Verizon price increase, virtually no notice.

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Jan 8, 2015
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#1
Imagine my surprise when I went to pay my Verizon bill this month and saw a notice that my beloved old "unlimited data plan" was increasing by $20 a month, from $29.99/mo to $49.99/mo, effective November 15th.
My billing cycle ends on the 4th, so even if Verizon prints it on the 4th and gets it in the mail the next day and I get it two days later, the earliest possible I could get the notice is on the 6th. This leaves 9 days notice max of the change to the contract. (in reality I got the bill on the 9th, which is 6 days notice) My bill from last month makes no mention of the increase in price. After some research on line, it appears that Verizon announced the new price sometime mid October, which would have been after my last bill, and before the most recent one was printed.

Is it legal/ethical for a company to increase your price mid billing cycle, and with only several days' notice? Aside from voicing my displeasure to the Verizon execs, what would everyone recommend I do?
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#2
I would call Verizon and dispute it based on an increase as of December 4th, your billing cycle. At the very least, even if you agree to the increase, they should pro-rate you. I've had Verizon for years and I think they are actually pretty transparent about their increases. They sent us several notices informing us that our contract was expiring at the end of 30 days. Do you have a 2-yr contract with them or are you just going month-to-month?
 
Likes: jsn55

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#3
PS - Also, I heard that Verizon was phasing out their "unlimited" data plan for everyone, so they're not singling you out personallly.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#4
I've been on a month to month contract for about the last two years. Previous to that, I was on the unlimited data plan. $59.99 for 450 minutes of talk, and $29.99 for data. Over time I've not opted into the paperless billing, and actually selected to have a paper bill mailed to my home. This is part of what really upsets me. How can they claim they gave me notice by email, when I specifically opted for a hard copy of a bill?

The way I see it, if they want to provide me notice in my November bill that my December services are increasing, then that's fine, but to give me notice in my November bill that my November services are increasing? Oh heck no.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#5
Sorry, I mentioned email in my last post. I was on chat with a VZW rep who claimed they sent everyone emails at the end of October. Why would I ever pay attention to an email when I opted for paper billing?
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#6
I deliberately changed my VZW plan last month. They provided options on when to apply the new plan: retroactively to the beginning of the current billing cycle, immediately, or not until the next billing cycle. So you have the choice of when to apply the price increase, selecting another plan, or switching cellular providers. A "sea change" is most carriers are migrating to "contract free" month-to-month service.

Are you *sure* you weren't notified on your paper bill? Rate changes and general news are usually in the last 2 pages of the bill....the part that I never read !!
 
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Jan 8, 2015
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#7
Everything that I found so far says that VZW announced the change to the media on October 8th, which would be after my October 4th billing cycle ended. So I got notice in my most recent billing cycle. And yes, I went back through the last bill and there is zero info on any plan charges changing.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#8
@Mike Z Verizon can do this bc you are on a month to month. The benefit is you can walk at any time, but they can also make these changes at any time. If you were on a contract, then of course they would have to wait until the end. You may want to get a new plan. I had a grandfathered unlimited data plan with att and recently gave it up bc for a cheaper alternative using the same amount of data.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#9
I'm not disputing the fact that they can raise the price on me with proper notice. (IE, hey Mike, at the start of the next billing cycle, we are raising the price on your plan) However, I really didn't think it would be ok to notify someone after the start of the current billing cycle that the prices were going to increase in that billing cycle. I mean, even if the contract was only month to month, it is still a monthly contract and would normally require notification of the change.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#10
PS - Also, I heard that Verizon was phasing out their "unlimited" data plan for everyone, so they're not singling you out personallly.
And AT and T already did phase it out.

Are you sure they didn't send a letter a few months ago about the change? They usually do and the letters look like junk mail and can easily be thrown out.

I just had something similar with AT and T and was going to just throw the letter out but opened it and low and behold, it was about a price change.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#11
I'm not disputing the fact that they can raise the price on me with proper notice. (IE, hey Mike, at the start of the next billing cycle, we are raising the price on your plan) However, I really didn't think it would be ok to notify someone after the start of the current billing cycle that the prices were going to increase in that billing cycle. I mean, even if the contract was only month to month, it is still a monthly contract and would normally require notification of the change.
@Mike Z I didn't realize they the change was applied mid cycle and prorated. That seems unfair. Did you call and tell them to remove it? A similar thing happened with att when I changed plans last month but after a lengthy and annoying call, they finally credited the price difference as a credit applied against my next bill and I accepted that.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 8, 2015
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#13
The press release from October 8th, indicated the change would go into effect on November 15th, so the mid-cycle change should have been expected (assuming everyone knew about the increase)

http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/08/verizon-unlimited-data-price-increase/
A press release, unfortunately for Verizon is not proper legal notification, at least as far as I can tell. I know for sure I didn't see it, otherwise I would have been complaining much sooner.

They claim emails were sent out at the end of October, which would be less than 30 days notice. The problem is that I have specifically chose to NOT go paperless and get my bills in the mail, with an email that I've chosen to get stating that my bill is ready. If I go to my account settings, the only thing I have turned on is the option to get the email when my bill is ready, as well as when a payment is made. there are no options that I have found that allow you to get or not get emails regarding contract notifications.

I've chatted with several VZW reps over the last few days and they all claim there is noting they can do and that I was notified. Very poor CS to say the least. Overall I think when I change plans my bill will go up about $5 total as I go from an unlimited plan to the 12 gig plan. I had been using only 6.5 on average, so now I'll be sure to use as much as I can up to my limit. Verizon claimed certain people were clogging their network, well that's fine. now I'll be a heavier user.
 
Likes: Neil Maley