Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

Summary: A combination of reactivation, activation and hidden fees make the Verizon Wireless Samsung Tab one to think twice about

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I've been playing with a Samsung Tab from Verizon Wireless since November 11th. I will share my impressions of the device in the coming days but in the interim, I wanted to let the world know about how crazy Verizon Wireless has made the monthly payment for data usage, and what other fees are lurking.

When I purchased the Tab I paid $599.99 for the Tab itself, $39.99 for a case, and $44.80 in tax. So, my total price was $684.78. Since I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Tab without a contract, I expected to pay a premium, so this first part didn't really bother me. However, moments after leaving the store, I read the fine print on the Verizon Wireless receipt. I have just now confirmed what the Samsung Tab will really cost me to operate on Verizon Wireless's network.

First off, if you purchase from Verizon Wireless and decide that the Tab is not for you, you will be hit with a $70 restocking fee. If that's not bad enough, if you return it after three days of having purchased it, you will not be credited back your $35 activation fee either. Oh, did I forget to tell you about that fee? Yeah, in addition to the price of acquisition, Verizon also throws a $35 activation fee onto your first bill.

The above would be bad enough, but it gets worse. The receipt that you get when you purchase the Tab has an estimated monthly bill on it. Since I opted for the $20 per month for 1GB, the first estimated monthly payment was a whopping $88.36!! Needless to say, this sounded alarm bells so I called Verizon Wireless to discuss it. Here's what I found out:

1. Verizon bills you for one month in advance: In my case the service started on 11/11/2010, and the bill date was 11/12/2010. So, I owed 65 cents for that partial month.

2. My first real month is $20. That's what I figured, but then it gets worse. Because the activation fee is on the first month, add $35, plus $5.67 for taxes and fees. That puts the first bill at $61.32--approximately. Not quite the $88.36 estimated, but still not just $20 for a month of broadband.

So, after finding out the two points above, I figured maybe I'll just cancel the broadband for a month so I can think about whether or not I need to pay $20 for 1GB. Well, even though it's advertised as "no contract", Verizon Wireless will still hit you with a $35 reconnect fee if you stop and then want to re-start your broadband account. Thankfully, there's a workaround. If instead of deactivating your account you "suspend" it, there's a $15 fee for suspending, which my rep was kind enough to credit.

Long story short, I used to think that the pricing of the hardware itself on the Samsung Tab was too high. Now I see that there are a bunch of hidden fees if you decide to start and stop your service. This may be acceptable for some people, but I would think that most people are going to be shocked when they receive a bill that's not only loaded with an activation fee and more taxes, but also a possible overage fee. Overage fee, you ask? It turns out that even though I mostly used my Samsung Tab on Wi-Fi this month, whatever time I spent demoing the Tab completely sucked away my 1GB of data. I can honestly say that I think the total demo time was maybe 10 minutes, so I'll be researching that one, too. Verizon Wireless wasted no time sending me an email letting me know that my data usage was running out, though.

I'm not sure what the other carriers are doing for pricing and hidden fees on the Samsung Tab, but this definitely makes me appreciate my $14.99 a month fee for my iPad. In the case of the iPad, the $14.99 never changes, except when I have to renew it again for another $14.99 for the next month.

Topics: Verizon, Banking, Broadband, Government, Government US, Networking, Samsung, Telcos

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

    Everybody knows how much I dislike Apple, but when comparing the iPad 3G to the Samsung Tab, the Tab is a total ripoff.
    anonymous
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

      @day2die

      I really dislike Apple as well, but all of this Verizon stuff is making me dislike them just as much. I think Verizon does this for their own political reasons. Look at the Microsoft Kin. They didn't like the device, so they threw a data plan on those that was comparable to a smartphone plan. For some reason, some of those actually sold. I like Android. Some things are for certain. I'll always buy unlocked devices, and I'll always stay out of a carrier contract. The American cellular bureaucracy is such a hindrance.
      d4rk
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @d4rk Its not that they dont like the device, its just that they dont have the infrastructure. They claim they are the largest 3G network. What they dont tell you is that the 3G you are getting is a handshake speed(only communication from the tower to your phone). Your actual connection speed(between the tower and the internet) can be much slower! They have to have these costly data plans for heavy data devices like the Sam Tab, to obtain one of two business methods, (A) keep subscription low on their over burdened network so its not brought to a crawl, or (B) If the device is a success at that data price, be able to afford the upgrade costs.

        Its about looking good and most carriers don't care how bad it makes the device look. Apple knew this so they put their iPhone on the largest network that didnt need to worry about these things as much... yes AT&T. AT&T is known for concentrating on their infrastructure which is how they are able to handle heavy data loads(yes despite complaints about the iPhone, they do handle the data better then any other network could). Where you have verizon which is about image a caters less to business(who are more concern with stats).
        Millystone
    • dislike

      @day2die <br>so all you techies here at zdnet generally dislike apple even - as always - they are the only company that has the customer in mind and is the only company forcing a carrier like att to offer totally transparent, no hidden charges and very reasonable data plans for the ipad that you can pause or cancel anytime without any penalty fees but you like tech companies that let the carriers have their way of forcing undeletable crapware on your smartphones or enforce ripp-off data plans. what is this kind of thinking called? masochistic?
      banned from zdnet
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @banned from zdnet

        Did you read what they said?
        PlayFair
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @banned from zdnet <br>I just made Apple into the hero in the whole stituation. Did you even read my comment?
        anonymous
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

      This is the exact same pricing and policies as Verizon's new iPad broadband bundle.<br><br>But really, except the $35 activation fee are there any surprises here?
      rlawler
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @rlawler

        plus $35 for stopping and reconnecting - No fee on iPad

        or $15 for suspending and unsuspending = No fee on iPad

        plus 10 minutes of demos = 1GB (I bet the demos included Flash, the kluge that it is.)
        pk de cville
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @pk de cville

        Agreed, AT&T's structuring of the iPad 3G cellular plans as pay-as-you-go is a marvelous innovation, and the other carriers should emulate it. (The Galaxy Tab on AT&T has the same plan to the iPad 3G's.)

