The Star-Ledger

Verizon Accelerates Cell-Phone Competition

The Star-Ledger — Friday, March 23, 2007

BY TOM JOHNSON

You aren't supposed to talk on your cell phone while behind the wheel, but Verizon Wireless wants you to take a test drive.

The nation's second-largest wireless company, behind Cingular/AT&T, said yesterday it plans to allow customers to try its cell-phone service risk-free for 30 days. The offer expands upon the company's Worry Free Guarantee, which gives customers 30 days to return or exchange their equipment without having to pay an early termination fee.

"Customers are deluged with promises of the best wireless experience," said Jack Plating, chief operating officer for Verizon Wireless. "Test Drive will help customers cut through the clutter."

If during the 30-day Test Drive customers aren't satisfied, Verizon Wireless will refund their money for their calls, equipment, activation fee and taxes and release them from their contract without an early termination fee when they return the equipment. Free, however, won't apply to data services, downloads, games, music or other V-CAST services, applicable taxes, 411 calls and certain surcharges.

Ev Liebman, program director for New Jersey Citizen Action, called the tactic interesting. "It's an indication of just how cutthroat the competition out there is," she said, adding consumers ought to carefully look at the fine print in the offer.

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