‘Free’ Apple Watch Deal Leads to Hefty Phone Bill for Customer

A woman posted a TikTok video to share her experience at a Verizon store where an employee offered a pair of free Apple Watch to go with their phone upgrades, leading to a hefty bill.
Verizon retail store
According to TikTok content creator Meg (@meganmauk), the employee allegedly scammed her by saying the two Apple smartwatches were a bonus. However, when her family received their monthly cell phone bill, she was surprised that they had to pay $600.

Meg and her family went to the Verizon store a month ago to upgrade their phones. During the transaction, an employee offered them two units of free Apple Watch for a store “promo.” The employee promised that no cellular plans were attached to the free devices.

After hearing the offer, Meg’s mother hesitated to say yes because she thought the deal was too good to be true and she already owned an Apple Watch. However, after repeated assurances from the Verizon employee that the deal came with no hidden fees, they were eventually persuaded and brought the two smartwatches home.

Meg’s mom gave her the two watches because she was the only family member without one. She used the first watch and planned on giving away the other as a present. 

Because she wanted to avoid taking back a gift, Meg decided to go back to the store to clarify that there were “no strings attached” to the devices. When she returned, the Verizon employee assured her again that the watches were free and had no cellular data charges. 

Weeks later, her family received a whopping $600 cell phone bill. Meg and her mother returned to the Verizon store to confront the same employee who offered them the promo.

In a follow-up video, Meg said they returned the devices to the store successfully. However, the employee did not clarify why they promised the devices had no cellular plans.

Verizon has yet to comment on Meg’s videos, her experience at the store, and the subsequent phone bill. However, this story should be a reminder to consumers to be wary about accepting any free products until they understand what their provider is offering.

Meg’s story comes amid rising consumer costs, especially in the cell phone industry. In 2022, expenses were 10 percent higher for 94 percent of the mobile phone market.

Fortunately, consumers can take simple steps to lower their cell phone bills. For example, they can switch to more affordable carriers or low-cost mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), like Consumer Cellular. 

This operator can act as an intermediary that buys data in bulk from large carriers and resells it directly to consumers. It also allows clients to save more by sharing their parents’ plans through the Consumer Cellular family share plan. The company offers various services that suit every lifestyle and budget.