Verizon agents insisted I would get $500 for only switching carriers, not BYOD
Enthusiast - Level 1

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. 

Then he said he would be placing some notes on my order once I checked out so I thought ok, maybe this is a note that he approved getting a new phone with this offer. What other notes would be needed? He had several questions about my order after "for documentation" and I interrupted a couple of times asking about the $500 offer because I was again reading the details and fine print on the website and nothing showed up on my receipt about it like the offer details mentioned but he kept enthusiastically insisting it would apply, specifically said I would not be penalized and would get this offer. I really believed him. For my own peace of mind, I saved the last chat transcript. I wish I saved the previous ones as well to show that this wasn't a misunderstanding or mistake from one rep but other reps gave the same info that month as well.

Two weeks go by and I do a chat again to check on this gift card since the previous rep said it would automatically show up in my account after activating the new device. I explained the situation to another online rep who said I definitely should have received a promo code to enter on their promo offer site. They sent me a link to the site and told me to check my spam, etc for the promo code. I confirmed I didn't get an email about it, he told me to check again and then said ok, I need to call the rebate center to get the promo code. I called the number he gave me and they had no idea why I was calling because they just check balances and tracking info but don't give out the codes.
Went back to chat and was given another number to call for customer care. That person I eventually got through to was very nice and seemed helpful. I explained the situation, she confirmed that yes, I would get the $500 and she said she would process the rebate herself for me. She put the info in on her end and gave me a link to track status. I clicked on the link and saw the offer had been submitted on my behalf but it said it was for the bring your own device. I asked her if this was correct since I switched carriers but was sold a new phone at the same time and she said it was fine, it went through for her and if it wasn't ok she would have received an error message. At this point I thought ok, it must be the right promo and must have gone through since the rep who sold me the phone and switched me over said he was putting a note in my account so the note must have been that he made me this offer or authorized it. I asked about the status saying "Your submission is currently pending validation of offer requirements" because I wanted to check again that this was the correct offer and was told yes it's valid and it's only pending while the line is active for 45 days and then will be sent to me.
The next week I got the message under the status for that rebate that it was invalid. I contacted a rep through the community this time, sent the chat transcript, he kept having me wait while he looked into something - ended up taking an hour for that chat alone but he said he would bring this situation up to his leadership, seemed understanding of the situation, particularly after reading the saved chat transcript and said I would get a message back by Tuesday of this week (the conversation w/ that rep was last week). Well it's almost Thursday now and still no response. 
I'm so frustrated because I completely understand that the offer terms for the BYOD $500 offer were not met since I bought a new phone in the same transaction but I only did so because of the encouragement of the verizon agents to buy that new phone and their reassurance that I would still get $500 for switching. I assumed there was another offer or that they were authorized to make that offer over the chat. It never crossed my mind that I was being given false info, on the verizon site, from a verizon agent.

Verizon should absolutely honor what their own online verizon reps have promised and insisted I would be getting despite my questioning. If I knew I wouldn't be getting that gift card for switching, then I most definitely would have just used my own device for a couple of months more and then upgraded. Only reason I didn't was the verizon reps all encouraging the new phone purchase. Why would they do this? Is this just a planned deception they are trained to lure people over and then try to give less of these rebates? How can they go back on what was confidently promised when there are chat transcripts? Has anyone had this happen and had them honor the $500? All I'm seeing on the verizon community page posts is how people were cheated out of the gift cards or dealt with a bait and switch kind of thing. I wish I had stumbled upon these posts before switching to verizon.

I can't believe how many people have been told one thing about these gift cards from verizon reps (seems this happens more in store though) and then weeks later being told nope, it's not valid. Is it time to involve someone else? I have friends in the media here and this sounds like a perfect news story for something like "channel 2 on your side" where they investigate fraud and schemes like this and people being ripped off by big companies. It seems really crazy that Verizon employees would say you can and should do XYZ and get the gift card offer and really really push the sale of a new phone and then say ooops you messed up (even though I just followed what they said and believed their assurances), no gift card for you! It's not even a regular gift card but a verizon one where Verizon would be getting the money right back so it's blowing my mind that they would try to purposely mislead customers and outright lie about offers to avoid giving them this gift card.

There was also an offer to get a free iphone mini when switching carriers, I could have just done that one but instead paid for my phone went for the $500 gift card instead that the verizon rep said i would get. Although from other posts on the community page, I can see that people have had problems with that "free" phone offer as well. Also, since this last rep I talked to during my transaction that stayed on the line and helped process it wasn't the first rep to say that they are also giving $500 when getting a new phone - if they're not sure of their own offers, they shouldn't mislead customers. They're either misinformed and confidently giving customers wrong info or purposely lying to customers to make more sales and bring people over from other carriers and then not give gift cards. Either way, they work for the company so what they promise should definitely be honored. 

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.

Re: Verizon agents insisted I would get $500 for only switching carriers, not BYOD

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.