Visible, Verizon’s app-based affordable mobile carrier alternative, appears to have canceled users’ accounts in lieu of denying them access to a promotion. This news came to light after a number of Visible customers posted complaints on Twitter and Reddit, claiming their service was canceled without explanation, as first reported by Best MVNO (via XDA Developers).
“Visible identified a set of accounts that were established illegitimately and in violation of our promotional terms and conditions,” Visible spokesperson Lindsey Cohen said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “We terminated those accounts, but have heard from some customers who have asked us to review the decision.”
As Best MVNO points out, the seemingly random account cancellations may have something to do with Visible’s 2FOR22 promotion, which provides two months of service for $22 instead of its typical $40 / month rate. Also included with the promotion is a gift card worth up to $200 if you purchase a qualifying device and stay with the service for at least three months.
In the promotions’ terms and conditions, the company states it’s for “new members” but doesn’t specify anything about existing customers. Visible’s terms also note the 2FOR22 deal and $200 gift card promotion can only be applied once per account and details the potential consequences of abusing the offer:
If Visible, in its sole discretion, determines that a member has engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with this offer, or that the member intends to do so, Visible reserves the right to disqualify the member from this promotion.
As outlined in users’ complaints, some were new to Visible, and others have been customers for years — but all of them had their accounts and phone numbers deactivated. While one user had no luck trying to restore their account through Visible’s customer service, another customer, who switched from Mint just a few weeks ago, says they were able to reestablish their account.
It’s still not exactly clear which promotional terms customers may have violated. Perhaps existing or returning customers tried taking advantage of these deals, and Visible interpreted this as a violation of its policies. Other customers may have tried applying for promotions multiple times, resulting in Visible flagging their accounts.
Either way, Visible could’ve handled it better. Illegitimate or not, Visible activated the accounts and ported the numbers in the first place. Abruptly terminating service — seemingly without warning — is a drastic measure with significant implications for its customers.
“Our goal is to ensure that we are providing promotions and service to our legitimate members, so we are taking steps to review these escalations, and will restore service if warranted,” Cohen added.