Verizon Changes "Free LCD TV " Promotion To "Free Digital Camcorder" Promotion

As a followup to the people who complained about not getting their free TV from the FiOS triple play promotion, I saw that they changed their commercials. Instead of advertising a free Sharp 19-inch LCD HDTV, they’re now saying that you’ll get a free digital camcorder when you order your triple-play bundle. They must really be having problem fulfilling those orders. According to sometimes broken Verizon PolicyBlog, every one who qualified for a TV will get one, you just have to have patience and give Verizon a break; their TV-giving division just isn’t as advanced as their money-taking division.

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  1. How long ’til the cameras start not arriving?

  2. Ausoleil says:

    They’re using the same fulfillment company Guinness used to mail out their free bar towels.

  3. B says:

    @BayStateDarren: Almost immediately.

  4. Toof_75_75 says:

    @BayStateDarren:
    Prior to the first arrival, of course.

  5. grandzu says:

    @Ausoleil: I got one of those towels without any trouble back then.

  6. nutrigm says:

    Hey Verizon, with this kind of housing market, how about giving ppl a free house with that cable bundle?! LOL

  7. zibby says:

    On a semi-related note, has anybody in history gotten the free HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs you could send in for when you bought a player/PS3?

    I hate this crap.

  8. unholycinna says:

    My huband bought a PS3 that had an offer of five free DVDs. We got the DVDs about six weeks later, no problem. And I am ashamed to admit, being an avid Consumerist reader, that we bought it at Best Buy.

  9. zibby says:

    @unholycinna: Good to know. My friends and I are like 0 for-5 or -6, but I guess we need to be more patient.

  10. geeky_reader says:

    I’ve been hearing the “free digital camcorder” offer for at least 2 months now on the radio in my area (Pittsburgh).

  11. dorkins says:

    @BayStateDarren: Reminds me of Soviet-era jokes (by Soviets): “You’re in the wrong line, Comrade. This is the line for no *bread*.”

  12. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Just curious, is the TV any good? It looks like a 19″ TV, is it 720p, or just 480p? I kept seeing those commericals and thought to myself that it can’t possibly be a good tv for anything beyond a small bedroom (but I could be wrong). Valued at, what, $200?

  13. mthrndr says:

    “free digital camcorder” includes a pretty wide range of crap products. You can get 320×140 digicams for about $15. So, I’d say this is a pretty huge step down from a rather nice little hdtv.

  14. crabbyman6 says:

    @apronk: Same here in Philadelphia. A month or so ago it went from “free HDTV” to “free digital camcorder”.

  15. backbroken says:

    I’d think I’d rather almost get a digital camcorder than almost get a 19″ TV. Installation still includes drilling through your electrical box, right?

  16. gregcuc says:

    Why would they give out a camera? It makes sense to give a way a tv to use with your new service. Giving away a camera doesn’t make much sense though. Its like a toaster with your bank account… so you may toast your statements with ridiculous bank fees.

  17. thesuperpet says:

    @zibby: nope. my husband comes home every day and asks “did the blu-rays come in yet?”
    @gregcuc: well it is internet too so maybe so you can upload videos of you going “eeeeee” over your new TV, Phone and Internet service.

  18. tvmitch says:

    Good catch, but this article isn’t quite accurate. There have always been two of these promotions running at the same time.

    Verizon might have very well canceled their free HDTV promo, but in non-FIOS markets like mine, this free camcorder offer has been going on for some time. Instead of the FIOS “Triple Play” bundle that has FIOS TV, FIOS Internet, and some sort of phone line, the non-FIOS markets have a bundle with DSL, DirecTV, and analog phone. The DSL offer has always been a crapola camcorder. We get stations from Philly on cable, and in that market, we saw the HDTV promo.

  19. Narockstar says:

    I’d rather have the camcorder too. I already have a tv and I live alone, so I don’t really need another one. Although, if it was free, I could put it in the bathroom and watch the news while I shower. That would be kind of awesome.

  20. lawyergay says:

    Other legal eagles have commented on this kind of thing before, but promotions like this that result in the consumer “taking the bait” (signing up for the triple play) create enforceable contracts, and the TV or camcorder is part of the contract. There’s a basic concept at work here which is that if Verizon doesn’t perform its end of the bargain within a reasonable amount of time, it is in breach of that contract. Mary (from the prior post) could threaten in a nice letter to take Verizon to small claims court. My guess is Verizon would settle by sending a check/crediting her account for the value of the TV.

  21. Lazlo Nibble says:

    “Digital camcorder” covers everything from a $20 Aiptek Pocket to a $17,500 RED ONE. Guess which end of that spectrum Verizon’s freebie is going to inhabit.

  22. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    Over where I live, the offer is now a digital camera.

    It was always a TV for the qualifying triple play and a camcorder for a qualifying double play. Again, Hank-Hartes or Hank-Haartes is the name of the fullfillment center…so don’t forget to complain to them as well in between calls to Verizon.

  23. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @lawyergay:

    Verizon wouldn’t do it. They refused to do it for me (send me a check for the TV), and this was a VP on the phone talking to me.

    They’ll send you the product or let you cancel (and good luck with the ETF).

    I am currently compiling my Verizon story. Just waiting to hear back from a few people before I make look at what legal recourse I have.

    Hopefully you guys look forward to reading it….

    Question: I can still sue Verizon even though I make my entire situation with them public, right?

  24. by grandzu at 10:41 AM on 03/07/08

    @Ausoleil: I got one of those towels without any trouble back then.

    I too received a free Guiness bar towel without any trouble.

  25. mmmmna says:

    I got the free Guinness bar towel.

    Wifey tells me the camcorder deal is gone, she thinks she heard it is now a Samsung 7 megapixel still camera.

    Better hurry and sign up for FiOS – pretty soon the free gift will be some assorted used bubble gum, then it will be dropped to a used postage stamp…

  26. painfullyblunt says:

    The person posting this misheard an advertisment (or misread) the promotion was a tv for a triple play and a camcorder for a double play. There never was a camcorder for a triple play. Ever. Currently there is a free digital camera for a triple play, and no matter which package you signed up for you could always choose a gift card instead the featured item.

    The problems Verizon has had with their fulfillment of tv orders is well documented, but spreading misinformation (I don’t see any evidence presented) doesn’t help any one, and only adds to the confusion.