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Verizon Data Overcharge

Jared Byerly

Is Your Smart Phone Stupid, or Just a Phone-y

Recent enlightening statistics regarding Verizon data over-charges on consumer’s cell phones points toward something highly irregular and possibly egregious. Verizon has been found to be uploading data to phones (even the dumb ones) when users don’t want it, making their data bill overcharges skyrocket. http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2016/09/hundreds_of_verizon_customers_are_battling_data_over-limit_fees.html

Not only is Verizon switching alarmed users over to larger data plans, but they claim it’s the consumers' fault for changing their settings on their phones to receive Wi-fi as they roam from location to location. Users say Verizon is suggesting they move up to plans to handle more data for the same cost, but then are charging them more on their bills anyway.

In one case, a widow’s dead husband’s phone had data charges skyrocket after he had passed, and no settings were changed on the phone. Verizon feigns surprise. At the least, the practice is deceptive. At the most the practice is criminal. Verizon is playing fast and loose with the rules now that they have acquired the largest share, by far, of users.

It is reported former Verizon users suffered no such overuse of date when switching to other providers. The problem appears to squarely rest on the unconscionable practices of the nation’s largest provider. As you speak with friends, family, and others you cross paths with, who use Verizon, you quickly realize this is not an anomaly. It’s happening to many people across the nation.

It doesn’t help to turn off your data; you can still go over your limit (an “exceeding your limit” notice may be a day late, insuring higher rates.) Also, there appears to be no rhyme or reason of data usage depending on your type of phone, model, or hours of usage. This breach of trust varies depending on whether you use an iPhone or a Droid, for example, and in some cases include old flip-phones. Some phones are loading data in the middle of the night while you’re sound asleep. Is my smartphone stupid, you may ask?

Verizon doesn’t want any light shone on its practices, for sure, and Apple doesn’t seem to care for the questions it owners have about their phone’s autonomous choices.

Verizon started out as Bell Atlantic, before the break-up of the Bell System monopoly back in the 70s. A quick visit to their Wikipedia page offers a prime example of a scrubbed media page constantly scanned for anything that remarks negatively about their “Corporate Responsibility.” What a joke. They don’t even take care of their own properly. A quick google search reveals two of the last 10 biggest strikes in the last ten years were by workers of Verizon.

It’s become obvious to many of us Verizon is too big, yet again. It needs to be dismantled and split-up a second time, just like its parent company AT&T. But since the swallowing of Yahoo, et al, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Conservatives, who usually rail against the immoral behavior of individuals in this country are quick to point out the angelic behavior of corporations without regulation.

Verizon workers themselves go on strike sometimes under deplorable conditions, in one case even getting run over by a Verizon attorney’s Porsche while on the Pickett line. Verizon scabs have been protected and driven to work by the NYPD. (http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19142/the_verizon_strike_isnt_just_about_wages_and_benefits._it_is_about_power_an)