My husband purchased what he thought was a brand new Blackberry Bold at the Verizon Store in Panama City Beach Florida from the salesman Jonathan R. for $300.00. Six months later he had problems with the phone and contacted Verizon who informed him the phone he purchased was refurbished! Completly stunned he went to the store with receipt in hand and spoke with the manager who said he was "sorry but there is nothing he can do."
Sadly enough I've heard of this practice a few times at indirect stores. If you went back to the point of purchase and they wont work with you, you can try to call verizon again and see if they will work with you.
When you call make sure you are talking to a direct verizon employee and not a vendor outsource, once you get vzw on the phone just let them know you bought the phone as a brand new device and they can see your contract date and possibly work with you.. Its 50/50 at this point--good luck
Does the receipt say new or refurbished?
Did your husband buy it outright or was it a subsidised price with a new 2 year contract?
If you don't get a satifactory answer you can always contact the corp offices.
Best of luck to you,