24
Jun
verizon horns

In case we didn't make it clear with yesterday's post, we were more than a little miffed at Verizon's dismissal of Chromebook Pixel LTE owners. The company told customers that it had unceremoniously ended Google's free 100MB/month data bundle for the Pixel LTE after just one year, despite the initial two-year service promotion. Today Google is offering a consolation prize to those customers who bought the Chromebook Pixel LTE from the Play Store: a $150 refund credit.

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According to ComputerWorld's JR Raphael, who broke the original Verizon-Google story, Google will be sending $150 prepaid VISA cards to customers who bought the $1450 Pixel LTE while the promotion was still being advertised. (The Play Store page now specifically mentions that there is no more free data, so don't get any ideas, bargain hunters.) A Google spokesperson told Raphael that those who contacted Google support should be hearing from them soon, and anyone who wishes to claim the $150 credit can call Google's Play Store hardware support line (855-836-3987 in the US). It's worth noting that at least one commenter on the ComputerWorld story says that Google's customer support team is not yet aware of the decision.

Google's response is admirable - VISA gift cards are basically cash equivalents, and even though the number of people who bought the ultra-premium Chromebook Pixel LTE is probably low in the first place, it will cost the company six figures (at least) if all the affected customers claim their rebate. It's a much more expensive proposition than, say, giving people $150 in Play Store credit. 

Interestingly, it looks like Verizon may be backpedalling on its previous position (which might be summed up as "pay us or GTFO"). Users reported that after calling Verizon to complain about having their free data prematurely cancelled, customer service workers told them that there was nothing they could do, and that they would need to pay to continue service. A Verizon Wireless representative replied to Raphael's inquiries with the following:

We understand that some Chromebook Pixel customers may have lost their promotional data, 100MB a month for two years, early. We apologize for this and are working on a solution for those customers.

We'll see.

Source: ComputerWorld

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Guest

    Only 150$ for 1 year ?

    • Clint P

      I think it sounds more than fair. It was the 100MB plan that was axe'd. Personally, I'd be more than happy with that. That's about $12/month for 100MB/month. Not bad.

      • dsfsdfd

        They even gave them a whole $6 extra!

      • Matthew Fry

        Yeah! They should be able to afford Verizon for about 2 months with that! Sheesh Verizon is expensive.

    • Cherokee4Life

      yeah... how much do you think they should get? At least Google is stepping in to clean up Verizon's mess. I say way to go Google.

      • MyLeftNut

        Technically not Verizon's mess since the product is advertised and sold through the Play Store. The onus was on Google to make sure their customers would have never been put in this position in the first place by having iron clad contracts and agreements that would make it impossible for Verizon to back out of their end of deal without suffering financially.

        Stop praising Google for doing what they should be doing. That's like parents who want to be praised simply for being a parent. It's their job/responsibility. They sold the 2 years of 100MB as part of the package. I can quite easily imagine a class action suit from people who actually bought it had Google not mitigated their damages in some way.

    • hp420

      It was a free subscription...no one paid a penny for it. $150 is more than fair.

      • MyLeftNut

        It wasn't just a "free" subscription in that it was sold as package deal. That would be like Roku selling a device with 1 year of free Netflix and just saying "oh well" when Neflix refuses to honor the deal after a few months. Those who care to pursue it would have legal standing in court to sue for damages. Meaning if I bought something that promised my 12 months of a free service but only received 4, I can rightfully sue for the seller to return enough money for me to pay for the remaining 8 months promised me. That's just the way the law operates. Unless of course the company providing the service goes out of business. Google did the proper (legal) thing by returning a small amount to the consumers who paid for the package deal.

        • Cherokee4Life

          Here's the thing though. Google sold a device in which Verizon was going to give a promotional gift for 2 years. I am "assuming" when the customers bought the device from the play store it stated in the fine print that Google is not liable for the protional gift as Verizon is taking up that part and Verizon may cancel or alter it at any given time.
          However normally companies don't back out of promotional gifts like this for fear of looking bad, even though they legally could if they had that fine print.

          That being said "assuming" there was that fine print, I saw way to go Google! And screw Verizon.

          • MyLeftNut

            Assuming there was a fine print that disclaimed that Google was not responsible for the "promotional gift" then yes, I agree with you. The fault still isn't with Verizon though. Google saying Verizon is going to give away a "free gift" is not the same as Verizon saying "here, here's this free gift." Google may have done a good thing (depending) but Verizon didn't do anything wrong (beyond get bad PR and at this point I highly doubt they care despite the lip service) and Google should have set parameters in place to make sure this didn't happen. It's their product. It would be different if people bought the Google product through a Verzion store/website.

          • Cherokee4Life

            Okay I see what you mean. But still Google partnered with mobile data provider to give their customers free data if they bought a laptop and to try out that mobile data providers service.

            I guessy problem is that what do think should have done in the first place? The only thing I can think of is not partner with Verizon in the first and pick maybe T-Mobile. But other than that Google can't give them mobile data to compensate so all they can do now is a monetary gift.

