You’ve probably been following the news that some owners of the Google Chromebook Pixel who bought a two-year data plan with their devices had been stiffed. According to a number of complaints, users were greeted with a cancelled account screen when they tried to connect via Verizon’s data network and no one was quite certain what was going on.
According to Verizon, the answer is a that a few users were hit by an unforeseen problem and the issue will be remedied.
“We do understand that a very small number of Chromebook Pixel customers may have had a promo end prematurely. We apologize for this, and will work with these customers to address the situation,” said Debra Lewis, a Verizon spokesperson.
Interestingly the reaction to the original news vacillated between smug Schadenfreude to genuine outrage. Either folks jeered at the folks who paid a few thousand for a Chromebook or railed against Google and/or Verizon for not being not evil. The comment above shows how banal the whole thing really was: a goof by a major corporation that should be remedied in a day or so. For all the talk of “churnalism” and “the death of reporting” it’s interesting to note that the best pundits in the business (“Verizon didn’t sell these Chromebooks with the promise of two years of free service — Google did,” writes Jon Gruber) went off half-cocked grumbling about motives where there was only a dumb mistake. Gruber does make an interesting point: “That this story is only breaking in June, two months after it started affecting Chromebook Pixel owners, seems telling regarding the device’s popularity.” That, perhaps, is the real news here.