12 ON YOUR SIDE: Verizon customer wants promised Visa reward card

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield woman said Verizon dangled a $500 gift card in front of her to get her business, and she's still waiting for the promised reward.

Lisa Shumate called 12 On Your Side, believing that the card would never come.

It's a great promotional tool many companies use to boost business by tempting the buyer with the promise of a sweet incentive. But, if the reward isn't received, the lure leaves the customer feeling ambushed.

"Right here, it says 'a $500 dollar Visa reward gift card by mail will come 90 days after your service is installed,'" said Shumate.

Lisa Shumate became a full Verizon customer November 2011. She said it was a difficult time then for the family just before Christmas.

"My husband had been unemployed for a while. The $500 would come in extremely handy."

At the time, Comcast was Lisa's cable TV provider. She got everything else - internet, home phone and cell service - through Verizon.

She said a Verizon rep told her about the gift card promotional, which persuaded her to drop Comcast and bundle services with Verizon.

"They managed to get here in a couple days, dig up the yard, put all the equipment and install it in no time... but the Visa card never came," said Shumate.

After months of calling and getting nowhere, Verizon told Lisa she didn't qualify. We found complaints online where others were given a similar reason.

"It was like, the girl that you talked with, she gave you some things that she wasn't supposed to. Because you got this extra DVR for life, you don't qualify for the Visa anymore."

Lisa wouldn't give up, but said it was apparent even the customer service reps were confused.

"Another lady approved it, and then another lady called back and said, 'no, you don't get that.' It's not my error. You offered us this. This is what you said we would get. I have it in writing. It's your error. You should still honor that."

That's happened a few times, which is why she's skeptical about an email she received just last week announcing the card is being processed.

"I am tired of calling," said Shumate.

NBC12 contacted Verizon, exchanging emails. There was no discussion of why or how it all happened, just a brief message saying they will follow up to ensure she gets it.

90 days turned into roughly nine frustrating months, but Verizon said the money is coming by UPS in 30 days, in the form of a $500 prepaid gift card.

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