Back in March 2008, I posted this deal about Verizon offering a free $200 Circuit City gift card when you sign up for Verizon FIOS “Triple Play” bundle. To me, this was a simple deal. Sign up for Verizon FIOS internet, TV, and Phone service and you get a $200 Circuit City card, right? Well, so it seemed.
Three months after posting the deal, I started to see comments from readers complaining about Verizon not keeping their end of the bargain (click here to see comments). Others were promised a $200 American Express or Best Buy gift card to sign up for the same or similar deal and never got them.
I did a Google search under “Verizon Circuit City gift card scam” and was surprised to find numerous complaints about the same issue. So, before I pass judgment, I decided to go back and read the terms of the deal. I have to say, at best, the terms and conditions were confusing, and perhaps misleading. I read them thrice and was still not sure about certain portions of the disclaimer. For example, even though the offer clearly talks about the “Triple Play” bundle, it appears that it is not enough to just sign up for the FIOS internet as part of the Triple Play. Your internet service speed must be 15/15 or 20/20 Mbps. Also, at some point in the terms and conditions, there is talk of “One Digital Camera or gift card per customer”. Where did the Digital Camera come from? That was not part of the deal advertised????
Some customers were able to get a $200 credit to their Verizon account after persistence and threats made to Verizon customer service. But it does not have to come to that. Verizon must think they can get away with this, which is why they are willing to blow off that many customers. It may also reflect how poorly they treat their customers.
So, what can you do? I suggest you file a compliant with your state’s Attorney General’s office or your state’s regulator of cable service. Another option worth the try is to report this to the NY State Attorney General’s Internet Bureau (you do not have to live in NY State to do this). I was once a victim of an online scam where I signed up for one of those cheap magazine deals for $30 and later found out it was a scam (after I waited a year and never received the magazines). I was advised to file a claim with the NY State Attorney General’s Internet Bureau, and sure enough, after a few months, I got a check in the mail from the folks who took my money, together with an apology. And the best part is that I got a follow up email from the Attorney General’s office to find out if I had received the money (and I did not even live in NY State). I am not sure if they have jurisdiction over this but I am positive that if anyone can take action on this, it will be the NY State Attorney General. If they were willing to act on my $30 claim, they will act if enough people file complaints.
Readers, are you a victim of this scam by Verizon? Share your experience in the comments section below.