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Damage Device Fee

   I have been a good standing Verizon Wireless customer for about 15 years now.  My wife and I have had no complaints (although the bills could be a little lower) over the years.  Recently, my phone (Motorola Razr) had some speaker phone and audio jack issues that I tried to resolve with your tech support team.  The phone was still in working condition as I explained to the representative (can't remember his name) at the time.  I was exploring my options with him (wait five months for an upgrade, go with Verizon Edge, Insurance protection, etc.). Then he mentioned that I could send it back with no charge under the manufacturing warranty.  He asked me whether or not the problem that was occurring with the phone was related to the phone being damaged.  I explained that it was not related.  I believe that I had the phone since May 2013.  I dropped the phone a month after I got it (although it was somewhat protected because I had a hard shell case on it).  Now I don't remember the crack that was shown in the photos that you guys emailed to me, but I do know that the crack was not related to complications in my phone.  I had the phone for almost a year and a half after I dropped it with no complications.  Today I spoke to a female representative that explained the policy in a very clear manner.  She stated that if there was ANY damage to the phone (related or not) then it would void the warranty.  Since then I have read your information on the website about the defective phone policies.  The problem I have is that I would have never sent my phone in the first place (since it was still functional) if that option was never presented to me or if it was clear that ANY damage to the phone would have voided the warranty.  In other words, if I had spoken to the rep today about my phone problem then this wouldn't be an issue.  The rep at the time made it sound as if you guys would inspect it and if the problem was RELATED to physical damage then they wouldn't accept it.  That would have been fine since I knew that the problem came in the past month or so and wasn't because it was recently dropped or anything.  He was not at all clear about your damage policies which should not be my problem.

    

    I told the representative today that I refuse to pay $299.00 for a phone that I was willing to keep until the upgrade date in May.  She offered a discounted price of the fee but that is still unacceptable.  I would like for you guys to ship my phone back (if it hasn't already been destroyed) and I'm alright with paying shipping costs.  I cannot agree to pay the Damage fee even if that means that we lose Verizon as a customer.  I love as swear by you guys.  My wife and I tell our friends to switch to you all the time.  I understand policy (I work in manage for security so I enforce policies all the time), but I don't fell that this was my screw up.  There has to be something that you can do (send my phone back, waive the charge) for someone that hasn't given you guys a problem in 15 years as a customer.  I wait for your response.  Thank you for your time.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

Novice

Tough situation.  The problem is that there is no way to prove that the damage didn't have anything to do with the issue you were having.  And yes, their policy is to charge the fee if there is any damage whatsoever.  I would take the credit they are offering, because they aren't going to credit back all of it and they can't send the phone back.  I'd ask for at least 50%.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

How is Verizon getting away with this?  I am trying to resolve a similar situation that has been ongoing since 2/14/15.

I had two local Cellular Sales reps inspect my phone and found no physical damage.  The day before the screen faded and the apps blinked and glitched. They local reps even spoke with a Verizon Certified Specialist for 30 minutes on the phone and he determined that the phone had a defect or glitch. He then spoke with me and said the phone was under warranty and told me that I would receive a box and to closely follow those instructions and return the defective phone.   I did this following the provided instructions. 

One month later I get an e-mail with a statement that I would be charged $299 damage fee. And to review the below photo showing physical damage.  There was no photo to view.  So, I sent 4-5 emails asking to see the photo with "alleged damage".  No response. I called the local store and they agreed it was ridiculous and put in a ticket for Cellular Sales Customer Service.  A manger named Ella would be calling me.  After 14 days,  Ella did not call.

I finally got on the phone with a Verizon wireless rep.  She told me that the phone had an external crack on the screen. I told her that was not possible and I wanted to see the photo. I was 100% sure that was not the case, for both Cellular Sales reps would have seen it and I also would have seen a crack.  She was able to send me a photo that showed some lines in the upper corner.  However, the original problem was a faded screen with blinking display.  The phone actually worked other than this glitching display. There were no cracks.  She finally quit calling it an external crack and agreed that maybe it was not an external crack as she first observed, but then said it was likely from extreme cold sine I did not drop it or hit it on something.  This is not the case. So after arguing with her for 5 minutes about what denotes "extreme cold temperatures", I asked to speak to her Manager.

Then her supervisor, Mr. Edmund,  agreed with her earlier observation that there was a crack and said it was an internal crack and could be from cold temperatures just as she had theorized.  I told him that if that was the case folks from up north would be sending them back all the time.  He he agreed that has not been the case.  So then he theorized that maybe it had physical damage from the way I carried the phone, or moisture inside it froze and caused a crack........

All these different ridiculous scenarios were postulated, yet two indirect Verizon employees inspected it thoroughly and did not find physical damage, and the Version Specialist troubleshot it over the phone and determined the symptoms were a defect unrelated to physical damage.  When this was going nowhere, I asked to speak to his supervisor and he would not let me.  He said: " you can't speak to my supervisor, but I will give you a $200 credit since you had Cellular Sales reps inspect it and tried to do the right thing."  I said: "no that I was not paying any of it since their story kept changing and there is no proof that I caused any physical damage." In fact, three Verizon employees also determined there was no physical damage.  He told me I would have to call Cellular Sales and see if they would pay for it or credit me the $299. I would not be allowed to speak to his manager.

