My husband and I have been utilizing Verizon for both our mobile phones and internet service for the past ten years. We have never paid a bill late and have been very loyal customers. We were due for an upgrade on three of our four mobile phone lines and had been interested in a new smart phone because of the cool features, minus the internet. When we went to the Verizon store to inquire about new phones, I told the Sales Representative that we were not interested in accessing the internet because we have other devices in our home such as laptops and touch screen MP3 players that access our wi-fi that we also purchase through Verizon for $40 per month. The Sales Rep explained to us that in order to activate the phones, we would have to purchase the data plans for each phone, $30 a piece, and then if we did not want to continue the service, we had 30 days to cancel. He convinced us to give it a try and see if we found ourselves using the internet on the phones outside of the home. This caused our phone bill to go up by $90 per month...$90 dollars for internet access that we did not need, it was unbelievable to us.
After two weeks, and not using the internet for more than a few times, which we were not impressed with btw, it was slow and you could barely see anything on the screen, we called up to cancel the data plan because we were within the 30 day range to cancel. I was told that in order to utilize the smart phones, we HAD to keep the data plans. I debated with the Customer Service Rep and told them that because the phone had wi-fi capabilities, if we chose to use the internet, I could use my wi-fi which I also pay a monthly fee for from Verizon. They told me that I had no choice and it didn't matter that the phone could function without the data plan. I explained to the Rep that I was told I had 30 days to cancel the data plan and he basically told me that I misunderstood, as if my college education clearly undermines the skills obtained by a phone sales person, and that I could cancel the entire phone transaction within 30 days. That was NOT what I was told. I felt like the Sales Rep scammed us, he knew we did not want internet, yet convinced us to take the smart phones anyway, and with a silver tongue, made us believe that we could cancel the data plan, but really meant something different. So, I believe we were ripped off... I threatened to take my four mobile phone lines and go to another carrier and I was told that "everyone was forcing the data plan," so it wouldn't matter, but if I wanted to go, it was my choice, and basically: "So long and thanks for all the fish." They didn't even attempt to keep me as a customer.
We were given two options...return the smart phones and take home phones that were more out dated than the ones we started with prior,, or go back to using the old phones that we had. So, basically, we would be stuck in the new two year agreement with crappy phones. SCAM!! But they got us, we didn't have a choice and it was true, we called other carriers and they too are forcing data plans for even the simplest of phones. The ENV3, which is clearly NOT a smart phone, also requires a data plan now. Verizon had four phones to choose from that did not require the data plan. I cannot believe that this is legal in our country!! Why has no one put a stop to these practices?
So, now we have a gaggle of crappy phones that are impossible to use. I wanted a touch screen phone and now I have a dinosaur. Thanks Verizon!! Well, the first carrier that drops a forced data plan for a cool and innovated phone will get my business.