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TikToker shocked by high Verizon bill over 'free' Apple Watch promo

Apple Watch SE

A TikTok creator claims she was scammed by a Verizon store over the Apple Watch, after being told a promotion involving the wearable devices didn't use cellular service, except they did.

Retailers often provide extra hardware as a promotional item to encourage customers into buying products or services. While in most cases it's all above board, one TikTok user believes that they were tricked into something they didn't agree to.

In a video posted by "@Meganmauk" on TikTok, her family went to a Verizon store to upgrade their old phones for new models. During the exchange, a supervisor jumped in to provide two free Apple Watches as part of a "promo," reports Daily Dot.

After fearing something may be "too good to be true," the family was assured that there was "no cell gear attached to them" and that they weren't "top of the line" models. It turned out the models were the Apple Watch SE.

The mother of the family handed the Apple Watches to Meg, who decided to give one away, but checked with the store to confirm there wasn't any "strings attached." At that time, the mom also spotted a price increase on the bill, which is to be expected with upgrades, but the employee said the price would decrease in 23 months.

Later, the family were stung by an unexpectedly large $600 bill. Confronting the store, it turned out that the Apple Watch units did actually have cellular service after all, despite assurances they didn't.

After an initial video on the affair, seen by Meg's 216,000 followers, a second was posted detailing the "worst experience" of her life, as she went to the store again and dealt with the same employee to try and return the watches.

Another employee waded into the discussion, accusing Meg of "bullying", though the TikToker says she didn't raise her voice or act insultingly. Meg then went to another Verizon outlet, who apparently agreed that the figures "weren't adding up."

While it is unclear if the situation has been resolved, it does highlight the need for consumers to thoroughly check any deals or contracts that they sign up for, especially if there's a "free" element that may end up with ongoing running costs.