        On the other hand AT&T doesn't allow free tethering with the iPad as Verizon does. (I don't know if AT&T will allow tethering on the Galaxy Tab.)

        As for why Joel burned through his GB so fast, I can not tell you. I have had a Verizon Galaxy Tab for the same amount of time as Joel, and I have used nothing even close to my GB.
        rlawler
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

      Of all the carriers Verizon is by far the greediest. They slap on all kinds of fees and restrictions to milk every penny they can from consumers.<br><br>I don't care how good they claim their network is, unless they adopt a pricing policy like Sprint I have no interest in ever using Verizon.<br><br>I know there are millions of users out there anxious for the iPhone on Verizon, what they don't realize is just how anxious Verizon is to rip them off.
      Masari.Jones
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @Masari.Jones This is hilarious, I don't use Verizon but I've read these very same comments about every, EVERY carrier. The simple fact of the matter is they are all greedy whores who provide, at least in my part of the world, Puget Sound, crap service that is so spotty I can NEVER count on it.
        woofa
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

      @day2die

      How is this a surprise to anyone? Carriers love to rip off the consumer. This is just another prime example that they don't care about the consumer...only how much they can squeeze you for!
      Rob.sharp
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

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      lanmeng
  • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

    Wow... yeah IF I get a tablet device right now I think I'll go with the iPad... It's all up front costs especially for the wifi version and even the 3G cost isn't too bad compared to VZW and Tab.
    athynz
    • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and pol

      @athynz I don't want to come across as a fanboy, but the iPad has done really well for me. I can say that I was worried about the lack of Flash, but I have noticed most of my favorite site have worked hard over the last few months to make it a non issue. Also, special thanks to all of the Ap developers. Lol
      spikedstrider
    • Samsung has a WiFi Only model coming!

      @athynz So what's the difference then? On Verizon same monthly charges apply, so why are iCrAppleholics so anxious to switch? Samsung Galaxy Tab has 4x greater download speeds available over WiFi if you have a proper modern Dual Band 2.4/5.0ghz combo WiFi Direct modem. iFad can't do that with it's single band 2.8ghz non-Direct Wifi chip!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtgLsDG4qS0
      (tested with Android 2.2 Froyo update)


      No mater what you iCrAppleholics say about FLASH..... you fools are missing out on every major content provider's FULL OFFERINGS. From YouTube to NBC, ABC, FOX to buying tickets for Sports Games and Concerts, you NEED FLASH! :D

      FLASH is being used in more new website designs every day and Growing more plentiful... NOT SHRINKING! ...in fact, FLASH is being used in combination with HTML5 more often than not. So where are the benefits of going FLASHLESS today? NOT EVEN CLOSE to EXPERIENCING the FULL WEB without it! ;) ...when CrApple finally includes cameras and the better hardware in Galaxy Devices let us know!!!

      Oh..... and in case you didn't know, Europe and Asia pay far less for better and faster service with Samsung Galaxy. Only here in America where companies like AT&T and Verizon are allowed to rip us off for higher profits that we all suffer under either device!
      i2fun@...
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @i2fun@...

        What??? Are you serious about flash? I can view all of you tube just fine in HTML5, as well as ABC, NBC, Fox News and Sports, Hulu, buy tickets for all the concerts and sporting events I have recently attended or attempted on both the iPhone and iPad. I'm not sure where are getting your information, or if you are just spouting off the standard lies because you hate Apple for whatever reason.
        Vorais
      • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

        @i2fun@...

        I'm not sure who's iPad you've looked at, but mine have 5ghz N support. The iPhone does not have a 5ghz radio.

        FLASH needs to run on the device showing the content. That means that Apple would have to wait for updates, integrate them and manage their customers "risk" and "satisfaction" without being able to control the quality of the results. Apple sells service as part of what you buy with an Apple product. Mr. Jobs said this was the primary reason for not putting flash into the IOS version of safari.

        All of you hating on Apple may not get this part of their business model as being important, but an awfully large number of people find it invaluable.

        I have enough things to do in my life. Being able to take my computer to the Apple store and say "fix it" is a huge benefit if I need to do that. I've not had to do it for any of my computers yet, in 3+ years that I've been using Apple products after finally deciding Windows was just too risky and too costly for me to rely on after multiple data loses in Vista due to OS crashes (and I have a WHS instance for backups).
        greggwon@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless really screwed up the Samsung Tab with pricing and policy

    Verizon has already had to pay back people for a mess up in how they charged folks in the past. I think the FTC will tell Verizon not to charge People a month in advance unless they first tell a person at the sales counter what they are going to do. it's not fair to charge people in advance.
    T
    gregnewm7
  • beating my head against the wall right now

    Had a rant going here, but I deleted it. Instead just gonna address the bit above here. Your sales rep is SUPPOSED to explain your first bill where you would learn that the billing is going forward, which if you'll check you will find that is true about pretty much alot of services you have such as tv and your internet, home security. If your rep isn't fully disclosing that info you should ask for someone else. Dont blame the carrier, blame the idiot you're working with face to face. Most these complaints are also explained in the print you sign under, doesn't anyone read the fine print? it's not even that fine..usually average sized text in english. If you'll read facebook or some other crap all day you can read a contract..
    jgates11