5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2013 8:13 AM by 21stNow RSS

    Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer

    seattledoc

      Recently my son and I went into our local verizon store to buy him a smartphone. He is 21 but still has not had one while we all have one.  He works at a place where he has to travel alot but still needs to have quick access to information on the internet.

       

      Unfortunately once we got there they told us that we were not elegible for an upgrade.

       

      We used his "upgrade" to buy a crummy dumbphone when we were on vacation and his even older phone refused to turn on. Ironically he liked the "upgraded" phone even less than the one he had prior.  Without thinking we locked him into a new contract when we really ought to have used the opportunity to buy the smartphone with a 2 year contract. I was flustered at the time and had to make a decision so we would not all get lost and have no communication.

       

      Recently my daughter's line was eligible for an upgrade, but she switched over to her father's plan at his request when her contract ended.

      Had I known the difficulty I would have had dealing with the in-store representitive, I would have used her upgrade to buy my son the smartphone and cancel the line afterwards (unfortunately I did it beforehand).

       

      Is there any way for one of the managers at verizon to redo our contract with them so that we can upgrade my son's dumbphone to a smartphone at a reasonable (2 year contract) price? I can't personally understand why they would not do this because we would likely upgrade our data plan with verizon so they would be making more money as well.

       

      I have been a customer with verizon since before cellphones were even vogue (10+ years). I have been generally happy with verizon but experiences like this really make me furious. Certainly from our perspective we never received any upgrade. The person we talked to in the store said that he didn't have the authority to help us but maybe someone else could. We have no problem shelling out 200 for the upgrade + phone cost, only other option for him is to just wait out the next year and get a contract + upgrade + smartphone with another cellphone company, which is a shame because otherwise we do like verizon.

       

      Doesn't verizon appreciate the business of long-term customers anymore?

       

      - A frustrated seattle doctor, mom, and long-term verizon customer.

        • 1. Re: Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer
          tikibar1

          You have to complete the two-year contract that you signed before you can get a subsidized phone via another contract.  What you could do if you don't want to pay full retail price for a new phone is to buy one from somewhere like ebay or swappa (just ensure it's Verizon branded with a clean ESN), activate it on your son's line (he'd need a new SIM card if it's a 4G LTE phone; they're free at your local Corporate Verizon store), and then add a data plan (i.e., 2GB for $30, assuming you're on a Nationwide plan). 

           

          Another option if you're on a Nationwide plan is to add a line to your account and get a subsidized phone, then move the new phone to your son's line, put his basic phone on the new line, and then cancel the data plan on the new line.  That'll cost $9.99 plus taxes/fees per month for the duration of the two-year contract, but could be cheaper than full retail, depending on the phone he wants.  Of course, the new line will now have a two-year contract that will need to be fulfilled and if the line is cancelled early, the ETF applies to the smartphone that was purchased when the line was established, not the basic phone that's on the line.

          • 2. Re: Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer
            seattledoc

            Tikibar,

             

            While I appreciate your help, this is essentially what the store representitive told me.

             

            In our eyes we don't consider it to be "subsidized" at all. We have been loyal paying verizon customers for over a decade now and would like to remain such. I didn't even realize we were using our "upgrade" when we bought him the cheap crummy phone. 

             

            Our friends have been in similar situations with their providers and were able to get help from customer service managers after explaining their situation. It would be nice to see the same provided for long term customers. The full retail cost of the phone is $700, which we can't pay. The only option available for us currently is to buy nothing for the next year, wait for the contract to expire, and switch to another carrier.

             

            I have no interest in paying $10 a month plus taxes and fees to fufill the beauracratic whims of verizon representitives, when they have the power to offer us the upgrade we never really received. Again, if verizon did this, they would make more money anyways because we'd be paying for a bigger data plan.

            • 3. Re: Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer
              flutterfly8498

              You still have the issue of the contract you signed. While you may not consider it an upgrade, you did, in fact, get a new phone at a greatly discounted price, which is an upgrade. You might be able to finagle an early upgrade, but it's unlikely,  especially if you want an iPhone.  Apple is very specific about not allowing early upgrades or getting additional discounts. You didn't mention when the latest phone was purchased. If you are less than a year into that contract I would say the chance of an early upgrade is basically nonexistent,  but if you are close to the end of the contract you moght have some luck. Customer service is the best way to go; store managers typically won't budge, but a customer service supervisor might be able to help. Best of luck, and always make sure you know what you are agreeing to. "I didn't know" is rarely an acceptable excuse.

              • 4. Re: Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer
                flutterfly8498

                Also, if you had used your daughter's upgrade and then cancelled thw line you would have been charged a $350 early termination fee. When you get a subsidized upgrade you must agree to a new two-year contract.

                • 5. Re: Frustrating Verizon contract situation for a 10+ year customer
                  21stNow

                  seattledoc wrote:

                   

                  Tikibar,

                   

                  While I appreciate your help, this is essentially what the store representitive told me.

                   

                  In our eyes we don't consider it to be "subsidized" at all. We have been loyal paying verizon customers for over a decade now and would like to remain such. I didn't even realize we were using our "upgrade" when we bought him the cheap crummy phone. 

                   

                  Our friends have been in similar situations with their providers and were able to get help from customer service managers after explaining their situation. It would be nice to see the same provided for long term customers. The full retail cost of the phone is $700, which we can't pay. The only option available for us currently is to buy nothing for the next year, wait for the contract to expire, and switch to another carrier.

                   

                  I have no interest in paying $10 a month plus taxes and fees to fufill the beauracratic whims of verizon representitives, when they have the power to offer us the upgrade we never really received. Again, if verizon did this, they would make more money anyways because we'd be paying for a bigger data plan.

                  In this sales situation you did receive a subsidized device, whether you consider it one or not.  Even basic phones are offered to customers at a lower price with a two-year contract than the full retail price.

                   

                  This sense of entitlement is beyond comprehension.  You signed a new two-year contract that you have to fulfill before Verizon Wireless will extend another offer of a subsidized device.