Worried About Tracfone Merger Approval, Verizon Pretends It Didn’t Exploit COVID Emergency Program, says Techdirt

From Techdirt:

Prodded by Congress, a few months back the FCC launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a $3.2 billion program designed to provide folks struggling economically during COVID a little extra help affording broadband. Under the program, users get a $50 discount off their broadband bill, a total that jumps to $75 for those living on tribal areas. As we’ve well covered, regional telecom monopolization and corruption results in Americans paying some of the highest prices in the world for broadband, a problem that hits low income consumers and marginalized communities the hardest.

While the program does little to fix US broadband’s bigger competition issue, it’s certainly helping folks; roughly a million folks signed up the first week. And while the majority of the 825 participating ISPs are engaging in the program in good faith, it’s not particularly surprising that some ISPs decided to try and game the system to make an additional buck. Charter, for example rejected users from signing up if they didn’t agree to pay for a more expensive broadband tier once the program ends, which appears to violate the program rules.

More problematic is Verizon, which got caught forcing users to sign up for even more expensive tiers if they wanted to apply to the program, resulting in some users being forced to pay more for broadband than if they’d never signed up for government help in the first place:

Not too surprising coming from a company criticized in 2018 for capping California firefighters’ “unlimited” wireless plan during an historic wildfire, then trying to upsell them to more expensive plans as they tried to battle the blaze. Only once the press highlighted Verizon’s latest COVID relief gamesmanship did they back away from it, issuing an odd press release pretending that none of this had ever happened, and any changes to their approach were entirely of their own making. The company has also been trying to do damage control at the FCC, claiming people didn’t experience the thing they clearly experienced:

Continue reading Worried About Tracfone Merger Approval, Verizon Pretends It Didn’t Exploit COVID Emergency Program on Techdirt

Do you have a complaint about Verizon, such as hidden fees on your bill, lies by sales staff, or unsatisfactory service? Take your claim to FairShake, the consumer advocacy service.


Read More:

FairShake is aggregating links to consumer news stories across the web. We claim no rights to the snippets featured.

Latest news

Hold Uber responsible: Here are Thursday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Amazon, Zoom, T-Mobile, Uber, Chipotle & more

From CNBC: Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Thursday: Continue reading Here are Thursday's biggest analyst calls of...

Latest Citibank customer news: Citi names John Young as head of commodities for Americas

From Reuters: June 3 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has appointed John Young as the head of its commodities business for...

AT&T customers take note: The AT&T-Discovery deal will spawn a company that goes by this name

From The Dallas Morning News: The new company being formed by the merger of Discovery Inc. and AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia...

Latest AT&T customer news: AT&T on track with FirstNet build, most challenging sites remain

From FierceWireless: AT&T is about a year ahead of schedule on its FirstNet build but will likely take until 2023...

Top Uber story from Slate: Slate Money talks billionaire taxes, Uber, and Bitcoin.

From Slate: This week, Felix Salmon, Emily Peck, and Stacy-Marie Ishmael talk about the ProPublica report on the tax returns...

Uber headlines: Rideshare Services Like Lyft, Uber Struggle To Get Drivers Behind The Wheel

From CBS Pittsburgh: SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Rideshare Apps are desperate for drivers. The pandemic has slowed travel so much that...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you