Bait and Switch--Trade-in & Preorder Promises Not Kept
Enthusiast - Level 2

I have only been a customer for 1 1/2 months and had my phone for 1 1/2 weeks and I'm already feeling buyer's regret and trapped in a 36-month contract that's going to be slapping me in the face with broken promises and disappointment every time I see the bill. 

But I should probably start at the beginning of my story:

I preordered on the last day (Feb. 24) to get a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. When I went online, there were a ton of bonuses--get $100 off the phone for pre-ordering (so I could get a 512G phone for a 256G phone price), and get $800 for trading in my new phone. Even now, that second bonus still stands when I go online.

preorder confirmation.jpgscreen confirming $800 is what my trade in is worth.png

I tried to pre-order online, but the system showed full price in the cart, then freaked out. The screen then told me to call the 800 number. Rather than do that, I went to the Verizon store.

I should have paid attention to the red flags that popped up when I got there. The sales reps had never heard of the Samsung $100 off bonus, even though this offer was across the nation and with every other wireless service preorder offer. 

But when they went into their computers, they could see the offer, so they convinced me to stay. They ran through the trade-in screens, and the same trade-in offer appeared: $800 for my Note 9. Who in their right mind would turn down a $900 discount? The phone would be mine for $499!

So, I went ahead and pre-ordered. They said I wouldn't see my phone until April 1.  On March 4, the reps called me to tell me the phone arrived early and to come in and finish the ordering process. And that's when my nightmare and hours of wasted time began.

When they tried to finalize the order, they ran into a payment issue (the system was showing month-to-month instead of the 36-month payment plan. It took two weeks and multiple calls to customer service to fix that issue. CS suggested that the only way to resolve it (in their opinion)  was to cancel my order and start over but this only created a BIGGER issue:

The $100 pre-order bonus wasn't showing up. They blamed coding/computer programming and said it was a nationwide issue with all Verizon stores. I wonder now if that was the truth. But they reassured me it would be resolved. This still hasn't been resolved.

Additionally, when the store reps entered my pristine Note 9's information and IMEI, the offer I got for my trade-in was $35. I protested, but again, they reassured me that they would create a customer service request order to get that $800 for me. 

Then, the manager shrugged and said, "but you're likely to only get about $400 for it." as if he knew Verizon Corporate wouldn't follow through with its promises. When he saw the anger on my face, he retracted and said he would do his best to get me that $800. I trusted him and walked out the door with my new phone, leaving behind my pristine Note 9 for them to send in for a trade-in. 

On 3/30, I looked at my next month's bill, and the trade-in promo is there, but it's for $442.80 (12.30/month for 36 months), barely 1/2 of what Verizon promised, and the $100 pre-order bonus is nowhere in sight (see image below). Why? I did everything Verizon asked me to do; I had a pristine Note 9 that worked and looked the same as when I bought it.


I kept my end of the bargain. Why hasn't Verizon kept its trade-in promise of $800 for my mint-condition Note 9? Why didn't I get the $100 pre-order bonus?

I feel like a victim of a bait-and-switch tactic, and when I look at these forums, I see I'm not alone. Everyone I talk to about this also thinks I'm a victim of Verizon's notorious bait-and-switch trade-in program.

Verizon, you didn't need to stoop to these tactics to get me on board with your service. I was already convinced by my sister that you had the best service. But when you make promises that you don't keep, you become the WORST wireless phone company in the nation. 

This shouldn't be this hard to resolve the issue and you shouldn't have a reputation for bait-and-switch. But it has been and you do.

Please help me out here? I'd like to stay with Verizon, but every day AT&T's deals look better and better.

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Customer Service Rep

Hello, thank you for sharing all these details with us. Rest assured, this is never the experience that we want you to have. Your time is valuable to us, and we understand how important it is to get the best deal available. To better assist you, please meet us in the Private Note we sent.