verizon clerk messed up, cost me hundreds and a bill in collections- no one accountable

Hi. On July 3, 2019, I was about to fly out of the country for several weeks, and I had a few hours to kill. I saw a Verizon authorized retailer, I scooched in to take care of changing from AT&T to Verizon because the service is better in the places I frequent with Verizon. The clerk at the store proceeded, I agreed to terms of service, etc. etc. Then the clerk said that my iphone was locked because I still owed AT&T partial, that the phone was technically owned by AT&T until paid off, in other words no change could be made. He said he could not install Vz service onto my phone.

I sighed and said ok, never mind, but he told me he had deleted my AT&T account and that my number of several years was now out in space for someone to grab, and that the AT&T account could not be recovered. He could do nothing. I left the store, I was in a panic now, needing to catch a plane soonish with no phone and my business phone number now up for grabs.

I went into another Verizon store in the same town, and had to purchase a new phone. My AT&T phone was surrendered to the store to return to AT&T(??) or something.... The woman was somehow able to recover my phone number with some fancy and very time consuming process that apparently was high level.

I almost missed the plane, but she got it done. I was able to keep my phone number and fly out of country with a phone I could use, but she did hand me an iphone with half the memory of my old one by accident. Now I suffer with that, and my photo content needing to be shed quite often. Just my lack of savvy not having photo storage off of the device somewhere, but still, just another headache rooting from the same event.

My phone was surrendered at that store, and was to be like, err, sent back to AT&T for credit?? Something like that? This is where I don't remember why I surrendered the phone the Vz store- it must have been to get a big credit for switching carriers if surrendering current phone. That and that I was flying with two kayaks to Peru and luggage and could not take another electronic with me.

Later, AT&T wanted their pay for the phone, had never received credit for a surrendered phone, and my card was charged. I disputed the charge, which was kind of wiseguy of me because it wasn't AT&T's fault that I went through all this (but I do resent that I was not informed when I bought the phone that it would be locked until paid off) (maybe I was informed, but it was a surprise nonetheless.) The phone I surrendered was only a few months old.

Once the dispute went through, the bill went into collections as soon as I was back in the country a bit over two months later. I called AT&T to clear it up and they said "sorry, it's in collections." I ignored it, rather angry about it all and so busy with life, and now the collections agencies have made a fresh trad and it is "new" again and has been reported to the credit bureau.

Now trying to get a construction loan to build a house it crept back up just the other day, and dinged my credit down 100 points. I'm just livid that I was not informed by the Verizon clerk, that if my phone wasn't fully paid off that the phone could be locked. I am livid that he removed my AT&T account without my knowing the consequences of that, the inability to recover the account once he deleted it.

A Verizon or AT&T clerk should be able to prevent these nuclear options from happening. Though I take responsibility for trying to do big things on a day I am leaving the country- that was nuts but I had three hours to kill, and I take responsibility that I still owed AT&T for the phone, I will always point the finger at lack of information and risky behavior on the clerk's behalf that has resulted in a preventable, expensive and punishing headache for me. 

What I would appreciate from Verizon is some courtesy credits on my account, or similar, at no big loss for them, or an upgrade to a larger storage size phone and to finish the remaining balance on my existing phone. This or similar to help makeup for the hundreds of dollars for the new phone that was wasted.

Labels (1)
Re: verizon clerk messed up, cost me hundreds and a bill in collections- no one accountable
Specialist - Level 3

No one switches carriers  in a rush randomly before they leave the country and with a phone that isn't paid off. I give stores flack all the time, but this one is on you.

Re: verizon clerk messed up, cost me hundreds and a bill in collections- no one accountable
Specialist - Level 2

I don't get turning in the phone at a verizon store thinking verizon was going to send it back to AT&T.