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Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

Today has been the 2 week mark since I first used Verizon's trade in program.  I canceled my sprint ( $100 ETF ) and decided to move over to Verizon since they were offering a $200 Gift Card if I traded in my Iphone 5.  Sounded like a great deal, and I went ahead and switched over and got a new Iphone 6 from Verizon.

Fast forward 2 weeks later to today, I noticed an email saying my device had not been received.  I decided to go online and chat with a woman who informed me that the email was automated, but I should wait at least 6 weeks.  6 weeks is not an acceptable time frame in my opinion, so I told her I would cancel my service if they can not at least locate my phone.  They were unable to locate my phone, and claim is still has not been received. 

I looked around the forums here, and low and behold a number of users are claiming they sent in perfectly working devices only to be given a $36 Gift Card because of a cracked screen.   They are unable to locate the phones for tons of users, and this really worries me.  She also let me know that there is no tracking number whatsoever on the package.  As a consumer, I find this completely unacceptable.

Hoping they could offer further help, I went to my local Verizon store here in Battle Creek, MI.  I informed the manager Cam that I was planning on returning the phone because I feel that my trade in was being mishandled and pointed him to the forums where users were complaining about the program.  While talking with Cam I noticed a couple checking out the Iphones, and the Verizon rep in the store, who was a very nice gentelman was explaining the trade in program.  I could not help myself from saying out loud not to trust the brown envelope that they give you since there is no tracking and I believe my phone was possibly lost or stolen and that I would not receive any credits.

Cam immediately told me to leave, threatened to call the police and told me that I was soliciting.  I explained to Cam that I was here for a return, not to solicit a sale of any kind and that I too was a Verizon customer and was only sharing information on the trade in from my experience with other fellow Verizon customers.  He asked me not to say it again or he would call the police, so I childishly said brown bag a few times before quietly waiting to be helped.  The return was processed after this, and I argued the $35 activation fee be removed from my account and I also argued the $35 restocking fee because they did not hold up their end of the trade in deal.

I realize that I am being fairly impatient here, with it only being 2 weeks and I did overreact a little after the police were threatened.  I do however lack any sympathy for Verizon not being able to process these trades in a timely manner.  They knew well ahead of time that the Iphone 6 was going to cause a ton of trade ins and they could have been more readily prepared.

After I returned home, I got online and spoke to Zach from Verizon who I tried a second time to have the activation and restocking fee returned to me.  He told me that it was fair charge and would not be removed so I gave in and agreed that it was my fee to pay.  I want to share a few excerpts with my chat with Zach because although he is a Verizon employee, he admited to me the faults of the trade in system.

Visitor: At least just the activation should be waived, since I was paying to activate a phone I had for 2 years, not 2 weeks.

Zach: Well those fees are valid charges  so they're not something I can waive. The activation fee is for new line activation and that?s waived if returned within 3 days but your paying for a line of service to be activated.... which it was. As far as the restocking fee goes that charge is to recoup some of the costs that we incur because you've returned that device. That phone can no longer be sold as new because it's been opened and used and since you returned that for a full refund of the purchase amount we end up losing money on that return so that $35 fee is assessed. None of these fees were charged in error. I'm sorry that this was the decision that you felt you had to come to especially when this would have ended up with you getting the credit for that trade in within a couple of weeks. 

Zach: We could have helped you research that submission and work with the trade in center to find your device but you made the decision to go ahead and cancel service and return the phone so that limits what we could have done in that case since it's already been cancelled/returned.

Visitor: I see you are all about the money, glad to no longer be a customer then.

Visitor: You are lying on that last post Zach.

Visitor: The trade in submission is a completely seperate process than me buying the iphone and returning it.

Visitor: So you are not willing to help me, because you can't find my phone.

Zach: You're right about that process, and though I can't find your phone we can partner with the trade-in team to work out a solution.

Visitor: I am filing a complaint against Verizon with the Better Business Bureau and I will name you as one of the people who went out of their way to not help me.

Visitor: I can not believe I just read that you could have helped me, but won't since I returned the phone.

Visitor: That was flat out wrong, you deserve to be punished for that misinformation.

Zach: I'm not saying I won't help you. I'm saying that our options are now more limited because you returned that device.

Visitor: That is not an accurate statement.

Visitor: The options are exactly the same as they were.

Visitor: You can search by submission ID, phone number, and email, which provides no results.

Visitor: Your other option, calling the trade in department, is also still available.

Visitor: Those were your 2 options before and after I returned the phone, and those are still the same 2 options you have now. The fact that your company goes out of your way to argue ridiculous points makes me 100% happy I returned my device while I had a chance to.

