Before posting this question I've spent some time reading other similar questions where people where chastised, so I'm fully expecting this but I'd also like to disclose that I sold cell service and phones for Best Buy for nearly 5 years, as recently as a couple of years ago - so I'd like think I'm pretty knowledgeable about the fine details of contracts, upgrades, ETFs, special offers, heard all the sob stories, etc.
On 10/13 I received the following text from Verizon: "Great news! You're eligible to upgrade early to any new smartphone on device payment when you trade-in your current phone..." At the time, I was on the More Everything (2 year contract) plan, which was still under contract until September of 2016.
I went to the MyVerizon page to check out the details of the offer. There were very few, but from the information given to me and all the fine print I could find, nothing seemed sketchy so I proceeded to the order screen to see what fine print, final charges, and monthly charges would be. First odd thing I noticed was that even though it showed both devices eligible to upgrade under the offer and able to select both to upgrade, it only allowed me to enter in one device for trade in, valued at $325. It didn't make sense as to why I couldn't add my second device. I contacted customer support via chat, and explained what was going on. The customer service rep explained to me that this was normal and that the second device could be trade in via the trade-in/recycle screen, which offering the same trade in value of $325 - apparently only one trade in was allowed to be processed this way. While speaking with him about the transaction confusion, I had him confirm my interpretation of the offer and my interpretation of his directions to receive credit for BOTH my old devices: Upgrade to new iPhone 6s for $649.99 (x2) and change to the new Verizon Plan (line access of $20 instead of $40) when trading in device as prompted when adding the new phone to cart and receive $325 account credit when received within 30 days. Then complete a trade-in/recycle submission for the second old device and receive a $325 account credit as well. I made damn sure I wasn't going to be assessed any sort of ETF or charge because I given my expertise I know how these things can go wrong when you don't make sure you fully understand the offer. Trusting what the rep had said to be true, I proceeded with the upgrade transaction, read the order review screen over several times before completing, and then ordered the upgrades. On my order confirmation it clearly shows what I was agreeing to, what charges I could expect, and that my trade in device associated with this upgrade offer was valued at $325. Again, no where was I led to believe that the $325 trade in credit was just going towards offsetting a future charge for upgrading early -not in any fine print or from the Verizon associates I asked.
Time to further complicate things, and this time I'm partially to blame. Following the instructions from the Verizon rep, I went to the trade-in/recycle page to process the trade in credit for the second device on my account that I wasn't able to add to the upgrade transaction, however I accidentally selected the same device information as the device being sent in for credit from the upgrade offer. I caught this mistake prior sending anything off and reached out to customer service again via chat. This person was super helpful and explained to me that not only was that not an issue. I was concerned that Device 1 needed to at least go with the submission ID associated with the upgrade offer, but she told me even if I sent in Device 2 with that submission ID and Device 1 to the trade in/recycle program, that I'd receive my credit for both regardless. She did say that it may take longer because 1 of the return centers would get a phone with the incorrect MEID, but that it would be sorted out on their end when they see it is a phone from my account. So I didn't think this would be an issue, and maybe it is or is not contributing to my problem now...
So, to wrap up and put a pretty bow on where I am now: Today, I noticed that I had indeed received $325 account credits for BOTH of the devices I sent in, however the line that was used for the upgrade transaction had an "early upgrade non-return fee" of $329. Once again, I reached out to my good friends in the verizon customer service chat to fix this. I explained everything above, including the device mixups, and after over 4 hours, 2 reps, and 1 supervisor later, I was first told that the $329 non return fee was offsetting the $325 I received from the recycle warehouse. When I explained to them that device 1's info was accidentally entered for both the upgrade trade in and separate recycle trade in transaction, but that I sent in device 2 (which I now assumed ended up at the upgrade return warehouse), they then change the explanation to say that I should have never received $325 in credit for the upgrade device and the $329 was essentially an ETF and again the charges offset. I told them this was not the offer presented to me or explained to me by several of their colleagues, to which they just said sorry nothing we can do (which I understand, but there's a chat history to confirm and while I don't know if they have access to this I'd imagine some team at Verizon does). I also asked why would the offer only ask for 1 device - better yet, only allow me to trade in one device in the upgrade transaction - and then when I was able to trade in the second device without being assessed this 'not an etf, but pretty much an etf we never told you about' fee? They told me I should be expecting another charge like this for the second device most likely in the next bill cycle. At this point I lost my S, and started looking into my records, Verizon arbitration, and the fine print of Sprint's offer to pay the remaining balance of my DPPs to switch. Haven't done the arbitration or carrier switch yet, but just wanted to see if anyone else received the same iPhone early upgrade offer and is experiencing this nightmare as well?
What's interesting about the last explanation of the "Early Upgrade Non-Return" fee being a fee to offset credit I should have never received, is that this doesn't make sense anyways according to Verizon's FAQ about when this charge would appear:
If you qualified for an early device upgrade promotion, you may have been required to send us your current device. The early device upgrade non-return fee only applies in the following cases:
* Each returned device will come with an explanation why the device was returned.
So the last explanation I received isn't even consistent with Verizon's statement of when the fee ONLY applies.
It's frustrating because with all the years I spent selling Verizon, along with the other carries that we had at my Best Buy store, I knew what to look for and what questions to ask to cover my you know what, and at this point I know I was either straight up lied to by several Verizon employees or presented a bait and switch offer. I would have never upgraded if I thought there was a remote possibility that I was trading in my device (and apparently the second one now...) for $0 in credit. It would make absolutely ZERO financial sense.
