I had the exact experience at a store in Omaha near 144th and Maple ST... On Saturday (10-4-2014) my wife and I went into the store and was told it would be a 15 minute wait... 45 minutes later we finally had a clerk assigned to help us.....
Shawn was his name and we just wanted a new phone for my wife and to get her onto my plan... Shawn was helpful with that, but then started badgering us about taking the "FREE" Pad... It wouldn't cost us anything?!? (I should have remembered nothing in life is free.)
When we where closing on the phone.... Shawn had been talking more about the "PAD" then the new phone my wife was getting....He's final sales pitch was to take the pad home for the weekend and try it out... If we didn't want it to return it within 14 days and their's no re-stocking fees...I even asked about the re-stocking fee reference the "FREE TRIAL".... Shawn's answer "Oh no, that doesn't count if it's returned in 14 days!" Also, if you like the Pad, just keep it and only pay the $10 data feed.... My wife is a Honors AP Physics and AP Anatomy teacher, I was in law enforcement for 28 years and now own my own successful business... I think we're both very well educated and are excellent listeners... But when I tried to return the "Pad", the manager makes out like I am one dumb hick and her sales person was very clear on how everything worked...
He kept saying, try it for free for 14 day and then return it within those 14 days with NO re-stock fees...If we returned it after the 14 days, then the re-stock fee would apply... You don't have nothing to loss? HA! I took it just to shut him up...
I tried returning the PAD this afternoon (10-06-2014)... I was told that it would be a $70 re-stocking fee since the box was open... OMG "Shawn" had open the box and we hadn't even taken it out of the box!!! When I told the store manager that I had been lied to by her salesman... She told me none of her sales people ever lie! (She just lied to me! "None of her sales people ever lie?") Who does she think she's kidding?
After gripping enough... I'm not being charged for the data feed because I have over 45000 of their promotional points and they'll use those points to take care of the data costs... But I'll remember how I was lied to by "Shawn" and patronized by the store manager!!! I'll normally spend approx. $250 to $270 a month on cell phones and data streams... (It's for my small business.) But now I'll do one of two things... Go find another carrier that'll buy out my contract or wait 2 years and tell Verizon to pack sand...
Also, anybody else notice how difficult it is to complain to Verizon Wireless about the business practices?
No matter how pushy a sales person is should NOT effect YOUR ability to say NO. If you don't want something DON'T TAKE IT. It's that simple. You CANNOT return something after 14 days. No way; no how. Within the 14 days re-stocking fees WILL apply. It is clearly written on the receipt and you sign the contract. Once your signature is there a written contract will supersede any verbal statement. A signature means that you understand what's written in the contract and will abide by it. DON'T buy something if you truly don't want it. I don't get why people do this!
In August I went into my local Verizon store at the Turkey Creek shopping center in west Knoxville, Tennessee to upgrade my phone. No problems getting the Galaxy 5 as I knew exactly what I wanted. What I did NOT want was a 'free' tablet, but ended up walking out of the store with not just one but TWO 'free' tablets. I asked all the questions a person would/should when told "something too good to be true" like how much will I be paying for these 'free' tablets and how can you just give me 2 'free' tablets without some kind of catch. I was told in no uncertain terms, 'no, it's a promotion, you will not be charged, they will use your current data plan and you can use them wirelessly'. I asked the sales rep multiple times if I would ever have to pay, to which he answered 'NO' every time. I had absolutely NO intention of getting a tablet, much less 2 of them...yet after asking multiple times I was assured I would never pay for them as this was a 'promotion' I left the Verizon store with my new phone and 2 tablets.
As I'm sure most of you know, I apparently now have a 2 year contract with 2 new numbers for these unwanted tablets assigned to my account that cost me $10 per month! I spoke with Verizon and they have absolutely no intention of waiving the termination fee for these. The Verizon rep Kiesha even called my local store and had the manager Mr Cobbs call me a liar and that I am wrong for saying that one of his sales reps would ever lie or with-hold information in order to get a commissioned sale...good grief, seriously!?! Anyone who has worked in sales knows that's the 'used car salesman' approach but I see now that Verizon not only supports this but actually encourages it as evidenced by my local store.
Kiesha apologized for Mr Cobbs statements and told me she knew sales reps do indeed with-hold information at times. At least she appears to be a caring, honest employee. She forwarded me to her Manager Ryan. He went through the prepared speeches a manager of his level goes through just as he does for every call he gets I guessing. I asked for his manager, I was told "I am the highest level you'll talk to on the phone tonight...My bosses don't talk on the phone to customers". He also suggested several times that I use the tablets and 'enjoy' them...I had already told him I never wanted them and did not want them!