        • hp420

          It was free. They dropped the subscription and didn't change the price of the chromebook at the same time. That means it was free. You never paid for it because people who bought it without the verizon subscription paid the same price.

          They did this with the Nexus 4, as well. Buyers in April 2013 (iirc the date) got a bumper case included for the same price it was before they offered a bumper alongside. It was free....you couldn't say 'can I forgo the bumper and save a few bucks?' because you wouldn't save anything at all.

          I'm not saying Google should have just turned the other cheek. What I meant was $150 is more than enough since no one paid for it. They could have just as easily just given $50 because the service never had a monetary value placed on it when included with the bundle, and no one was never even asked to pay any more for the bundle in order to get the subscription, as opposed to only a chromebook.

          • MyLeftNut

            "They dropped the subscription and didn't change the price of the chromebook at the same time."

            Oh you mean after the fact? Come on, seriously? That's like people who used to argue that since your monthly bill from AT&T and Verizon didn't change when you bought an unlocked phone then that was proof that the cost of the phone was never built into the price to begin with. It doesn't work that way. Just because a company doesn't reimburse you partially when a promotional gift becomes defunct doesn't mean the price was never factored into the total retail price.

          • MyLeftNut

            Also, I forgot to address your incorrect analogy with the Nexus 4. It would only be the same if Google sold the Nexus 4 with a voucher to get a free case from Spigen and AFTER people already bought the product as advertised Spigen said "uh uh, sorry no dice." No one is really arguing the current price. Google can price it however they want. Hell they can even jack up the price if they can find a sucker willing to pay it. The argument was whether or not they had to uphold the promotional deal at the "point of sale."

          • hp420

            WTF are you talking about??? I'm only referring to how the extras are FREE not rolled into the price because without said extras the price doesn't change!! You're off on some random tangent about spiegen and a voucher....whatever dude. The service was a bonus, not something with a monetary value aside from the chromebook. That's how it is. Deal with it lol

          • MyLeftNut

            You're lost. I get it. You don't understand. That's been obvious from your first comment. That's exactly what I am talking about, that's what this whole discussion has been about. I was addressing your incorrect analogy. I didn't even buy one so I don't know what "deal with it" is suppose to mean to me. You had a weak argument and I was correcting you. I'd say deal with it but I don't think you can process that.

          • hp420

            Wow...cool immature response. Good to know you don't know how to have an intelligent conversation without being an insulting douchebag. It's ok...I'll forgive you because it looks like you're just cranky because it's past your bedtime, little boy. Now go ask your mom to tuck you in and kiss you goodnight so you can get up in time for school in the morning.

          • Guest

            Intelligent conversation? This argument is stupid anyway but yeah, you brought up the Nexus 4 analogy dude. He corrected you and you couldn't handle his response without name calling? Who's immature? Lol.

  • ProductFRED

    They're saying that they're "looking for a solution" now because they want to make it look like they came up with the idea of the $150 cards.

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    Good guy Google.

    • remister

      That's quite the alliteration you got going there.

      • theunknown

        Siege of Belgrade will always be my favourite poem by any author in English, simpoly because of the unparalleled aliteration that tells a story in itself.

  • bozzykid

    How bad is Verizon to deal with that Google just decides to give users $150 visa gift cards?

    • Clint P

      This is the real question. Google had nothing to do with this, yet they are the ones trying to put a positive spin on it. Screw Verizon.

      • Matthew Fry

        Let's be honest though. Verizon holds up and kills off updates to their Nexus devices for months. Google knows they don't fulfill their obligations. It's still on Google's head for using them in the first place.

        • Barnassey

          Bingo, you hit the issue right on the head. thats why they was snubbed with the nexus 5. MANY people got burned from the galaxy nexus incident.

          • gesdsrfsddf

            Who's to say it wasn't the other way around? IE early along in the process Verizon made the decision it wouldn't let the device on their network.

          • Barnassey

            Problem is its ALWAYS been verizon whos been difficult to work with.

      • MyLeftNut

        I'm sorry, I'm no Verizon fan but why do people keep absolving Google of blame and then praising them. Google had everything do do with it. Don't sell products based on a promotion you can't guarantee. They should have had better contracts in place with with Verizon to prevent this in the first place.

    • cy_n_ic

      Dont be evil

  • Shadeoblac

    The answer is simple. Take it to T-Mobile get a sim card from them, and use their free 250MB of data a month for life. I have it on my iPad air, and it works great.

    • hp420

      This is a notebook. That deal is for tablets. You would need to activate the sim on a tablet then switch it to the chromebook. Nice try, though!!

    • TechWings

      Wait, so the Pixel isn't VZW specific? Damn, I should have researched that. I've been paying T-Mobile for phone service, and giving a friend $30 a month for their Verizon bill for 2 GB of data.

    • bgag2783

      Unfortuantly, the Pixel is locked to Verizon, so there are no other options.

      • Dean Politis

        If they are doing a Pixel 2, I am sure it won't be locked to Verizon.

