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Verizon Rewards Referrals

This month, Verizon Communications added voice products to its long-term “Refer-a-Friend” program, which will now allow current customers to earn $50 per product for successfully touting products from the company.

The referral program has been around for a while, but Verizon it enhanced it last May to reward customers for recommending the company's FiOS high-speed-data and video products to friends and neighbors.

Verizon director of marketing strategy Shruti Joshi said that since the enhancement in May, the number of consumers who've signed up online to receive credit for their referrals has grown each month. Each participant is also referring more consumers, she added.

She declined to give specific growth figures because the “enhanced program” is still new to the marketplace.

The participation levels convinced the company to add telephone products to the reward mix.

“We've seen a lot of natural excitement and word of mouth, especially about FiOS and across the board,” the executive said. “Our most enthusiastic customers want to share.”

Verizon customers can earn up to $150 in Verizon billing credits for each friend who signs up for qualified upgrades or products, at $50 per product. First, a consumer must sign up via Verizon's Web site to participate.

Once a referred friend signs up for FiOS TV, or upgrades from dial-up to FiOS Internet, the referrer gets the bounty. The new subscriber must buy services within 30 days of the original customer's referral, and must keep the product for at least 30 days.

At the time of the referral, a referring customer can also opt to split half the bounty with the new customer, according to the program. Participants can refer only 12 friends a year, according to the terms of the program. The payment is in the form of a check, good only for payment of Verizon bills, sent to consumers four to six weeks after the qualified referral.

Joshi said she did not think the tough economy was pushing adoption of the program as much as consumer excitement about Verizon products. Being able to save money on products that garner such enthusiasm is a win-win situation for the consumer and the telephone company, she said.