Figuring out Verizon's free TV promotion

Seven On Your Side
February 1, 2008 8:21:43 PM PST
A flat screen TV: It's what a lot of people would like to have on their wall for the Super Bowl game on Sunday. And for one local man, he thought he had it as part of bundled promotional campaign from Verizon. But months after he agreed to buy the bundle of services, he still didn't have a TV. That is, until he called an audible for Tappy Phillips and 7 On Your Side.

Tom Gifford already had a spot picked out for his new television.

Last October, Tom says he ordered the Fios Triple-Play package from Verizon. It included phone, high definition TV and a high-speed Internet connection.

And by signing up, he was to receive a 19-inch flat-screen TV.

"I said great, I don't know anything about it, but I'll be happy to take that." he said.

But that was more than three months ago, and despite numerous phone calls he says he has made to Verizon, still no TV.

"They keep telling me they will send a letter with an authorization code, but I haven't gotten the letter," he said.

"Of course we wanted the TV, because it was just an incredible deal," Verizon customer Bryan Vincent said.

Vincent signed up for the triple-play package too. He says after numerous phone calls, he was also told he would get a letter with an authorization code. Weeks later, the letter finally arrived.

"So I wait all this time, I get the letter, and it's the wrong letter," he said.

That's right. The letter he received says he has the double-play package, even though he has been using all three Verizon services since they were installed.

Verizon would not tell us how many customers have signed up for the offer or what percent have received their free TVs. They will only admit that there have been just a handful of complaints.

But Bryan and Tom are far from alone. An online bulletin board is full of other unhappy Fios customers.

Verizon says a problem in the ordering problem held up the TVs.

Thankfully, Tom finally got his TV.

Verizon began the free TV offer in October in three states. They say it has been so successful that they have expanded it to 13 states and extended the deadline at least twice, now until February 16.