Verizon Store Still Won’t Sell Me A Smartphone Without A Contract

Greg recently fought a new battle in his ongoing war with Verizon. His war is in defense of a noble goal: over and over, he just wants to buy a phone for the full retail price without signing a new two-year contract. If this seems like it should be pretty straightforward, you don’t work at a Verizon corporate store.

He wrote to us:

Verizon has elected to force people to do just what I had decided to do anyhow.

My wife now needs a new phone and we are both still on unlimited data. After some research, she decided on the phone she wanted and we went the the same corporate store from my previous tip to purchase it. Surely, with Verizon’s directive that unlimited data customers will have to pay full retail in order to keep their unlimited data, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Well, it was – and don’t call me Surely.

Right when we walked into the store, we were approached by C, his name badge identified him as the manager. He asked if we needed help and I stated that I was “ready to purchase a phone.” He asked if I was a new customer or if I was getting a new contract. I stated that I would like to just purchase the phone outright. His response was that they were “no longer allowed to sell phones that were not associated with a contract”. This was puzzling to me as their price cards on each phone lists both a two-year contract price and a full retail price. He reiterated that they would not be able to help me. I would need to place my order at the Verizon Wireless website.

I thanked him and excused myself. I stepped outside the store and called 611 Verizon Customer service from my cell. I was able to quickly get a CSR on the line and I asked if it were true that a Verizon corporate store would NOT be able to sell me a phone at full retail. The CSR stated that this was untrue and I can purchase a phone at any Verizon store or authorized retailer whether it is tied to a contract or not. She asked if she could speak with the employee that told me this. I handed the phone to C. He tried to walk away while speaking with her but I followed. Wasn’t sure what that was about. Essentially, what I could hear was him telling her what he told me albeit over and over again. They cannot sell a phone without it being tied to a contract.

He handed the phone back to me and the CSR stated that she was going to call the next closest corporate store to see if this was the case there as well. After a brief hold, she came back on and stated that the next store (about 6 miles away) gave her the same story and some reasoning about “inventory”. Since my wife’s phone has been incredibly spotty, I decided to just place the order with the CSR right then and there. Because of the “inconvenience” she gave me free overnight shipping. Upon revewing my account during the ordering process, she asked if I was buying the phone full retail in order to keep my unlimited data plan. I confirmed this and she stated just glancing at our data history, this is the good financial choice.