Patience Required for Verizon’s ‘Free’ HD Promotion

Verizon, in a fierce battle with cable over the prized trifecta of home digital media services — TV, telephony and broadband — has been promoting its three-service package by offering free 19-inch HD sets from Sharp for all new susbscribers. But according to the Tampa Tribune, it’s beginning to seem like a lot of Verizon’s new subs may have to wait for the next major TV standard to come along before actually getting their free award.

“Delays and bureaucracy now mean that customers who signed up for the free TV deal can wait almost three months for the TV to arrive,” the paper said. The main reasons for the long wait are attributable to the method (or lack, thereof) whereby Verizon verifies bona fide recipients and subsequently, eventually provides the TV units. (In other words, it does not send its crews out with the free units when it arrives to install the new or expanded services.)

What the Verizon guys do bring with them is a letter giving new customers instructions on to how to log on to a special Verizon Web site to choose whether they want the free TV or some other gift (including a $200 gift card, which would be worth far less than the HD set). The next step is Verizon forwards the data entered by the sub online to a HD shipment center for the final step.

All in all, the process can take up 10 weeks. To qualify, subs have to commit to the three fiber-based services for no less than 24 months.