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Can gift card be used to purchase new phone?

In early May I switched over 4 lines through the BYOD program.  I applied for the rebates right away and followed all the rules to the letter.  All the phones we brought over have been activated for over 45 days now.   I received emails from Verizon announcing that my gift cards were ready, which is great.  

The problem is that when I went into a Verizon store to discuss using the gift card to purchase a new phone, I was told that I can NOT use the gift card to buy a new phone from Verizon.  He told me that I had to wait 6 months to buy a new device from them and that I have to buy it myself or do a payment plan - no gift cards accepted.  why?   There is nothing in the fine print that says that and I told him so but he was insistent.  

I know you need to stay with Verizon for one year otherwise they will charge you back for the balance of the gift cards, but 6 months before you can use your gift card to buy a new device from them?  He told me I could walk into the Apple store and buy a new phone and activate it with Verizon no problem.  But nope, cannot use my credit to buy a phone from them.  I can only use it to pay my bill.

VERY frustrated that people in their stores are so misinformed!!!

Who I have the same questioned this topic