Registered for this forum just to contribute to this thread- We had an identical situation. Wife had an impeccably perfect iPhone 4S 16GB with a screen protector front and back and an Otterbox Commuter on it for its entire life. We wiped the phone, peeled off the screen protectors and it looked flawless. For kicks, I even installed iOS 7 on it. We filled out the form that said it would be worth $200 assuming it was in the condition stated.
I received an email from Verizon stating (changed any personal data/HTML):
This was then followed up with:
Umm... If it was appraised at $200, why am I only seeing $131 gift card? Like most of you, I called up, got a nice gentleman on the phone who said he would have to escalate it, but had been getting a lot of these types of phone calls. He took down my info and said somebody would call me back. I'm going to take a wild guess and blame it on some sort of computer glitch.
I have no patience for people who post things like, "My phone was in perfect condition except for the broken screen and the home button missing and once I dropped it in the bathtub and I didn't get my full price - what a ripoff!!!" But judging by the first email we got about it's appraised value being $200 (and it being in perfect condition), my guess is some problem in the system/processing just didn't match them up.
It looks like this is not the only discussion thread here. Like many of you, I received an unwelcome email yesterday about the value of my iPhone. Mine was a perfect 4s 16g that had an estimated value of $200 for 30 days. This implies that the if the phone is in the condition that I claimed, I would be credited $200. So when I got the email that they only gave me $36, I started to call Customer Support and visit discussion boards.
Here is a link to another set of very unhappy Verizon customers.
Please keep up the pressure on Verizon. They should not be able to get away with this. Aside from the one person that got their claim taken care of by a very helpful support person, I have not heard of any resolution to this issue.
On Saturday (October 26, 2013), I sent emails to a few of the Verizon Wireless executives listed here:
I explained my situation in detail and suggested they look into the Device Recycling program, as many customers have complained about being given gift certificates that were well below the appraised value, with no explanation why.
This morning (Monday, October 28, 2013), I received a call from a gentleman who works for Verizon Wireless (Wilmington, NC). He was following up on my email to the VZW Executive office. He explained that they are aware of an issue with customers being given gift certificates for values less than the appraised "promotional" rate. He explained that the iPhone 4S normal offer for recycling is $131, while the current "promotional" recycling rate is $200 and the promotional program runs through January 1, 2014. He said there is a problem with the Device Recycling program paying at the "normal" rate instead of the "promotional" rate.
I told him I was not provided an explanation as to why the value of my phones were lowered from $200 to $131 and he reiterated the known normal vs. promotional rate "glitch".
I explained how I called the Device Recycling program and was told someone would contact me later that day, but I never received a return call or email. He agreed that not returning a customer's phone call when told they would receive one is an issue that will be rectified. He went on to further explain that they know the Device Recycling program has a backlog of customer complaints and they will be working out a plan to contact all the customers who have left their contact information when voicing their displeasure with the program.
I told him I was satisfied with the resolution of my issue (getting a credit applied to my account for the difference), except for the fact that I had to spend hours of my time to rectify a situation that was no fault of my own.
He apologized and thanked me for being a customer. As we were about the hang up, I asked what the other people who are in similar situations should do. He said they should call the Device Recycling program and make their issue known. He said each one would be investigated.
I appreciate the fact that I received a personal phone call, but there is a large problem with VZW's Device Recycling program, as evidenced by the number of customers who come to these forums seeking answers. My recommendation to future customers seeking to get money for their phone would be to go to a brick and mortar type store for an appraisal in person to be sure you are going to get the estimated amount.
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I had the same thing happen with my iphone 4s. I also have videos to prove that it was in perfect condition the day I mailed it in. A little over a week after mailing it in, I received the email with my gift card for $131, instead of the $200 I was guaranteed multiple times, with no explanation as to why. After several calls, I was just told they were experiencing a high number of disputes (shocker) and someone from the "warehouse" would email me soon as they were escalating my request. The same rep, Valerie, stated that she refuses to buy an iphone because they are too complicated only to then explain to me that maybe I hadn't correctly deleted my info off the phone. I'm sorry, but if you "refuse to own an iphone," then how can you even start to explain that process to me. I was hesitant to participate in this program from the beginning, but after speaking with a number of customer service reps, I was assured I would receive the full amount. I also called in to Customer Service yesterday and spoke with someone who stated I was the first person to call in that had not received the full amount. After reading this forum, I can tell that I am not the only one who has been lied to. He was far more helpful than anyone at the trade-in center and that isn't even his department! He is still trying to help me in any way that he can/ The reps at the trade-in center seem to have little to no knowledge of the program at all and are just told to take customer's email addresses so that someone can contact them. Why am I not able to speak with someone who actually appraises my phone?!? I will seriously reconsider before signing another contract with Verizon.
