A horrific purchasing experience between Verizon and Samsung (Galaxy S23)
Enthusiast - Level 1

I got my shiny new Galaxy S23 about 5 weeks ago now, how exciting... well, not really as it has been nothing short of a miserable experience, from not getting a return shipping label for my trade-in, to a long visit to a Verizon store, not having the correct promotional credit applied to my account, and a full month without being able to send and receive messages to iPhones.

I pre-ordered my phone through Samsung. It was a bit of a poor ordering experience as there were several friction points in authorizing the purchase via the Verizon connector within the Samsung website, despite being a (secondary)  manager on my family's Verizon account. Finally, after a day or two of going back and forth with the primary manager I completed the pre-order.

My order arrived on February 20, 2023. A few days later I activated the new device and began transferring data from my old phone. This experience was smooth and straightforward.

Once I got the new phone was set up, I was ready to trade-in my old device, but there wasn't a return shipping label included with my order. Since I was going to need to leave the house to return ship the phone, I figured it would be easiest to just go directly to a Verizon store and drop it off. Off I went on a 15 minute drive over to the store expecting a 5-10 minute drop off. I arrived and was politely greeted and checked in. An hour later, a rep was ready to see me. I told her about my experience and not having a return shipping label. She wasn't exactly clear on how the process should work since I placed my order through Samsung. She called her local Samsung rep and he indicated that there should have been a return label and that the old  phone was to be returned to Samsung asked me to go to the order confirmation and initiate the return from there. I then pulled up the order confirmation and showed her that there was a Verizon "Start Trade-In" link within my delivery confirmation. But that when I opened the link, it would not generate a label and instead asked me to contact Verizon. The rep then went back and spoke to her manager. At this point she'd been with me for about 45 minutes. She returned and let me know that they would be able to take my old device but that in order to receive the $800 pre-order promotional trade-in credit, I would have to upgrade my plan for $10/mo. I told her that wasn't indicated during my purchase. She reviewed and went back to her manager again. Another 30 minutes go by and she comes back to let me know that she was going to request an override of the automated credit and would call me the following Monday to confirm that the correct credit was applied to me account. The rep was very nice and despite the visit taking about 2.5 hours I was able to trade-in my old phone and was looking forward to getting confirmation that the credit was applied to my account.

About a week later, and several days after the agreed upon check-in with the in-store rep, I still hadn't heard back so I called Verizon. The rep was helpful and told me they she was going to request the correct promotional credit was going to be applied to my account. This conversation took me about 15-20 minutes.

I had now had the new phone activated for about 10 days and noticed that I wasn't able to send or receive messages to iPhones. Having already burnt so many cycles and about 3 hours of my time with Verizon, I hit Google search to try and troubleshoot my way around. I went through all of the basic trouble shooting to try and resolve my text messaging issues (turning airplane mode on and off, during wifi calling on and off, restarting my phone, resetting my network settings, and so on). Still no resolution.

I lived with the texting issue and have been repeating some of the steps over the past few weeks, but really just haven't had the time to call Verizon to troubleshoot. I did try and go into the Verizon website to troubleshoot late one night and after hours for live customer service, and still wasn't able to get my texting to work. Finally today, about 5 weeks after I received my phone, and about 3.5-4 hours of time trying to work through these various issues, I was able to contact Verizon customer service and ask for help. Turns out the resolution was rather simple, they simply had to resync my network. Oddly enough this option never appeared in any of my Google searched nor the Verizon chat bot.

Altogether, this made the customer experience of purchasing my new Samsung Galaxy S23 totally miserable. Pretty much every step of the process was marred by miscues from poor UI/UX integration, and lack of clear and proactive communication-- from the ordering process, the the trade-in, to the live in-store customer service, to the follow up on the promotional credit, to the lack of proactive notification that my network was out-of-sync. What I expected to be an exciting experience of getting a new phone has now cost me 4+ hours of time and about 4 weeks of not being able to keep in touch with my friends and family. And when I asked the rep who resolved the text messaging issue today about a convenience credit, he said the most he can offer me is $30... really $30 for 4+ hours and 1-month of highly limited service?

Verizon and Samsung need to take a serious look at creating a better purchasing experience for their customers. I am highly disappointed in both Samsung and Verizon and really couldn't recommend either of them based on what I've been through with this purchase. I hope that Verizon takes a close look at my case and offers fair compensation for the multitude of inconveniences I've experiences in addition to making the process seamless for future customers.