I currently have an Iphone 4s (with the optional insurance) that started to give me problems around 3 months ago. The phone would not receive voicemails, nor send text messages to any other phones except other Iphones (Imessage feature). When I finally had time (I work 6 days a week and am also a full time graduate student) I made it up to a corporate Verizon store around a month ago to attempt to resolve the problems that I was having. After around an hour and a half in the store tinkering with the phone, the employee decided it would be best to send the phone in under warranty and have it replaced. I received the new phone a short time later and sent back the old broken phone (which let me reiterate, worked fine except for the voice mail and text software issues).
All was well.
However today, I received an email stating that my old phone was damaged with a non functioning picture of the damaged device (so I still have yet to see the actual "damage") and that I now owe $299 for the replacement device. This is absurd! I have insurance on the phone for this purpose (or so I thought) and if to my knowledge the phone was damaged because of my negligence I would have used the insurance I am paying for to get a new one and not have sent it back under warranty. Upon receiving the new phone and mailing the old phone back, I did see the information stating that I would be charged if the old one was damaged which I did not think anything of as to my best knowledge the phone was in good working condition minus the software issues not to mention the store employee did not seem concerned about any issues with the phone either. I would NOT have sent it back otherwise.
The entire exchange system in fact seems flawed as you are playing a crap shoot to see if you get the dreaded charge on your account or not if you have a warranty issue as I have been told by customer service that they cannot do anything about the charge.
I cannot afford to be forced into paying this fee, not to mention I have insurance to take care of these problems. They claim that the phone has water damage due to corrosion on the charging port which is absurd because I was having ZERO issues with battery life / charging / connecting to my computer. I was however having software issues that were keeping me from getting voicemails and sending texts (Software issues not related to water at all which is why the phone was returned). BEWARE and dont let this happen to you... do NOT send a phone in under warranty because chances are that you will get screwed into paying this fee when you have a phone that is working perfectly except for a software glitch... when it is cheaper to take the insurance hit on the phone even when the phone has a manufactures defect like mine.
I have in fact seen a customer service rep comment on someone with a similar problem who posted on here and said that you will only be charged for obvious damage. although they claim I had water damage (which I dont believe for one second) it was NOT obvious to me as the phone worked great minus the above issues related to the software and not even closely related to any damage that could be caused by water.
If the phone has obvious damage, you will be billed the Damaged Device Fee as stated earlier.
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If a verizon rep can / wants to help me sort this issue and make me a satisfied customer once again please comment on this post, or send me a DM as right now no one is willing to help me that ive talked to...
Call financial services retention team for a payment arrangement to save your service while this is being reviewed . They can split the money up up to 5 months if you pay your monthly bill. Also they can hold the charge to wait for review of it. So you won't be suspended. Tell them it's not your charge. I have had charges like this and the retention team helped me.
I had the Iphone 4 and the timing and the issues that you had with your phone are the exact same as what I have experienced (my email stating I owed a fee was dated 6/16/12). I went into the verizon store on two separate occassions with the phone having issues downloading an update. They looked the phone over and confirmed there was not any damage including looking in the charging port where they noticed a little lint (still wouldn't work after removing it). They commented they had numerous issues with the update on the 4 and that it was a SOFTWARE issue not a phone issue and gladly ordered me a replacement.
I received the damaged device email and it indicates that they found corrosion and they supposedly have pictures of the damage, but have never supplied them to me (they are not in the email). I am very meticulous with my phone and know it has never been wet or even damp. (I had one manager at their customer service center tell me that just leaving the phone in the bathroom could cause the corrosion. UNBELIEVABLE!). He also commented that the reason I returned the phone may have been the software, but because there was damage, I must pay the fee. To retiterate, he admits that the supposed corrosion (again that I have yet to see) may not be why the phone malfunctioned.
Of course, asking for your phone back is pointless, they won't do it. He did say I can return the device they sent me and they would credit the fee. (Why would I risk them saying I damaged another phone and paying another $299).
I understand the fee, and the stance of the company, but when you have been their customer for 12 years you would think that they could review the account, know I have never had this happen before and I am not looking for a free phone. I thought Verizon had amongst the best service around (I know, that's hard to believe amongst a cell phone provider) but I guess I will look elsewhere. I'll also consider where to place my company's business when that contract renews. Despite the upfront expense of replacing phones, there is no reason to stay with a provider as shifty as verizon has become.
I am very meticulous with my phone and know it has never been wet or even damp. (I had one manager at their customer service center tell me that just leaving the phone in the bathroom could cause the corrosion. UNBELIEVABLE!).
Not to take away from anything else you stated (if the store said nothing was wrong with your phone when they ordered you a replacement device then it is odd that later it was determined to have damage...but that may be poor ability to spot things on the part of the store techs...at any rate, on that issue I would go to the store and ask to speak with the manager...and if you can recall the actual person you worked with when it was decided to get you a replacement device then make sure you point that person out and detail everything that happened leading up to the decision to order you a replacement device despite them saying the issue was software related...which would seem like a pretty odd reason to justify ordering a replacement device UNLESS the replacement was guaranteed to come with the software update pre-installed....but I digress).....
But...you being told that corrosion can happen just from leaving your phone in the bathroom is actually true. If you take the phone in the bathroom and leave it on the counter while you shower, the humidity from the shower CAN cause condensation...hence corrosion can occur. It's not unbelievable at all. Most of us DO tend to take our phones in the bathroom with us so we can hear it if it rings while we are showering , but it is truly an absolute no-no and if I'm not mistaken, most owner's manuals for phones tell you not to leave your phone and most other small electronics in areas with high temps. I admit that I am guilty of this too, but when I think about it, it really is an unneccesary act. Unless I take ridiculously long showers I can simply return the phone call once I'm done (I am aware of those times when an important call is expected). Plus you open yourself up to other possibly negative outcomes. If you're showering and the phone rings you're either going to grab the phone with wet or damp hands OR take the time to dry your hands thoroughly AND turn the shower off OR get out of it to avoid actually taking the phone in or near the water and heat you are trying to avoid having the phone close to. But again, I digress...point was that an act that many of us participate in and think of as harmless really can attribute to corrosion in our phones.
So the more I think about this, if such little moisture can cause corrosion, then how does anyone who sends a phone in know that the corrosion occured while they have it versus in the two weeks it takes for USPS to deliver the phone to verizon and for them to in turn open the phone to find the corrosion. Warehouses are likely not humidity controlled and the USPS certainly does not operate in that manner. With these two instances being posted so close together (drew13887 and mine) it makes the situation even more suspect.
In that instance (although to be honest, in the past when I had to return a device to VZW it never took 2 weeks for them to receive it...it may take them a long time before they do everything on their end to credit the account or update their systems, but I was always able to track my return device and see when it was back in VZW's possesion...and that only took a couple of days...4 tops) then that would be the positive of getting shipping insurance...although usually, when you are returning a device you aren't the one that has to pay for shipping. Curious...when you had your device shipped to VZW did you check the tracking? Is that how you came up with the 2 weeks you stated it takes USPS to deliver the phone to VZW? As far as humidity in the warehouse...it is not the same as humidity from a small bathroom with the door closed and water from the shower running...not to say that humidity doesn't occur in warehouses...obviously it does BUT I'm sure that the warehouses that big transporters are using are not completely sweltering hot places with electronics sitting in them for 2 weeks...especially since there are employees that are working in those warehouses. I know people that work in the USPS shipping warehouse for my region and the warehouse is climate controlled...they have heat and air based on the current temperature conditions. May not be the case for all USPS warehouses...