Visitor: Now I want my phone back.

Visitor: The iphone 5 that is.

Zach: Well, not exactly. Your trade-in would have been worth $200 with a iPhone 6 purchase, however since that phone has been returned and service has been cancelled then the trade in value may be less. Have you contacted the trade in center at all about the device you shipped to them?

Visitor: No that should be your job, I'm right here on the website that had me use the cheap brown evnvelope in the first place.

Visitor: if you go check the forums on verizon

Visitor: people are straight up trashing the trade in system

Zach: In my experience it takes about 3-4 weeks. 6 tops

Visitor: $36 for broken devices given out to people that sent in working phones

Visitor: other phones never being received

Visitor: it's all over the verizon forums

Visitor: did this worry me? yes

Visitor: and did it have an affect on me returning the phone? absolutely

Visitor: and the reason is that not ONE verizon rep replied with a solution, 1 guy was credited the $200 and they still claim they never got his phone

Visitor: the rest of the people are out of luck, and they will not help them

Visitor: this should be reported to the FCC too

Zach: Can I offer you a personal suggestion?

Visitor: i'm going to talk to a lot of people tomorrow

Zach: Not necessarily the VZW suggestion but from one person to another?

Visitor: sure

Zach: Call the 877-247-3846 number (the trade in program support center) and ask to speak to a manager and escalate the issue through them. Have them give you a timeline on when to expect an answer. If that timeline is not met, then escalate again. I've had to do this, I don't tell a lot of customers that because it doesn't look good but I think it's important in this conversation that you know that I have been through the exact same situation.

Visitor: Alright thank you Zach

Zach: And I was able to get it resolved after about a month from the time I sent it in but it took me having to follow up. I hate that you may have to do the same thing and I hope you have an easier experience than I did... my situation was almost two years ago so I expect that to be better and I hope it is for you Smiley Happy

Visitor: I do appreciate the help you've given. Unfortunately I'm out a $35 activation, a $35 restocking fee and a $100 ETF from sprint. It's too little too late, I guess I can pay my wifes bill with the gift card since I no longer have a cell phone.

Zach: You're very welcome, I did add the 1GB of free data and the 50% off your $40 smartphone charge which will be reflected on your bill moving forward as my way of saying sorry for the mess and I know it doesn't fix everything but I hope it at least helps in letting you know that I do care about your experience.

Visitor: I really screwed myself for work, and talking to my family and everhthing. Lost my phone number that I had for the last 8 years.

Zach: Well, I wouldn't give up on the trade in just yet. and that 50% off saves you $240 over the next year. So it's every little bit that I could do.

Zach: Well.... here's this....

Visitor: It doesn't matter, my cell phone number that I had for almost a decade is out in the wild now. It's quite depressing thinking about everything honestly.

Zach: We can reactivate that line of service that you just cancelled

Zach: was that the number you're worried about?

Zach: the 419 number?

Visitor: yeah

Zach: What if we reactivate that and then get you a phone ordered from our system?

And then it hit me, even Verizon admits the faults with the system trade in system.  I wish I would have been more patient and I wish I never returned the phone, and I almost wanted to say yes to Zach activating me a new phone.  I overreacted in this situation, but I'm just so stubborn sometimes I wouldn't back down.  I felt like threatening Verizon with canceling was going to get me farther with figuring out my trade in credit, and at the end of the day it only cost me more money.

So now I'm out of:

$78 Last month bill to Sprint ( Only used 1 week of this month, but they will not prorate since I was under contract )

$100 Early Termination Fee to Sprint

$35 Activation Fee from Verizon

$35 Restocking Fee from Verizon

Out a Total of $248, have no phone at the moment and my Sprint Iphone 5 that I sent in has still supposedly just vanished into thin air.  I'm mad at myself for trying to stand up as a consumer and say no, because at the end of the day I was happy with my device.  I guess I'm going to go without a phone for awhile and think about my poor choices in this whole situation,  if I could go back in time I would have just waited and kept the phone.  Hopefully this helps someone else out because I spent a lot of hard earned money and time on this whole ordeal.

Labels (1)
Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

You cancelled your service and lost your phone number because you were worried they might have lost your phone or might not give you the full trade-in value? You do realize that the reason people come onto these forums is because they are having an issue with Verizon. There are not going to be loads of people on here talking about how smoothly the process went for them because if someone goes through the trade in process with no issues they would have no reason to be here posting. There are a lot of posts here complaining about the trade in program. However, it's a safe bet that these are a very small percentage of the overall people that have used the program.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

No, I threatened to cancel because they could not locate my phone.

