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Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
TIFSHA39
Member

I switched to Verizon two years ago and have been horrified by the unscrupulous sales practices, and now they have taken advantage of my elderly mother by selling her things she doesn't need "for only $10 a month" and "free upgrade" phones that we absolutely not free...RESULT - they took $240 cash from her, gave her no receipt, and now her bill is $600 - with more to come!  Charges are mostly comprised of Activation Fees that were never mentioned to her.  She has been unable to sleep for weeks from worrying about the charges.  She finally called Verizon and was told she is beyond the 14-day return window so she's stuck and will probably end up paying $1000 (when she was clearly only prepared for $10/month).  I was appalled when they used similar tactics to railroad me into switching to Verizon by omitting the insane Activation Fees and telling me my bill would be much less than it ever has been, but preying on the elderly is a criminal offense!  I'm wondering how many others are being subjected to these illegal practices that omit at least 75% of the true costs, and what agencies are available to help fight these companies that commit elder abuse.  Does Verizon not monitor habits of their salespeople??

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Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
sprmankalel
Leader

Does nobody read contracts before they sign them?

Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
mama23dogs
Sr. Leader

I sympathize with what happened to your mom.  My parents were on my sister or my plan with no permissions because they did not understand much about cellular. 

While it's disgusting, it is hardly abuse.   Because she is elderly, credit score be darned.  If Verizon won't fix this for her, then have her cancel everything and get a number on prepaid.  

As for yourself?   Activation fees are charged by every carrier, its a given like death and taxes. 

   Read before you sign.  Your signing a contract for sale of service and goods.  Since it obligates you, you should read carefully. 

Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
TIFSHA39
Member

I appreciate your sympathy and your polite response!  Honestly, I doubt my mother even attempted to read the contract; she believed the rep and probably didn't even think to ask if they would add any other fees.  I do know that my rep in no way mentioned activation fees to me.  I was switching from virgin mobile (who does not charge activation) only because I needed better signal.  And planned to sign up with Straight Talk, but decided to check with Verizon just to see if they were comparable.  I reviewed details at length with the rep and was told my bill would be around $100, which I thought close enough to the $75 I was paying for two unlimited lines at virgin mobile or the $90 at Straight Talk.  My actual Verizon bills have never been below $120.  I stayed for parental controls, and partly because I don't want the hassle of switching, so I just pay $30 more every month.  I absolutely read my whole contract.  When I questioned the clearly written activation fees, I was assured (verbally) that since I brought my own iPhones, my account would be credited within two months for a "bring your phone" promotion they were having - which more than offset activation fees.  I called when I received my first bill without the credit, they said it would be on the next bill.  I called back after receiving the next bill with no credit.  Same story...wait one more month.  Third month, no credit - then the Verizon phone rep finally took the time to research and told me the promotion I was promised was not applicable to my plan or iPhones or some excuse.  So the sales guy lied.  Or didn't know better and no one held him accountable.  I understood I was obligated because I did sign and trusted a Verizon employee because of the supposed "stellar" reputation of Verizon customer service.  I just didn't believe he would lie for a sale or that Verizon would allow it. It's a good scam to stall people until they exceed limitations; however, not a good long-term strategy for earning loyalty.  Without quality or loyalty, businesses compete on price and profits decline. I really thought Verizon would exceed in both key areas.

Lesson Learned:  I will never trust anything anyone says from Verizon - obviously you must get everything they say in writing.  Tough, costly lessons are the ones we remember best Smiley Happy 

Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
mama23dogs
Sr. Leader

Don't all prepaid carriers charge for a SIM card kit?   ATT charges $5.   Postpaid accounts are more complicated, credit check, account set up.  Verizon has fee free weekends now and then.

Just so you know, it isn't just Verizon.  Employees, all of them, are under some kind of sales quota.  The [Removed] who sold to your mom, must have made his whole week on her.

This is why I don't buy carrier phones and manage my own account.

