Another Verizon “nickel and dime” trick

verizonfailIt started last week, when I noticed something different about the phone numbers on my Caller ID feature from my BlackBerry PRIV cell phone.

Normally, when I receive a call from someone, their phone number pops up as a Caller ID message.  And if I’ve programmed their name into the phone, then their name comes up as well.  Then again, I also sort my calls by giving the most important people in my life special custom-made ringtones.

But last week, I noticed that a new caller had appeared on my Caller ID.  And not by number – by name.  And the name wasn’t one that I had previously programmed.

Apparently during one of my phone updates, I somehow “subscribed” to a free trial of Verizon’s Caller ID Name feature.  With this little feature, Verizon would graciously add the name of the person or business or entity calling me, just in case I wouldn’t be able to figure out the caller by a telephone number.

Yesterday, I discovered how “free” the service really is.

Verizon sent me a message saying that my “free trial” was finished, and if I wanted to continue using the service, it would be added to my bill for the low cost of $2.99/month.

Wow.  Talk about “opting in.”

Nice try, Verizon.  I don’t need to pay an additional $3/month for get something that you should be providing to me for free anyway.  My PRIV has the ability to already program numbers and names and faces into my phone; and there’s even an option where it will match up a person’s name with their Facebook photo, should I possibly forget who they look like.

Seriously, Verizon?  You’re going to nickel and dime me over this?  What’s next, you gonna charge me an additional tariff for making phone calls to left-handed parties?  You gonna charge me a surcharge if I dial the old Times Union pre-recorded sports hotline from 1996?  You gonna charge me additional if I take more than one carry-on bag with me on the flight?  Sorry, got my Verizon rant mixed up with my United rant.

I tell you what, Verizon.  I’ll make you a deal.  I’ll pay you the additional $3/month tribute … on one condition.

In return for paying this vigorish, you immediately block all the spambots and robocallers and swindlers and scam artists who seem to think my phone is some sort of home base in a game of scam Tag.  Block all those vehicle service contract companies and timeshare sellers and phishers from “Windows Technical Support” and give me some peace of mind.

Because right now I’m in a very bad place, healthwise and psyche-wise.

And I shouldn’t have to deal with nickel-and-dime surcharges from Big Telecom.

Yeah.  I hope you can hear me now, Red Check.

Or maybe, as always, you’re giving me the Rhett Butler response to my concerns.

You know … “Frankly, Mr. Miller, we don’t give a damn.”


12 thoughts on “Another Verizon “nickel and dime” trick”

  1. Yea its been a feature and an app for years on Verizon. It is used to identify others even if they aren’t a contact. Also makes it so you can set what others see you as. Free caller ID for people and businesses from carriers are not offered. Apps like Truecaller and Hiya are free and available. Don’t see it as nickel and dime if it’s a feature offered and you can turn it down. Plus trial is free so….Yea comes on new phones etc


  2. If you don’t like it then leave them. Bitching about it isn’t going to solve the issue. Go to a carrier that provides it for free. Oh wait, there isn’t one. They all have a premium caller ID that they charge for. And again, the spam callers isn’t just a Verizon issue, all the carriers along with phone hardware and software manufacturers are meeting regularly in order to try and come up with a solution for this very issue. Quit whining, everyone deals with it.


    1. Yeah, I’m not an “everyone deals with it” kind of person. That’s like being one of Pavlov’s dogs and just taking the electric shocks in the cage because they have to “deal with it.” Verizon has ample abilities to block the robo-spammers and scammers, especially the ones that try to hide over VoIP technology. They could have made this work a long time ago.


  3. I love how everyone is defending Verizon. Like Chuck states “Verizon sent me a message saying that my “free trial” was finished, and if I wanted to continue using the service, it would be added to my bill for the low cost of $2.99/month.”
    So Chuck, did you have to call Verizon to have that service removed? Looks like if you did nothing, they would charge you. So yes, this does stink because Verizon is hoping that people will not opt out or forget.

    They purposefully put these features on new phones and then after a few months, tell you that it was a free trial. Super sketchy and requires the consumer to make extra calls, etc.


  4. Glad I don’t have one of those phones that does “everything”. I have more money in the bank because of it too. Probably $1000 a year.

    I’ll stick to my landline with my answering machine. The answering machine READS the incoming number to me out loud so I don’t have to pick up anything and look at it (like a “smart”phone or cell phone). MY Caller ID is free too. I’ve dialed by number for 50 years so I’m use to remembering phone numbers. If I don’t recognize the incoming number, I just let it ring. If I’m even the least bit busy, I don’t answer it either. Eating dinner? let it ring. Cleaning a room? let it ring. Sorting laundry? let it ring. Reading a new recipe? let it ring. Just because you have “free time” to talk to me, does not mean I have “free time” to listen to you.


    1. Funny, I have a land line and do not get free caller ID, it’s a paid service which we opted out of. I have no idea who is calling; if I can get to the call, great; if not, there’s an answering machine. I know of no land line company with free caller ID, unless you have a read out loud telephone as they advertise for the hard of hearing folks.


  5. It’s not a “nickel and dime” situation. EVERYONE charges for this. The service allows you to PUSH your information to callers. If they don’t have you in their phone they now can see your name and add you. It also will notify if it’s a registered business.

    To answer a question. No the message Chuck got said “if” you want to continue using ID, then you will be charged. You can easily choose no thanks and not be charged. I’ve done it on every phone from ANY cell services.

    I find the bemoaning of charges by carriers to be a sad subject of complaint. Most of these services are offered at a “Opt In” option. Its quite easy to remove them and be on your merry way.

    If it’s been added and you are paying but never opted in, that’s when things should be complained about.


  6. Well said! More people should take your stance. Many, many more companies deserve your rant. I’m still trying to both understand and calm down from National Grid’s ‘delivery charges.’ Keep up the good work! And keep ranting!! I do.


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