Google offering $150 credit after Verizon Chromebook Pixel data freebie snafu

Google offering $150 credit after Verizon Chromebook Pixel data freebie snafu

Summary: Buyers of the 4G LTE edition of Google's premium Chromebook had been promised 100MB of free data per month for two years after purchase, but now Google is providing $150 gift cards to impacted Pixel owners as Verizon says it's working to resolve the situation.


We're all aware of "early termination" when it comes to cellular plans, but for once here's a case where the carrier is the one that did the early termination and not the consumer.

Thanks to a little sleuthing from Computerworld, it's come to light that Verizon ended the free data offer that was one of the enticements for purchasing a 4G LTE version of Google's Chromebook Pixel laptop. Buyers received two years worth of 100MB-per-month free data with the purchase, but Verizon has supposedly curtailed the practice with many months left for some customers. Google has also updated the Chromebook Pixel order page to indicate that 4G LTE models no longer offer free Verizon data plans.

Verizon told Computerworld reporter JR Raphael that it's looking to resolve the situation, without officially acknowledging that it's pulled the plug on the offer. According to TechCrunch, the issue was only affecting "a very small number" of clients, though it's unclear what that number is and why it's happened.

In the meantime, Google has responded by offering $150 Visa gift cards to Pixel owners who have been affected by the end (or interruption) of the free-data agreement. Pixel owners will need to contact Google Play support in order to secure the credits.

The Pixel is Google's premium Chromebook, running hundreds of dollars more than the typical Chromebook -- and the 4G LTE edition is costlier still at $1,449. While 100MB of free data doesn't amount to much Web surfing for buyers, the snafu is probably costing Verizon more in terms of reputation than it does for giving away the bandwidth gratis. It's also unclear whether Google knew about Verizon's offer interruptus, and, if so, when it was planning on communicating the details to owners.

Do you have a Chromebook Pixel with LTE that is still supposed to provide 100MB of free data per month? If so, have you noticed if Verizon has halted the arrangement for you? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Laptops, Verizon

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  • Small number indeed

    I suspect not many Pixel owners out there. But if its Verizon that cancelled the deal. How come Google is providing the credit? 100Mb is not much so when this deal came out. I thought, big deal.
    I pay $1499 for a wannabe Macbook Pro that basically runs a browser? Gee, if you can afford a piece of hardware like the Pixel, you can buy a decent data plan.
    • Yet youJ ohnnyEs, do not how how many users are out there

      So funny, you don't know...
    • Blah!

      Google is paying to save face. They want to keep the Chromebook junk alive. I am sure they'll pass the bill off to Verizon at one point anyways.
      $1500 for a paperweight that requires the Internet almost exclusively.
      Power goes out while using Google Docs. No Internet access. With the PixelPaperwight, can't do a damn thing. On a Mac or in Windows, you can continue to type and do your work.
  • Use case

    ChromeBooks, like the Surface RT or even an iPad, makes sense as a computing device when it is a companion of a more capable device like a Windows, Linux, or Mac PC. But the ChromeOS is even more limited than RT in its connectivity (mapping network shares, connecting to printers, etc) and has far less on board applications. The move to put Android apps on it is the right direction but it still turns out to be a bunch of work arounds just to do something that a PC at almost the same price can do out of the box.
    Rann Xeroxx