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.”