Verizon Math: $0 Off Equals A 25% Discount!

Sigh, someone get a school counselor. It’s two years later and Verizon still hasn’t mastered this whole counting thing. The telecom now believes that selling a $29.99 charger for $29.99 somehow equals a 25% discount. It doesn’t. It equals no discount. Verizon’s board should try this with C.E.O. Ivan Seidenberg’s salary. Pay him the same, but tell him he’s getting a 25% raise for his exemplary counting skills. (Thanks to Justin!)


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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    Here’s a quick refresher for Verizon:

    1¢ = $.01
    .1¢ = $.001
    .01¢ = $.0001
    .001¢ = $.00001
    .002¢ = $.00002
    .002¢ ≠ $.002

  2. RedwoodFlyer says:

    So…if you have a $100 monthly bill…send in $75 and make their heads pop!

  3. Coles_Law says:

    There’s a 25% chance I’ll buy that wall charger.

  4. catnapped says:

    Surely *somehow* this is all our fault.

    Someone should be along any time now to educate us…

    • chuck0008 says:

      @catnapped: I don’t know why people buy chargers anyway. I just make my own, with copper that I make my own Chinese child labourers mine and plastic and rubber I got from the faeries in my garden.

      • the lesser of two weevils says:

        @chuck0008: I dont believe in using cancer causing cell phones. Ive been studying telepathy so I can communicate to all my friends free from corporate greed!

  5. dwasifar says:

    “Pay him the same, but tell him he’s getting a 25% raise for his exemplary counting skills.”

    Actually that would have to be a 33% raise, in order for it to work out that taking 25% off the higher number would work out to the lower one.

    Since we’re criticizing math skills today. :)

    • mrscoach says:

      @dwasifar: Well, since they’re making up a percentage that is being discounted, we can call $0 50% if we want to. Or better yet, pay him the same and call it a 100% raise. That sounds even better. Doesn’t it? After all, evidently $0 can equal any percentage you want.

  6. QrazyQat says:

    Isn’t that ad saying “retail price $20.000” “your price $29.99” and “retail price $30.000” “your price $39.99”?

    That’s isn’t $0 off either (it’s -$9.99 “off”). Either I’m reading it wrong or Consumerist needs some remedial math too.

    • mrscoach says:

      @QrazyQat: No, the original price looks to be $29.99 and the new price to be $29.99. The mark-out line just seems to be hitting the nines just right to make them look like possible zeros. But we all know that isn’t possible. For one thing, retailers almost never, ever, ever, price something in even dollars, they always think it sounds cheaper to say 29.99 instead of 30.00.

      • socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

        When I worked in a retail place I was told that people respond better to prices in .99 or .90, as in 9.99 or 9.90.

        It made them feel more comfortable and buy more. Where I work now, when you tell someone its 30 dollars they immediately ask 29.99? or they look weird and you have to say 29.99.

  7. godlyfrog says:

    Clearly they’re just bragging that they’re actually going to charge you the retail price instead of marking it way up like they usually do.

  8. jenjen says:

    That’s awesome math, Verizon!

  9. robdew2 says:

    This would be funny or interesting if it didn’t happen all the time.
    That is, both the math/typos and the postings here about them.
    Really, these are not long boring. They are getting annoying.

  10. kathyl says:

    Can you discount me now?

  11. sumgai says:

    Why are you guys blaming Verizon? It’s obviously the webmaster’s fault. He’ll get blamed for not calculating prices correctly in his code, he’ll get fired over it, and the CEO will look as shiny as a new car. Yay, capitalism!

    • chris_d says:

      Because Verizon is the same company that brought you
      $.002 = .002¢
      “They’re the same if you look at it on paper-wise.”

  12. B says:

    @Sarcasmic: I just use carrier pigeons. It’s much better for the environment.

  13. tworld says:

    Yesterday I went to BEST BUY to purchase a laptop. As I was at the counter paying, I noticed a sticker on the box that said, “14 days,” with additional smaller text. So, I asked the salesperson what the sticker said. To my surprise it said I had 14 days to return the item, AND there would be a 50% re-stocking charge. In case you missed that, I said, a 50% RE-STOCKING CHARGE ON AN ITEM THAT COST MORE THAN $400.

    The best part is that if I hadn’t asked I wouldn’t have known that information BEFORE I made the purchase because that little bit of pertinent info was only provided because I asked.