Frustrating! Not listening to your 'customer'! I guess in my time with Verizon I've spent well over $5,000.00 and they are going to ship me over to their competition over this!?! The early termination fee for each tablet I was told is $160. Amazing considering I was lied to about them in the first place; and I can say without a doubt that the $160 ETF was NOT discussed during my 'enjoy' your 2 'free' tablets experience. I'm so disappointed in Verizon....
The Device was free, the $10 monthly charge is a line access. For service the tablet received. No different then getting a free phone and paying a line access over 2 years for service. Everything is clearly stated on your receipt as well as the terms and conditions that you read before signing. It's our job as the customer to read everything - a verbal statement isn't a legal binding contract. So even if a rep failed to mention the $10 monthly charge it's still your responsibility to read the contract.
Actually gracecake the receipts say absolutely nothing about the monthly service fee nor the ETF, I'm looking at them right this second...bottom line this particular Verizon wireless rep at the Turkey Creek Knoxville Tennessee store lied to me. He lied. He verbally, purposefully lied to me. I don't know about you but that is not the type person/company I like to give my Business to. That being said I am keeping my Verizon/not with the Turkey Creek Knoxville TN store/ because they suck less than the competition at this point (which isn't saying much about the wireless industry)
This is absolutely untrue. What happened here is called bait and switch fraud. It is illegal. It's when what is coming out of the mouth of the sales person does not jive with the contract. There are laws protecting consumers against these kind of underhanded sales tactics. The problem is sales people like you gracecake who are so steeped in their own deception of themselves and others that you actually believe the lies and rationalize the tactics.
Google "verizon tablet scam" and you see what happened to me and my mom, and what apparently is a wide spread practice at the Verizon stores - which should be illegal. We added a second line and a new iPhone to an existing iPhone contract. The sales person Imani (Porter Ranch Verizon Store) convinced us to accept two free tablets. He insisted they were 100% free. The whole think felt wrong. I have never felt like this at a Verizon store before. This salesman was like a shady used car salesman. I was concerned, so I asked him if he makes commission. He said that he does not make commission. He twisted the facts around creatively as to appear to present the tablets as having no monthly charge. We didn't even want the tablets! We have no use for them. When we got home, I reviewed our plan online and it turns out we are being charged $10 X2 per month for two years for these two tablets. Less than 12 hours later, this morning, I returned to the Porter Ranch Verizon store to return the tablets, and they continued to try to spin ** about how Imani discounted our rate in order to pay the additional $20 per month for the tablets. Per my phone conversation with Verizon Wireless Corporate, this was not true and was just more sales spin. They also told me that indeed Imani and the other sales staff make commission and are heavily compensated and awarded for sales performance. So he lied to me about that. Why would he lie unless he knew he was taking advantage of us? Corporate told me that the manager of the store should take back the tablets and not charge me. The manager refused to take back the tablets without charging us $150 for a restocking fee ($75 X2). I refused to pay this. I would have been satisfied and we would have kept Verizon as our carrier and kept the new iPhone 6 we purchased if they would have just taken the tablets back and waived the $150 restocking fee. The manager kept saying my mom signed a contract and she would not waive the restocking fee. My mom was totally schooled by this sales guy who causally got her to sign multiple times. She's got poor eyesight and could not read the contract even if it was presented, which it was not. She simply singed her name on a iPad like *** device. We trusted that they were shooting straight with us. She specially asked Imani, "ARE YOU SURE THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR THE TABLETS?" He insisted there was not.
Yes, you typically would not sign a contract without reading the fine print, but I would not expect to have to look out for myself like that at Verizon, nor did my mom, a loyal Verizon customer for over 10 years. The Verizon Store has turned into the Wild West of dishonest salesmanship. I dropped off the two tablets and my new iPhone on the check-out desk after they refused to budge. The manager insisted I could not do this. I just left them there and walked out. I am reporting this to the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the BBB, the Los Angeles Times and any other news outlet that will publish my story and I'm presenting this to the City Attorneys Office. I am also going to do my best to spearhead not only a local public service campaign against the Porter Ranch Verizon Store, but also a class action suit against Verizon Wireless. This is happening to a lot of people. Look it up online.
My mom and I are just going to go to AT&T instead and refuse to pay the Verizon contract. Now my mom's credit will be hurt because of this nonsense. All she was trying to do was buy me a Christmas gift and she ends up getting taken advantage of at Christmas time. The Verizon Store in Porter Ranch, especially the management there should be ashamed of themselves.
This is a followup post to my previous post about the bait and switch "free" tablet scam being perpetuated by Verizon Wireless Store sales people.