  • http://www.about.me/kendallseabury Kendall Seabury

    "We understand that some Chromebook Pixel customers may have lost their
    promotional data, 100MB a month for two years, early. We apologize for
    this and are working on a solution for those customers."

    Translation: Seeing that Google is trying to fix our “mistake” and so we
    don’t make ourselves look even worse we’ll pull something out of our
    collective asses to “make it up”.

    • psychoace

      Here is a coupon for 50% off your first months service on any new phone purchase. (New customers only)

      • mgamerz

        2 year contract required, 6GB data plan required*

  • Defenestratus

    I bet that Google goes after Verizon for these cash cards.

    • Brad

      doubtful... that's such a drop in the bucket to them.

      • hp420

        It's more about their dicey history than cash if they do pursue this.

      • Cherokee4Life

        Right because now Verizon looks bad and Google looks good. I bet they are not even sweating the money and write it off as marketing :)

  • CoolCustomer

    I gotta say I like Google's policy of appeasing the user issue first and then sort out everything else (blame, cost, etc) later. Granted its only possible because they have more money than god but it is still better than the alternative of waiting for Google and Verizon to fight this out before doing anything for affected users.

    • hp420

      This is probably true. In God's day the idea of money probably didn't exist so he doesn't have any.

      • joser116

        God knows everything that ever was and ever will be. He knew that money was going to exist and at what point. And if you are referring to God's days as the days of Jesus, money did exist in those days.

        • Evan Knofsky

          Seeing as God is simply a belief, then no he doesn't have money.

          • joser116

            When he said God's days, he meant Jesus's day, obviously, and there was money in Jesus's time. Now another thing: of course God himself doesn't have any money, why would he. That wasn't my point.

          • hp420

            It was a free bonus. They dropped the free data and the price for the pixel never changed...that means it was free for a limited time, not rolled into the price.

          • joser116

            I think you replied to the wrong comment. I never once talked about that subject.

          • hp420

            I was just making a joke.

            I refuse to discuss religion with anyone for any reason. It just leads to fighting 100% of the time.

          • Erik Knudsen

            It never leads to fighting, ever. You stupid face. You discuss religion now and you like it.

          • joser116

            Yeah, I know. I was gonna say the same thing.

          • MyLeftNut

            Maybe not always, but a very good attitude to have on the internet.

        • cy_n_ic

          Duarte is god. Holo be thy currency

          • joser116

            Holo is a currency now? I thought it was Google Play Credit.

          • cy_n_ic

            Beats dogecoins...

  • MeCampbell30

    Google can keep thier money. Where is the class action against Verizon for the breach of contract?

    • sssgadget

      something something *arbitration* something something

      • psychoace

        Something something *lawyers get millions* something something *customers get a free taco from Taco Bell with purchase of a combo* something

    • joser116

      That is precisely what I want Google to do. Google barely brings someone to court. They got to be a little more aggressive.

      • flosserelli

        Google pretty much severed their hardware relationship with Verizon following the Galaxy Nexus debacle. That is why you will never see another Nexus device in Verizon stores. Verizon does sell plenty of android devices, but they are not "Google" devices per se. If Verizon decided to pull all android devices from their lineup, they would lose millions in sales and only shoot themselves in the foot. Verizon is run by a bunch of douchebags, but they are not completely stupid.

        • joser116

          I agree with your last sentence. You have changed my mind. Verizon just can't drop Android.

    • MyLeftNut

      Well, it wouldn't really be a class action because the contract is between Google and Verizon. The consumer bought the product from Google so they would have no legal standing to sue Verizon because of what Google advertised at the point of sale.

      • MeCampbell30

        Third party benificiaires have standing to sue.

  • supremekizzle

    Hahahahaha you can pretty much guarantee that Google is going to say 'fuck you,' to Verizon when android silver comes out.

  • Brandon Franklin

    I don't think Google is being as "hero" as people think. Don't forget google bent these buyers over with no lube, and no dinner or movie for $1450 for a CHROMEBOOK.

    • David Li

      To be fair, the buyers were not forced to purchase the Pixel and the Pixel did (and still does) have some pretty high-end hardware including that touchscreen.

  • remister

    Hasn't Google already learned from the past (Galaxy Nexus),Verizon just sucks.

  • David Li

    In all seriousness, Verizon is an ass for not continuing it. 100 MB a month is like 1.2 GB for an year. I bet it doesn't even cost them an additional $2 to continue ALL 64GB Pixel owner's data for 12 more months. It has probably cost them more in customer service for those owners. It's like they are actively trying to screw over everyone. Now Google has to pull money out of their own pockets (albeit deep pockets) to appease customers.

    • flosserelli

      "It's like [Verizon] is actively trying to screw over everyone."

      You just now came to this conclusion?

      • David Li

        I'm not with Verizon so I don't have the pleasure of following every misstep they make. All I need to know is that they lock bootloaders and they are CDMA. That is enough to repel most tech enthusiasts.

  • StankyChikin

    And things like this are why I left superior coverage for T-Mobile. How the hell Vzw continues to screw it's customers and bring more on is beyond me.