Yes, I also felt misled by Verizon in a similar manner. I upgraded to the 6s because of the $300 promotion they were offering for phone trade-ins. I sent in my old phone and received the $300 credit only to later find a $199 charge on my bill for a non-return fee. What? Yes, I returned the phone but was charged a non-return fee.
The explanation from customer support was that since I upgraded early (a mere 30 days from the end of my two year contract), I had to send in the old phone using the special return packaging instead of using the packaging they sent me when I filled out the trade-in request. Apparently these are two very different processes with very different outcomes, despite the fact that in either case, Verizon was receiving the old phone.
During the process of purchasing the new phone online, I clearly understood and accepted that I would need to send Verizon the old phone because that's what I was planning to do anyway through the trade-in. It wasn't clear however, that if I sent it to them through the trade-in process that I was not going to be credited for having returned the phone. Had I known that at the time, I could have waited out the remainder of the contract and traded in the phone then. I would have missed the promotion but still could have gotten about $150 in trade-in for the old phone (a 5s).
Verizon did not do a good enough job during the purchasing process of managing the details about upgrades/trade-ins, and I've made no progress in multiple attempts to contact customer support to address the issue.
I was also misled. Why did they say I qualified for the recycled phone program with $140 credit and send me shipping materials for this purpose, then tell me I was supposed to send it to them for no credit and now am fined $199? Makes zero sense.
Pkhuns let's relead you in the right direction. So that we can look into this further, I have sent you a Private Message.
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I was also misled and now I am told it is my fault and verizon can do nothing about the $199 non return fee. after reading everyone what everyone else has said it is obvious to me that there is a flaw in their system and the customers are to blame.
Yes same for me.
I was in the process of doing a trade-in for an iPhone 5 to iPhone 7 for one of our family phones. I have an iPhone 6s 128gB with a few months left to pay it off. I'd see emails and ads on myVerizon about the trade-in option for my phone. I called Verizon about what I needed to do to finish the iPhone 5 trade-in and thought I'd ask about what trade-in offer was available to my iPhone 6s. The rep said if I paid a $93 balance that would allow me to do the same trade-in program as the iPhone 5 only the iPhone 6s qualifies for much more. She said that after the trade-in would be completed that my monthly device payment would end up around $11/month. I thought that was a pretty decent deal so I said lets do it.
I received the iPhone 7 and was confused that it had a return envelope for my iPhone 6s. So, I called to check and make sure I sent the iPhone to the correct place to get the trade-in. The person said that I wasn't getting the trade-in deal and that by paying the $93 it allowed my to do an early upgrade. WHAT!!!
I tried to explain what I was told, and of course they have no notes about my conversations - they never seem to.
I went to the trade-in page like the first rep told me I would do and my iPhone 6s was listed but when I choose it, it said the iPhone was already scheduled to be returned for a different upgrade and didn't qualify.
I plan to send my iPhone 7 back and keep my iPhone 6s until it is paid for so that I can use it to replace another iPhone 5 we have on our plan.
Verizon tries to make you think you get the trade-in deal with email messages, and special links in the MyVerizon web page, and even the support representative - but then all of a sudden it switches and you don't and like that was never possible and no idea how that you got the idea. A bunch of [Removed].
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You know, they tried to sell me the exact same line of [Removed] they told you. Obviously I got burned by last years iPhone early upgrade offer and being lied to, so when I saw the offer pop-up to pay my remaining DPP balance to get to 50% and get $650 for my trade-in I laughed, but thought what the hell why not chat with a rep to confirm because it would be a great deal if true. I should have saved the conversation, and maybe I did if I do some serious digging on both of my computers later, but they straight up told me the lie they told you. Pay the balance to get to 50% and you'd be eligible to get $650 trade-in credit with a new iPhone 7. I went through the online upgrade process to see and when I got to my cart the balance was only $220 for the trade-in so I never went through with it and asked another rep about it, who told me the same story as the last rep but said that the $220 would turn to $650 at a later date after processing. Fool me once Verizon, but I'm not falling for the same trick twice.
Here's my whole thing - and maybe someone at Verizon will see this and help correct it, unless their business model is to swindle their current customers out of money and in which case I guess keep on keepin' on - I'm not mad that I don't actually qualify for the deal because my device is only 50% paid off, I'm just mad your employees are telling me I do and trying to get me to upgrade thinking I'm eligible for a credit I'll never see. You may not be pulling a total Wells Fargo and just adding lines to my account I never asked for or things like that, but you're not far off with shady practices like that.
I figure the best course of action after already being cheated out of $325 once and then being lied to by their reps trying to trick me again a year later is to finish out my device payment plan and next year sign up with Apple's plan in their store. That way Verizon sees no money for my device (not that I expect a ton of margin in these for them though) and I'm free to change networks if I want after a year and can pick any of the big 4 without having to get a new device. It's not even pennies to them and they won't care, but at least it will make me feel good.
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Every time I do a chat session I have it emailed to me for proof & it saved me from losing 8 gigabytes of promotional data on the new verizon plan, when I swiched initially it showed I only had 8 gigabytes & no promotional data which the rep on chat said I would receive 2 gigabytes of data for each line on my contact, so I called customer support & they said I didn't qualify for that promotional data, then I called back & talked to another rep & she told me the same thing so I said well I have proof of what he promised & I sent them a copy of the chat session & bam 16 gigabytes a month, it was added right away after sending a copy of the chat session, sorry for the long story but in short always remember to have your chat session emailed to yourself. Hope this helps anyone