As it appears I very well may be moving ahead with taking action on this, I am going to post updates here as a way to document my progress and to share the details as to this situation.
Account Number: [removed]
I've spoken to the corporate call center now twice. The second time it went to an upper tier management level. They are conducting an investigation which apparently involves them calling the Porter Ranch, CA Verizon Store to get their side of the story. Yet I was told that ultimately the option to waive the restocking fee falls on the store. They told me that the store should have just waived the fee, but they don't have control over that. That's a major problem for me and opens this up to a potential corporate fraud class action situation - the fact that at the corporate level they are not stepping in to deal with this. I'm not sure that this "investigation" will be of any avail. In fact, it may very well have just been lip service they were giving me over the phone.
Verizon corporate reported to me based on the notes on my account that the Porter Ranch Verizon Store overnight shipped the 3 devices I left with them back to me (!?). This clearly indicates they did not take me seriously as to what I'm prepared to do. It was recommended to me by corporate that I go to another specific Verizon Store nearby in an attempt to return the two tablets and get the restocking fee waived. They implied that different stores have different attitudes and I may get lucky at another location. Once again, I am not happy about Verizon corporate's inability and unwillingness to handle this themselves. This should not fall on the customer to have to run around town right before Christmas to beg another store to comp a restock fee that stemmed from fraud perpetuated by a different store. This is nonsense.
Thanks to some online networking, I was able to locate and speak to a previous employee of the Porter Ranch Verizon Store. She went into quite a bit detail over this bait and switch scam they do. In fact, she left the company because of the dishonesty at the store and the Porter Ranch store's management's support of the dishonest business practices.
Something I did not mention before is that there is a discrepancy on the sales tax that we paid. It appears that quite possibly there was a hidden charge (tablet activation?) presented as a second local sales tax. We seemed to have paid $35 extra for something. I am not yet sure what this is, and I will consider this important and needing to be addressed, but secondary to the tablet issue.
I have consulted with legal counsel but have not yet retained them. I may have to retain them if I file suit. I have also been in contact with Birka-White, a class action law firm in Danville, CA as I believe this may call for a class action suit based on all the victims of this scam I have located in just one day. It's shocking a company as large as Verizon Wireless has gotten away with this for so long. I can only speak for California law as for now, I am only approaching this on a personal level locally and not a federal level. I'll allow the latter to be handled by Birka-White if they choose to proceed. As for CA law goes, here are the violations thus far:
(the following codes have been edited for relevancy pertaining to my case)
Business and Professional Code 17500:
17500. It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association, or any employee thereof with intent directly or indirectly to induce the customer to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to make any statement concerning services (products) which is untrue or misleading, and which is known, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known, to be untrue or misleading.
Business and Professional Code 17507:
17507. It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to make a representation (statement) pertaining to more than one article of merchandise or type of service, within the same class of merchandise or service, if any price set forth in such claim or representation does not clearly and conspicuously identify the article of merchandise or type of service to which it relates.
Civil Code Section 1770:
1770. (a) The following unfair methods and/or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful:
(13) Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions.
(14) Representing that a transaction confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law.
(16) Representing that the subject of a transaction has been supplied in accordance with a previous representation when it has not.
(19) Inserting an unconscionable provision in the contract.
Any violation of the provisions of these sections is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not
exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
Most of these violations fall on the salesperson but the manager was in violation of 1770(a)(13), 1770(a)(14) and 1770(a)(16) when I went to return the tablets when she spun more lies about what went on, so even the management at the Porter Ranch store has directly broken the law.
My minimum expectations are that the "investigation" that is being conducted result in the truth being exposed and that action be taken against the Porter Ranch Verizon store. That I be able to return the two tablets without restocking fees, and that my share plan be reassessed to be certain I am receiving a fair deal based on current prices and promotions. If my minimum expectations are satisfied within 14 days, I will not declare war against Verizon Wireless and not pursue this any further. If my minimum expectations are not met, I am going to proceed with the following:
I will continue to post here the developments as they unfold. Based on what I am reading online about their response to this issue, I am not expecting Verizon corporate to step in and do the right thing, for me/my mom nor on a larger scale. So as my family and friends are telling me, maybe I was chosen to be a victim and to take on this role, as I am the one that will not stand for it and commit to the work required to hold them accountable.
Message was edited by: Admin Moderator
Wow. Ok, you and only you are responsible for reading the contract. When I went in to get my smartphone and tablet it listed my plan and line access each month for 24 months. Very simple. Did an employee lie? Obviously that or he is an idiot. It also states that you have 14 days to return device and lists the restocking fees. I went to my Verizon acct under documents and receipts and viewed it all there.