Verizon Trade-In Program Unresolved Problem, please help.


With all the talk of the new iPhone 6 and Trade-Ins. I still have an unresolved question and concern for my Trade-In experience.

I am a 10 year customer with Verizon, spending tens of thousands of dollars in my tenure as a customer.

I have worked for a large entertainment company for 23 years, and because of our corporate relationship I use Verizon.

I have always owned a smartphone, & have gone through 5 or 6 different generations of expensive phones over the years, settling in on the iPhone.

I picked up the 5s from Verizon last year, and was propositioned at the Verizon retail store to trade-in my old Verizon iPhone 4s for a Verizon gift card.

I was told at the store I would get at least $200.00 for it.

I went ahead and did it online on 2/11 and it was appraised for $220.00. On 2/28 I received a gift card in the amount of $39.60.

I was told the reason for the extremely low return was because Find My iPhone was still activated on the device.

This is not the case. I have spent time online with Apple support verifying this fact.

The Verizon trade-in support center wants an email from Apple proving that it is turned off.

I had an online support with Apple and they told me that they do not produce these emails.

I have screenshots of my iCloud accounts with no devices attached, and the Apple chat transcripts.

I also have screenshots of the new Apple Activation Lock verification page showing both the IMEI and Serial Number of the phone as “OFF”.

At this point Verizon is holding my iPhone 4s and the complete gift card hostage.

The communication process with the Trade-In center is not productive. You can only call in, and receive boilerplate responses, and they type up your message and send it to the engineers who are the ones with the phones. Then a few days later you receive boilerplate email responses to those messages. I reply to those emails with direct questions, screenshots, and Apple chat logs and do not receive direct answers.

I was also told "we are unable to validate that Activation Lock has been disabled for this device."

I was also sent a screen shot from Verizon Online Trade-In Support apparently showing my phone with FMiP engaged, but the serial number, IMEI, and email address DO NOT match mine or the phone in question!

When dealing with money that is to go to back to a loyal customer, it would seem the possibility of extreme dissatisfaction will arise if the amounts appraised don't match the amounts given, and there is no recourse to discuss this with the team.

Also, the fact that the phone seems to be gone at this point is almost like theft.

Funnily enough, this is all for the privilege of receiving a Verizon gift card which can only be spent at Verizon.

I appealed this case to my corporate accounts manager, Michael S. at Verizon, and he answered with a single sentence: "I understand."

I would like to think that this isn't a scam (even though the majority of the comments here seem otherwise).

But the facts remain:

Apple is has verified that "Find My iPhone" is not turned on with my accounts.

Apple says they do not send out confirmation of removal emails (which Verizon claims they need).

The iPhone is in the possession of Verizon.

I only received 18% of the Appraised Value

Verizon says they are unable to validate if FMiP is disabled.

There is no way to directly talk to the department in question.

I hope to hear from a Verizon Rep from my region (Northern California will chime in here?

  • Tracy M, director of marketing
  • Susan S, director of business sales
  • Charlotte M, director of financial planning and analysis
  • Debbie S, associate director of human resources
  • April S, manager of public relations

Thank you for your time, and feel free to comment here with your thoughts.


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