Sorry, Joining Your Fiancé's Verizon Plan Voids Your Phone's Warranty

David and his fiancée decided that it was finally time to take their commitment to the next level: joining their mobile phone plans together. Unfortunately, they were both already Verizon customers and wanted to upgrade their phones. If can’t imagine why this would be a problem, you’ve never upgraded phones and then joined plans at Verizon. The process seems to be specifically designed to keep customers from doing this.

So, my fiancée and I decided it was time to go upgrade our phones, as well as finally get on a joint plan. Monday night, we went to a verizon wireless store to look at phones. A salesman came over to help us, and after about 15 minutes or so he finally convinced us each to get the Samsung Continuum, priced at $49 with a new 2 year agreement. After taking all of our information, he went into the back to get the phones. 10-15 minutes later, he came out and let us know that unfortunately they only had one Continuum left in stock. He said that if we didn’t mind waiting five minutes or so, he would run to a nearby store and get another phone for us. We said that would be fine, and he left.

About 15 minutes later, he walked past us and before we could ask if we were ready, he told us that he was just leaving (he had been hanging out in the back). He finally left, and after about 20-25 minutes came back and went straight into the back room. 10 minutes or so later, he came out and started typing in our information again. Just as he was finally ready to ring us up and activate, he told us that due to an error in their inventory system, he was not able to transfer the second phone into their local inventory and sell it to us. We asked what that meant, and he said it would take a while to put through. We asked what our options were, and instead of logically offering to ship it to us or suggesting we come back the next day, he suggested we either hang out for another few hours or buy more expensive phones. At that point, after two hours standing in a verizon wireless store after a full day of work… we were fed up, so we left.

Tonight we decided to go to a different store to try again. I called a half hour before we left, and they put two phones aside for us. We showed up, went straight to the counter, and started the activation. When they went to ring us up, they told us the price was $99 per phone. We asked how that could be, as the price was $49 two days ago. She referred us to a manager, who said that the price had changed earlier this week, and we wanted to argue the price we would have to go back to the original store because “he wouldn’t have that coming out of his budget.”

I called customer service from my phone, and fortunately got to a very helpful rep. She gave me two $50 credits to even out the pricing, and said to buy and activate the phones, and then call customer service back and ask whoever picks up to contact the previous CSR, as they can’t transfer or accept incoming calls, but they can view all past history and notify a CSR to contact me. She said once we activated, we would get back on the phone and she would put my fiancée and I on a joint plan.She said that we had to upgrade before joining accounts, because joining the account first would void the upgrade.

After getting home, I called Verizon Wireless and asked them to get me in touch with the last CSR I spoke with. The CSR asked me to tell him what had happened before he contacted her, so I did…but explained that essentially I was just calling to create a joint account. He said he could take care of it himself, and went back and forth between my fiancée and I for a while. Eventually he said everything was more or less done, all he had to do was transfer me to the Assumption of Liability dept. to go over terms and conditions. He transferred me over, and the woman explained to me that by taking liability over a second line, we were forfeiting my fiancée’s warranty.

I told her I didn’t understand…because I had just bought the phone an hour and a half ago based on the advice of a verizon wireless CSR who specifically told me to buy the phone before joining the accounts. Her advice to me was to go back to verizon, return the phones, join the accounts, then buy the phones back at full retail. I told her that that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard, and that I couldn’t deal with another hour dealing with verizon so I would have to call back tomorrow.

Where do we go from here?

Other readers who have been in the same situation might have their own advice to offer, but people tell us they’ve been successful using an executive e-mail carpet bomb with Verizon, or contacting their “Region President.” Good luck.