So, I tried contacting Cellular Sales.  I finally spoke with Ella.  She said they would pay nothing and that Verizon handles all billing.  She suggested that it was likely damaged during shipment and to call Verizon.  Her name was Ella with the Knoxville, TN office and she was extremely rude and could have cared less that Verizon was about to charge me over $600 in bogus fees,

Since then I have talked to three more Verizon Employees (Rickey, Jennifer, and Supervisor Brandon).  And guess what ............I have gotten nowhere.  The first was Rickey who was very polite and told me he would put in a request for the $299 fee to be waived.  He told me that he would call me back by 4-9-15 regardless.  Well, he never called.

So, I call the Verison Customer Service line  on 4/14/15 and speak with Jen or Jennifer in the Washington office.  She checks and says the request put in from Ricky is pending and could take 10-14 days. I told her that Verizon is going to charge my account by the 15th for $600.  After putting me on hold for several minutes, she stated she would go ahead and credit me the $200 that Mr. Edmund offered 2 weeks ago. I told her that was fine and a start, but I would be disputing the remaining $99 as well.  Come to find out it is even more than $299 with taxes and other fees.  Verizon wants to add this to my normal bill of $300 for a grand total of $635.  Thanks for helping out your hard working customers.

Well, if the story could get any worse.  Then after putting me on hold for several more minutes, She then returns and tells me her supervisor (Brandon) will not approve the $200 waiver. He says it has physical damage. And he is willing to do $100 instead.  I said: "no thanks, let me speak to him."  I also asked her if I would be allowed to speak with Brandon's supervisor......or be dined like Mr. Edmund.  She said I would have to ask Brandon.

So, I told Brandon the entire story from the beginning. Brandon goes on to admit that the phone was likely damaged during shipment and it was my fault for not insuring it arrived safely and intact.   YEAH THAT IS RIGHT IT WAS MY FAULT.  I asked how is it my fault.  Since I used the package that Verizon provided, the same one that the Verizon Specialist told me would arrive at my house and to simply follow the instructions.  I followed all the instructions on the box.  And Brandon basically insulted me and said well "you are a Human Being and should have used your own box or bubble wrap."  "That is what he would do".  I said no, I followed the Verizon instructions and did as I was told.  And he said: "no Verizon did not make me use that box.  I should have been smarter and used a better box and insured it arrived undamaged."

I also asked how can Verizon recant on the $200 waiver approved by Mr. Edmund and Jennifer.  And he said well that was his offer, and Jennifer misspoke and maybe if I call in again I would get a different offer maybe only $50 dollars.  

This is the biggest joke ever. I would like for some advice on how to handle this dispute.  I contend that the two local Cellular Sales reps inspected the phone thoroughly and found no damage.  A crack whether external or internal would have been obvious.  The found no oxidation, no physical damage in the form of scratches or cracks (I have had the phone for less than a year).  Furthermore, the Verizon "Technical" Specialist talked to them for 30 minutes asking them questions and troubleshooting.  He did not find Physical damage. Instead he determine it was a defect and told them and me to send it back since it was under warranty..........and to use their return Verizon Box. 

What are my options? (1) continuing to talk with incompetent employees, (2) cancelling my contract and paying termination fees, (3)  taking them to small claims court.

I will be first contacting the regional supervisors for Mr. Edmund's and Brandon's Regions. I wonder if I will encounter the same rudeness and ineptitude.

Is it commonplace for Verizon Customer Service Supervisors o treat customers with disrespect and no allow them to speak with their managers?  With this kind of customer service, how do companies like Verizon and Cellular Sales stay in business? 

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Re: Damage Device Fee

Sr. Leader
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Re: Damage Device Fee

You seem to be real involved with this "Community"......what do you suggest? Will contacting one of the Regional Managers do any good. Brandon the fake supervisor with no power yesterday basically said it was my fault I used thier package and followed thier directions I think the whole thing is a scam. The local store I'm sure had LG G3 phones that they could replace there. I think they are trained to have customers send back no matter what so Verizon scam them out of more money.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

Sr. Leader

disappointedcustomeragain wrote:

The local store I'm sure had LG G3 phones that they could replace there.

This would not matter unless you were within the first 14 days after purchase. Within the 1st 14 days Verizon will replace with a new device. After that, it would be replaced with a refurbished device which stores do not keep in stock.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

Sr. Leader

Well, my opinion is that if you really believe in something, you push it till either you change a mind, either yours or theirs.  I would suggest Executive Customer Relations, but the number...anytime I post it, it's removed.  So, I suggest going to the Verizon Leadership page (google that) and contacting the appropriate executive within your region.

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Supervisor Brandon (ID # removed) from the Olympia Wa, office actually told me that it was my responsibility for the phone to be packaged so that it would not get damaged.  I used their package......He said "no we did not make you use that......you are a human being and should have used bubble wrap or a better package.  So, his package that they told me to use with Verizon instructions is not sufficient.   He even said that I could have delivered it by driving it to them to ensure it was safe.  LOL......I'm going to make sure I tell the Regional Manager for his Region about this.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

Sr. Leader

It's fine to be upset, but respectful communications with calm and focused tongue and ears will garner more positive results.  Don't get lost in the details.  State your issue and elaborate only when asked.  Don't get wordy.  Attention spans within heated conversations are like a blackout of remembrance. And...don't use a Southern (southeast USA) dialect or accent.  But, don't try to sound too smart either.

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Re: Damage Device Fee

I'm and educated professional.  I don't judge people by their accent. I look at character and integrity.  And so far, Ricky is the only one that was professional.  He had a southern SC accent.  Much better than the Yankee accent by Jenn and her condescending supervisor named Brandon.   

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