Agree that the program is bait and switch. I rec'd an appraisal that my Iphone 4 phone which was in excellent condition was worth $100. I actually received $18 with no explanation. I called VZW customer service and while friendly and polite they were no help at all. I will be writing to the consumer protection agency and the NY attorney general. No amount of fine print can explain a $100 appraisal and and $18 check.
I cannot see how much they are going to send me but I was just told that it will be reduced because I checked "other" instead of Verison on my recycled iPhone 5s. Unreal, over 10 years with Verizon and they pull this? What's the difference if it's "other" or a Verizon?
Replying to my post from 10-26-13:
My good fortune:
I called the recycling number, they took down my name and number and said somebody would call me back. They never did, but I randomly got another email from Verizon with the remaining $69. So with my original $131 + $69 I am now whole again and feel the issue has been resolved. It's possible they truly are working through the backlog of issues as my resolution took 8 business days.
Hope everybody else is as fortunate!
I emailed Verizon about this through the website. This morning I have am email from them saying I misidentified the phone and it now is appraised at $200.02!
Glad to see some people have been able to find some reasonable people in the Verizon system. I was quoted $220 for my "pristine" (as described by my local verizon store salesman) 64GB 4s. Got the dreaded e-mail this AM--valued at $39 because they claim I did not remove "find my iPhone" (which is an utter fabrication). I first spoke to "customer support" at the recycling program, then demanded to talk to a supervisor. Later in the day I received an e-mail from the "escalation department" that my phone had been checked twice, and they stated they would not be changing the valuation(of course the phone is long gone, so it can't be returned or checked now). I then tried VZW customer service--while very polite, and them noting I have been a customer for 20 years, they "could not help me". I then tried Apple to see if they could document when I had deactivated "find my phone" on my old phone--unfortunately they told me they don't have this information. I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, so I'm hoping that gets a response. Otherwise I expect I will be contacting our local Detroit Scam busters news team, to see if they can help. For all of these complaints, I can't believe VZW hasn't come down hard on this subcontractor.
I, yet another, have had the same experience. I negotiated with Verizon for over 5 hours (3 different phone calls) to get switched from AT&T to Verizon. I have had some sort of Verizon account since 2003 and they didn't want me to leave as I always pay my bills on time, so, they gave me deal after deal to leave AT&T and go 100% Verizon. One of the BIG reasons I decided to do this is because of the recycle program. AT&T 64gig iPhone 4S's go for $220.00 each in perfect condition. Both my wife's and my phones have lived in Otter Box Defender cases and are in PERFECT condition. I turned off "Find my iPhone" on both of them, and after sending them into the recycle program, I received only 1 gift card for the full amount as promised. When I went looking for the other gift card, I came to find that they were only giving me $39.00 for my wife's iPhone because I had left "Find my iPhone" turned on! That is 100% absolutely FALSE VERIZON!!!! The telephones were perfect and had "Find my iPhone" turned OFF.
Today (December 22nd), I contacted the recycle program in the evening (the moment I found out that I was being ripped off by Verizon) and spoke to Carlos the escalation manager. He told me that his isn't the first time they have heard of this problem (maybe iCloud turned it back on automatically?? Huh? Really Carlos?) and that he would be sending in an escalation notice for me to get another gift card for the balance ($181.00). He said it would take 7-10 days. I informed him that my contract cancellation date was coming up (where I could return the iPhone 5s's and cancel my contract with Verizon) and that I needed to know now if I was going to get the refund, otherwise, I was going to cancel my contract with Verizon. He assured me I would be getting the refund.
BEWARE!!! Every time I have spoken to Verizon about this change over from AT&T I have had to fight with them and remind them of everything they have told me in the past - they always seem to find the notes in my account after I remind them of what they contained. Their departments do not talk to one another and everyone seems to have a different story. It is very distressing to have a large company like this so disorganized and unprofessional and seem like they are trying to get away with something.
I don't care why this is happening to people, but VERIZON BETTER FIX IT!