Trade in problem

My wife and i went into the Verizon Store in Norfolk, NE in Sept of 2021. She traded her iphone 11 for a 13 mini and I traded my iphone 8+ for a 13. The sales rep was a really nice guy, told my wife her phone was worth $700 and mine $400. We sent in our phones and as we were told, both phones received the above credits. The sales rep informed us the credit can take up to 1-3 billing cycles and then we could pay our phones off, perfect I thought.  My plan was to trade in our old phones and then pay them off completely in about 6 months.  Here we are almost to 6 months and as I log into my account I see that on my wifes phone we still owe the full amount and I owe slightly less. I've also noticed our cell phone bill continues to rise each month even though we are on unlimited plans. Verizon support tells me as of yesterday that the credit is only on the monthly payment, and if we choose to pay off the phones, we will have to pay the full amount, so they basically stole our old phones from us and want to charge more money to pay them off.  I don't know about you but there seems to be some disconnect between what the sales people told us.  Maybe the sales people don't understand how the trade in works, maybe they need more training.  I am not sure why Verizon doesn't just take the credit amount off the top of what a new phone is worth and then recalculates the monthly payment (makes sense) kind of like any other payment plans when you buy something. I figure that they do this to try to keep people wrapped into a 24 month contract, but I would like to see a smaller monthly cell phone bill with the option to pay the phones off vs paying a higher bill each month, that would make me a long term customer. For anyone out there thinking of trading in your phone, better off just keeping it, selling it to a friend or wait until a price drop comes across for the phone you want.

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