Last month, before I was a new Verizon customer, I chatted with 3 different agents online as I browsed the verizon website trying to decide if I should switch to them or another company (I moved and my tmobile service isn't great in my new area). On the verizon website, the chat box pops up and they want to talk to you and convince you to buy things or sign up for a plan when you aren't logged into an account.
Anyway, I told each one that I was looking at switching over from tmobile for the $500 credit and they ALL asked if I was interested in a new device. I said yes, but the $500 offer says it's for bringing your own device so I would upgrade later. Each agent said a $500 gift card offer is ALSO valid even if you get a new device when signing up. This surprised me since I didn't see that offer but maybe it was on a different page or maybe just offered through agents directly when you're on the fence about switching to them.
I did not need a new device right away at all. My previous iPhone was paid in full but I was looking at upgrading in the next few months. Anyway, since the reps insisted a $500 offer is good for new devices as well, as long as I selected one of the correct unlimited plans for the offer, I assumed they knew best since they are literally reps for this company and I trusted them. I saved the last chat transcript and the rep wanted to stay on with me until I completed the transaction of purchasing a NEW phone and setting up a new line.
I asked about the $500 multiple times and the rep said things like : "for the $500 switcher offer, you will receive that once the service is already activated to us." and when I asked if there was anything I needed to do or fill out the rep said I can just check out and it will "automatically apply" later. This is when he knew I was checking out with a NEW phone. He even told me to do the trade in offer as well! I thought gosh, what a nice and helpful rep, there must be a similar $500 offer that I didn't see on the website since he was so insistent it would apply when switching and getting a new phone.
Update: going through threads on here, I see people have only been successful in getting what they were told they would get from sales reps by either going through the better business bureau for deceptive business practices and/or having the matter escalated a lot and getting through to upper level people who I guess are authorized to offer something. Not sure how they got through to anyone though since I've been stuck in a loop of chats and customer care center calls for hours but no one who can help has actually gotten back to me.
I have the same problem. Switched over from T Mobile. 4 lines in October and after numerous calls and chats, the promo is not valid because we didnot have any balance on our old phones and no early termination fee. What a nightmare. I am filling the Verizon wireless notice of customer dispute and taking them to the next level.