    So beware when shopping at BEST BUY. Ask about all their little rules BEFORE you give them your money, so you can make the decision to buy, or not.

    • GildaKorn says:

      @tworld: A 50% restocking charge is outrageous. But wasn’t the information on the sticker?

    • Shrew2u says:

      @tworld: 50% restocking fee? Try 15% for a non-special order item (25% for a special order), per the Best Buy website for both online and in-store returns. [] Anyway, that restocking fee does not apply if a product is defective.

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @Shrew2u: []
        (you put an extra . at the end of your link)
        even 15% of $400 buys me enough gas for the month

        • Shrew2u says:

          @Gstein: Nice catch on the URL – I ended the sentence without putting an extra space between the URL and the period. Spank spank – bad Shrew.

          Regarding restocking fees: when’s the last time you returned a technology item on that list (GPS, laptop, etc.) that’s been *removed from it’s packaging*, for reasons other than a defective product? That’s what needs to happen in order to trigger a restocking fee – opened and returned. Like-kind exchanges don’t trigger a restocking fee – BB would still have the customer’s money. For an actual restocking fee to come into play, it would mean that, for whatever reason, the item is in proper working order but you don’t want that item.

          Those are limited enough circumstances to justify a restocking fee, IMO. BB will have to repackage the working item for sale as a used/opened item, lest they be liable for fraud. They will lose some profit (and perhaps take a loss, if the original margin was low enough) selling a perfectly good item for less than the top dollar available for such a product. That’s not an acceptable outcome from a business standpoint, hence the restocking fee.

          I can’t fault any retailer for wanting to discourage customers from that profit-killing practice. (prom dresses come to mind; “All Special Occasion Dress Sales Are Final”) If that means you’ll be missing a tank of gas if you happen to change your mind about a purchase, please either a) be sure you want the exact product you buy or b) take your money to a retailer that does not charge a restocking fee for opened items (WalMart!).

  14. shmoos says:

    Verizon: “Warning” even if they are wrong, they are right. You can’t win with them. I Snowbird in Palm Springst CA. and every yearwhen I return home I suspends my service and reactivate it on my return. My service always includes $4.95 a month to get a .05 cent per minute calls to Canada. This time they forgot to include the $4.95/.05 cent a minute feature. Their mistake cost me an extra $255.06. Customer service admitted it was their fault but would have to confirm my refund. Refund denied. They couldn’t care less that I have never had a late payment in nine years.

  15. krescendo says:

    Makes me think of one of two possibilities:

    1) They’re stupid.

    2) It’ll go up 25% when the sale is over… after all this is how supermarkets are raising prices.


  16. globalman says:

    ehh, just go to ebay…i got a home charger, car charger, and data cable for my cell for $8 with shipping. These accessories are pure profit for Verizon, like cables and adapters are for Best Buy.

  17. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    it’s obvious what is happening
    someone is Enron-ing their books, and when the accounting scandal is revealed, the CEO will hold a press conference and say “.002¢ = $.002. and remember that website thing a while back? yeah, it’s not our fault that we kept reporting gains despite losing record amounts… i hired our accountants fresh out of 2nd grade”

  18. theblackdog says:

    Sounds like those items had some website code go bad on them. I’ve bought verizon accessories in the past and it showed the correct discounted price.

  19. ViperBorg says:

    Maybe they’re still trying to figure out this check.

  20. CrazyMann says:

    Are you nuts? If they cash the check, using Verizon math you just paid for all “FiOS installs in New York City.

  21. BlackMage is doing the Time Warp agaaaaaaain!!! says:

    Retail price: $29.99

    Amazon’s price: $4.99

    Finally; math I can agree with!

  22. sideshowmel says:

    Don’t buy those accessories at their “discounted” prices! You’re gonna find the exact same thing on EBay or some similar site for half the price, probably less.

    I’ve been a Verizon customer for years, and they are hands-down the biggest ripoff on the market. Remember like 2 years when they claimed you could use any phone on their network? and then they subsequently kept pushing CDMA and didn’t embrace GSM in the US market?

    There is no “one reason” taht the US cell phone market is so far behind that of, say, South Korea, or Japan. But there is one MAJOR obstacle that still stands in our way: Verizon Wireless. I’vew been saying for years that I will dump them when my contract is up. This time I mean it.