Chromebook Pixel owners who purchased the LTE model did so with the implicit understanding they’d get two years of LTE data from Verizon the day they activated the data plan. A year in, those customers are seeing their free data vanish. Verizon and Google have conflicting impressions of what has been going on, with Google taking steps to cover their tracks on the matter.
As JR Raphael points out for Computerworld, those who purchased the LTE variant of the Chromebook were sold on the device getting two years of LTE data from Verizon, free with purchase. While the included data was only 100 MB, it was a feature for the LTE Pixel. Via the Wayback Machine, we see that older versions of the product listing page make mention of the data, but the current page has removed it from the “goodies” section.
Verizon says they are under the impression the LTE data was only good for 12 months. It’s possible Google dropped the ball, here. A product announcement from Google notes the Pixel LTE model as having three years of data included. The actual product page on Google Play said two years. Verizon says one year. You probably get where we’re going with this.
Google is also covering their tracks a bit, here, suggesting they’ve made a blunder. As a former Pixel LTE owner, I can attest to Google’s two-year claim. The 100 MB limit wasn’t a lot — maybe enough to respond to a few emails and check out a video each month — but it was a feature, and gave owners a reason to spend for the LTE variant rather than the WiFi version. Google and Verizon have yet to come to an amicable solution to this problem.