...after buying a discounted (by the 2 year subsidized upgrade) phone from Amazon, and returning it?
Amazon received the returned phone on May 2nd 2015, and indicated that they'd informed Verizon that they had received the phone, and that Verizon should restore my upgrade eligibility. Since I'm posting this here, that obviously has not yet happened -- over a week later (by the time-stamp on the email from Amazon).
I've had conference calls with Amazon and Verizon, without a resolution. According to Amazon, Verizon says they never received notification from Amazon that Amazon received the phone and should reset the upgrade eligibility. Amazon has gone well beyond due diligence in their attempts to help; during the last conference call, a Verizon supervisor tried to reset the upgrade eligibility and was unable to do so.
Verizon has offered to restore the upgrade immediately if I were to buy from them -- sorry, the difference in the subsidized price is why I bought from Amazon in the first place.
I'm posting in the hope that social pressure will get things moving...
This is most likely why people are going to buy-your-own-phone plans, or buying full retail. Too many middle men. plus, it's cheaper over a 2 year period anyway.
I had no problem 2 years ago. as for cheaper, if I was not on a family plan, maybe, but since I am, the math doesn't work out to be less expensive, not for a relatively new device, at least. $.01 USD for an S5 is a good deal (at Staples, not Amazon).
Actually family plans are where buying without contract makes the most sense. Without contract, if you have 6 GB or more shared data per month you will save $40 upgrade fee plus $25/month for 24 months. So that 1 cent phone is really $640.01 on contract. Is that the math you did?
and the price of saving hassles and ability to leave whenever you want, priceless.