail and having to spend my entire lunch hour in the store while they reviewed the issue and tried to figure out how to handle it, the best they could come up with was an offer of a 30% discount on our next bill, implying they believed I was 70% at fault for not having known at the time of purchase that web access would not be blocked unless I specifically requested it to be.
Unless Verizon removes the web charges my son's phone incurred before I was fully informed of what I was required to do to ensure web access truly was not available, I will send a copy of this report to the Better Business Bureau, the Michigan Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission. I also will publish this story everywhere on the internet that I can.
Thank you, Ripoff Report, for providing this valuable forum.