Both Verizon and ATT had a $50 BYOD credit for select new accounts, but I don't remember the requirements.

inappropriate content removed as required by the Verizon Wireless Terms of Service

Message edited by Verizon Moderator

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Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
Skwerl
Member

Your state Division of Consumer Affairs should be able to assist, also your state may have a Commission on Aging or Senior Services even AARP as well. You also have your state's Public Utilities division, not all handle telecoms but it never hurts to ask.

Sadly bad sales tactics are not limited to VZ- all the carriers have an issue. Corporate needs to step up their game with the sales force.

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Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
mama23dogs
Sr. Leader

Well said and I agree.  All carriers set sales goals for reps.  I don't know what happens if you don't meet them.  This pressure has been the source of many angry articles by former cellular workers.

The practice needs to stop.

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Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
sprmankalel
Leader

It is a sales position. You now that going in.

I am sorry and while I do feel for the elderly as this is not an area of expertise for them, they should know enough to read something before they sign it. We all should.

Even if the rep doesn't disclose all of the information it IS disclosed in the contract and customer agreement.

I go back to, would you buy a house or a car without reading the contract before signing it?

Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
Acrillix
Sr. Member

I don't really post much anymore BUT I did want to throw my 2 cents into this one....

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the consumer to read and understand the agreement they are agreeing too. The sales representative is NOT responsible for holding your hand and walking you through every detail. If you have a question or aren't sure about something, then ask. The sales force has one job - to sell. I cannot express the simplicity of this. You are a consumer, a man/woman walking in the door with a wallet full of cash just waiting to be emptied at the store. That rep sees you and all he\she sees is a big wad of cash. Is this not wrong? Is it not wrong to do your job, and sell you something? You walked in with the intent to buy something, that rep was going to make a sale regardless. He/she pushed you in the right direction, and will of course try to sell additional products. I walked in one day, with the intent of NOT purchasing anything, and just to get a screen protector put on my phone. Me and the rep were chatting it up, and talking about phones, and VZW, and my life and his, etc, etc, etc... He mentioned the HUM to me, and I had heard of it but was intrigued and asked to see it. He brought it up and we played with it for a little bit, and 20 minutes later I walked out with it. Do I feel deceived by this rep? NOPE. In fact I am astonished he managed to convince me to get one. I wasn't planning on it at all. But he told me the features, the cost, and guess what? I got exactly what I was told.

It's easier to blame the representative or the company or the industry rather than ourselves or a loved one. I have made terrible choices with my VZW account and I am (a single guy who is 21) 4 lines (Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, iPhone SE 16GB, Apple iPad Mini 4, Verizon HUM) all of which I DO NOT NEED (except the HUM and the S7 Edge) and I have not ONCE called VZ and said they're a bad company. In fact, I love Verizon. I never EVER had a bad experience that led me to think any less of them.

In fact, a few days ago I contacted VZ over Chat, and Rose was my rep. She didn't do anything I needed, and I gave her a perfect survey. Why? Because she COULDN'T. What I was asking wasn't possible. I understand the limitations of representatives, I understand not everything is possible, but I respected her honesty and integrity. Instead of complaining and bashing her or VZW because my request wasn't completed, I thanked her and we ended up chatting about life for about 20 minutes.

At the end of the day, it is our responsibility as a consumer to educate ourselves about the new technology whether it's a phone, a computer, a car, or house. Are you going to call the realtor's office and complain the realtor never told you about a small leak in the attic that you discovered 6 months later? It is the job of the consumer to properly evaluate a situation, REGARDLESS if we are 'elderly' or not. Just because you are elderly does NOT mean you are entitled to special treatment or a 'Get out of Jail Free Card'. She signed it, she pays it ----End of story.

Re: Fraudulent sales practices by in-store Verizon reps
nomanusa
Member

I agree with That verizon sales stores are Fraud and when we call to verizon they are not helping and saying go to only that store and they can help and the agent who gave us lines are not available and no body wants to respond.

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