I actually canceled for sure once I realized how bad their customer service was on the phone, in person, and especially in store where they threatened me with the police.  Yeah, lets forget about the drunk drivers and crack dealers so we can come deal with this guy who wants to know what we did with his Iphone 5.

I do agree with you that people are prone to only post when they are experiencing an issue, and yes I still do have an issue here.  They do not know where my Iphone 5 is.  So I do still have a problem, wouldn't you agree?

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

They do not know where your phone is yet because it has not had enough time to go through the process yet. I also started to worry when two weeks had passed and my iPhone 5S was still showing not received on the status website. That's when I joined this forum to see if anyone else was having the same problem. What I found out was that some people had been given reduced value for their trade in, but I also found posts from people like myself that were worried that their phone was lost and then came back and posted a week or two later that they had received their gift card.

I decided to chill and give it some time and about a week later my gift card arrived. If it had been for less than the promised amount I would no doubt still be upset and posting about it like the many posts I still see on here on a regular basis.

This is no doubt a popular program for Verizon. I would imagine there have been thousands of phones traded in. There are going to be at least some screw ups in the process. There is no point in getting ahead of yourself and assuming your case will be one of the screw ups unless it already is. Verizon has been consistently posting that it could take 4-6 weeks for processing. You will at some point likely hear the status on your traded-in phone. Patience would not hurt in this case.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.
Sr. Leader

I'm sorry, but you did this to yourself. You completely became unhinged about something that didn't even happen. There are lots of people that got the full $200 (I got $200 each for 2 devices, took about 3 weeks for me). Many more are getting the money than are not, but you only hear about the ones that do not here. Yes, there are a few, but that by no means meant you were in that group.

You were not fair to the manager at the store or the online rep as NOTHING HAD HAPPENED TO YOU YET. What can someone do about something that may happen?

You won't even be getting your old iPhone back, as was stated in the agreement when you sent it in. It is not returnable. You will definitely not get $200 now, since you didn't buy an iPhone 6, and will only get it's value as determined by the service. That will be much less than $200.

Every decision you made was the wrong one.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

I'm satisfied with cancelling and everything that went on today.  I only really made this post to show that even Verizon reps are having a hard time dealing with the trade in department.

I was fair to the manager in that store, he treated me as if I was a burden when I began to explain my issue and threatened to call the police on me for saying that the "cheap brown envelope" used for the trade ins didn't have a tracking number and that I wouldn't trust it.  He did not attempt to clarify anything with the program or retain me as a customer whatsoever, as soon as he said call the police was when my decision to cancel my line was finalized.  This was my second time experiencing bad customer service at this location, and they are lucky I am not on the phone attempting to get one of them fired because I am usually very successfull at getting my point across.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

I suspected someone at Verizon would be appalled that their own employee explained having to call and call and escalate to a manager, but I guess I am wrong they just ignore the forums here.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

My husband and I received our new 6 & 6 Plus and took our older 4 & 4S to the store to turn in there (based on the direction given at the store, they could do it easier).  I received a receipt for $400 as credited on my account, this was on October 11th.  My bill, which is under the One Bill program (covers home phone/cable/internet) is not showing the credit and I am being told that my bill is past due.  After spending an hour with online chat I am told that I really do not have the credit until the phones are received at the warehouse - even though I have a receipt for $400 it is meaningless.  I have had Verizon for the past 14 years and was very tempted to breakaway when we contemplated new phones, now I wish that I had.  The customer service that we typically receive is beyond negligent, I would run from Verizon if were looking for a new carrier.

Re: Just canceled iphone 6, beware of Verizon Trade in program. Regret it all.

We purchased 4 phones from Verizon just after Christmas.  My husband wanted to have his work number ported over and was told that it would not be a problem once the company gave the OK.  Several days later My husband received confirmation and the steps to get his old phone number from the company.  He followed the steps that Verizon set.  He was told they would have to send him a new phone with the company number and that he would have to send his current phone back.  We went through the process and they took back his old phone.  Now we are getting billed for his returned phone at $47 for the first month and $29 on our next bill.  We have been by the store and talked with customer service via the phone many times.  Asked for managers and have been told on 2 long phone conversations that these charges would be reversed.  We were suppose to receive a phone call from a female Andy out in California last Thursday 3/12/15 to confirm this has all been fixed.  But the call did not come and the charges have not been reversed.  If we don't pay our credit is destroyed.  Thank you Verizon for stealing from your customers and not doing what you said you would do.  Really hate that this in this country these company get away with highway robbery. Where is the integrity?  How is it that robbery is more important than doing the right thing.  Really disappointed in the kinds of tactics Verizon has chosen to foster.