Trade In Promo Problems
Enthusiast - Level 1

Sorry for the length and convoluted nature of this post (this is also the first time I’ve ever had to post anything like this). Two months ago, I (the account owner) upgraded 3 phones on my line. Because of the pandemic, I did this online. As I was selecting new phones, I was told via a dropdown box selection that I was eligible for a promotion via Verizon’s trade-in program for two of my phones. The promotion said that if I sent in my two old phones, Galaxy S7’s, I would get $679.99 off for each new Galaxy S21’s I upgraded to (i.e., $1359.98 total) or essentially $28.33 in trailing credit for 24 months for each phone. Fantastic! However this was the start of my problems. 

First, I only received ONE trade-in box in the mail. I hopped on the virtual chat and was told by Agent #1 to put both phones in the one box and send it in. This didn’t sound right to me as the receipt in the trade-in box only had one phone listed. So I called the next day and spoke to an Agent #2 on the phone. They told me, ”No, do not put both phones in the box”. For some reason, the submission ID I was given for one of the phones didn’t work (and Verizon had no record of it despite it being listed on my receipt). So the agent told me to send the first phone in, and in the meantime, she would create a new trade-in submission for me and send a new box. However, because she could not apply the $28.33 in credit without the trade-in confirmed, she set up an appointment with me to call back a week later. Until then, my submission ID would say that I was only getting $17 back (total), but it would be corrected to the $28.33 trailing credit for 24 months when we talked again. Cue appointment time - she never calls. 

So I called in, waited in line on the phone again, and spoke to Agent #3. He apologizes and tells me they did receive the phone via the trade-in program as agreed and can retroactively apply the trailing $28.33 per month to my account (instead of the $17 that Agent #2 put in as a placeholder). In the meantime, I had checked my UPS tracking number to see where my first phone was. UPS reported that they had damaged it in transit and would inform both parties (never did though). UGH. But as I tell the agent this and show him the tracking number (and evidence that UPS damaged it) he agrees that it is not my fault my old phone did not make it back to Verizon, and that I would be getting the $28.33 in credit applied anyway. After some reassuring, Agent #3 tells me that this $28.33 in credit will apply from here on out, for each phone, and I will see it on my monthly bill. I thought it was finally resolved…..

Cue one month later when I check my new bill, not only is the $28.33 in trailing credit NOT applied to EITHER phone, but it still just indicates I get a one time payment of $17 (quite a difference from the $1359 on my original receipt). I immediately called Verizon again. Try to sign up to get a callback, but every time the Verizon number calls it’s just silence on the other end. I try my luck in the online chat again and get Agent #4. I ask about my promo credit, and she tells me that I was never eligible to get the $28.33 in monthly credit in the first place! She says that that promo only applies if you had upgraded to the “Premium Unlimited” plan, which we didn’t have (we only had “Basic Unlimited”). Now I’m a very careful and detailed person (I have a PhD in a STEM field), and nowhere did I see this when I applied to promo. She tells me that, yeah, online you can select any promo you like, but it is up to the customer to make sure it applies to them. Apparently causes a lot of “human error” mistakes for them. I was dumbfounded, as 1) this was never indicated to me anywhere when I was upgrading my phones, and 2), I could not find details of what the original promo said listed in any of my bills, contracts, etc. Now I realize I make mistakes, so maybe this is possible? But as I’ve come to find out it appears that I can’t double check what the details of this promotion said, so Verizon can really just say anything, which is super deceptive on Verizon’s part. Why was Agent #4 the first to mention this? 

So then I say, sure, upgrade those two lines for an additional $20 a month, and Agent #4 will file a “form” that a backend team will look over and decide if I get the original $28.33 in credit for both phones as originally agreed. I was actually told, I have a “70% chance of it being approved”......what. So now I wait and see if this team deems me eligible for the credit, which will not be determined for “1-2 billing cycles”. I start asking about how I can follow-up on this, etc. and at this point Agent #4 stops responding so I wait 10 minutes before closing the chat, as there is literally nothing I can do. 

At this point, I’ve spent 8-10 hours talking to multiple agents on the phone and online and I’m just at the end of my rope. I’m pretty brand loyal and have been a Verizon customer for almost a decade now, but this experience has been an utter nightmare. I guess my purpose in posting this is to say make sure you triple check the details behind your trade-in promo, as the online site will allow you to select anything, even if you were never eligible. Or I guess that’s the case, as I can’t actually see any of the promo details now…..