That's been the Verizon way since at least the Bell Atlantic days.
I still remember when I was offered a great job with a UNIX vendor (and another, larger, more technologically-interesting hosting-company) - at a considerable bump. My manager came to me and said, "I'd love to be able to offer you enough to keep you here, but the rules hold me to offering you a maximum of a 10% bump," ...which worked out to about $4K vs. the $20K I was being offered to do more interesting work. I mean, I wouldn't have stayed, even more due to the nature of the new position than the pay-delta, but just illustrates a history of not understanding the market(s) they were trying to play in.
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