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

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.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

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.

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