Verizon: 'You've Earned A New Phone' (Just Not From Us)

Is this Verizon promotional email being over-enthusiastic with its subject line, or is it actually misleading? A phrase like “you’ve earned a new ___” doesn’t usually get followed up with, “Just pay us anywhere between $100-$200 for it,” unless it comes from a scam vacation offer. Or Verizon. As Bryan notes in his email to us, “The subject line must mean something like when you tell Verizon, ‘You’ve earned my suspicion and contempt.'”

Here’s part of the pseudo-congratulatory email.

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 16:20:31 -0400
Subject: You’ve earned a new phone

Call 1.888.333.0047 or visit your local Verizon Wireless Store today

Upgrade today to any one of our advanced phones or PDAs we carry. Plus, for our exclusive customers, we’ve added an additional discount on one of our most popular devices, the LG enV2TM. All of this brought to you by Verizon Wireless, with the nation’s largest 3G network and most reliable wireless network.

LG Dare Bold touch screen, fearless features, 3G speed capable.

$249.99 2-yr. price
-$ 50.00 Mail-in rebate
$199.99 Your Price

(New 2-yr. agreement required on a new Nationwide Calling plan.)
LG enV2 Full keyboard gives you two ways to text or email.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER for our loyal customers.

It goes on like that for several models. Verizon gets special bonus points for including mail-in rebates as part of the “deal.”

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. nightsky says:

    Does not say “you’ve earned a FREE phone”. McDonalds said “You deserve a break today”. Your boss may not think so.

  2. HomersBrain says:

    You’ve earned a “free” phone is redundant..the ad doesn’t say “do this and you’ll earn a phone…it says you’ve EARNED as in past tense….

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    Well it does say NEW, not FREE. As far as wireless service goes, most any ad for a cheap or new phone will advertise the AFTER REBATE price, even though you have to pay out of pocket up front and then wait weeks on a rebate you may or may not even get.

  4. Werrick says:

    I don’t even understand the letter or notice… It doesn’t make any sense at all. The subject reads, clearly, that the recipient has earned a new phone, and yet the entire message is one attempting to sell newer, more expensive phones.

  5. igoooorrrr says:

    They’re just telling him he can get the two-year upgrade now, and advertising a particular phone. Just glancing on the verizon website shows 12 free phones he could get instead of the LG.

  6. collider says:

    Earn must be the new deserve..

  7. AI says:

    To me, earned a new phone means that you are eligible for a new upgrade phone at a discount price. Not free.

  8. danep says:

    I’m sure there are people here who are part of Verizon’s “new every two” plan, which is what this seems to be related to. Basically they give you a $50 credit every two years, and yes there ARE phones that you can get for $50 – so technically you are getting a free phone – they’re just not the type of phones you would advertise for :)

  9. Woofer00 says:

    This seems pure and simple like a scam to me. Why? Because the phone listed doesn’t actually exist. LG makes a phone called the Dare, and Blackberry recently introduced a new model called the Bold. However, there is no model called Dare Bold. You’d think VZW wouldn’t make that mistake.
    Not to mention that VZW doesn’t have a 3g network, it’s EV-DO, and the email pushes more expensive phones as it goes along.

  10. econobiker says:


  11. HFC says:

    Um, I thought the readers here were fairly intelligent. Apparently not. Either that or most will find any reason to complain about anything. As danep stated, this is obviously for the “New Every Two” deal. After you have been in your contract for 18 months, you have earned the ability to get a new phone at a discount. This isn’t a scam, nor is it some new advertising scheme. It’s been around for years.

  12. igoooorrrr says:

    @Woofer00: EVDO is still considered 3G because it’s the 3rd generation of wireless technology. They refer to their network as 3G on their website a number of times.

    Also, it looks like most of the formatting in the email was stripped when it was pasted in. “Bold touch screen, fearless features, 3G speed capable.” is their description of the LG Dare.

  13. econobiker says:

    * Fees, terms, exclusions, and conditions may apply. Not all customers may qualify for the free goods, reduced percentage rate, promotional offer, stated product benefits. In fact the only people who might ever qualify may be some of our company’s top executives but as long as they qualify, we can advertise it. Taxes and regulatory fees are extra and definitely not mentioned in our advertising for this low price nor can our brick and mortar salespeople or off-shore telephone customer service people tell you how much the extra fees could be. Some patients may experience side effects such as eyebrow hair loss, constant vomiting or growing reptilian scales.

  14. nfs says:

    They are not explicitly stating free phone, they are just saying you earned one, at a contract price. So basically, subsidized, not free.

  15. Ramrod says:

    Verizon doesn’t even have 3G.

  16. The-Tree says:

    There is more to this than you are letting on…and color me surprised that somebody wants to rant and rave without the full story.

    things this guy didn’t tell you?

    he earned an EARLY upgrade, his contract realy isn’t up, he isn’t eligible for a discounted phone, or a free phone. verizon is sending out millions of mailers for people NOT eligible for upgrades to get early upgrades at discounted two year cost into the newer devices, while not having to pay full retail cost.

    so yes, the phone is not free, but the guy who sent this to you also failed to tell you he may be as new as 8 months into his contract and eligible to get a NEW phone at discounted price.

    personally, if I am in a two year contract and my cell phone carrier send me a mailer to upgrade to a new phone at discounted two year pricing 8-10 months before i am supposed to be able to…I would be happy, not a bitter whiny “i want it all for free” consumer.

    and no, I am not a verizon customer, I am an ATT customer.

  17. Roundonbothends says:

    @Ramrod: Ah, terminology! From Wikipedia’s “3G” article page: “The second 3G network operator in the USA was Verizon in October 2003 also on CDMA2000 1x EV-DO, and this network has grown strongly since then.”

  18. Starfury says:

    We are Verizon customers and got a mailer with this same information.

    It went (with 80% of our mail) into the recycle bin.

  19. some_yahoo says:

    When you have “earned” your $1200 paycheck, that’s not the same as getting a $75 discount on $1200.

    When you’ve earned something, it’s yours. When you’ve earned a “sneak preview” of a new phone or preorder “pole position” when the new phones come out, then they should say that, not “You’ve earned a new phone”.

    The entire subject line is there to get me to open the email thinking I had earned a “phone”, not just the exact same discount anyone can get at any store.

  20. Jonbo298 says:

    You have earned a new phone though. You earned it at a cheaper price (retail vs contract). I got my Dare WITH my New Every 2 discount because Verizon sent me an email saying I can use my NE2 now and get a new phone (and I wasn’t due until November to even use NE2 and contract not up until March of ’09).

    So yes, I earned a new phone at a much better price then I expected.

  21. Dyscord says:

    Wow. Um, this one is so obvious.

    From reading that email, it’s pretty obvious that the OP has earned a new phone through upgrading. I think it’s cool that they send you an email saying “Hey! You can upgrade your old phone now!”

  22. Outtacontext says:

    This is what I term “the QVC effect.” If you watch any of the home shopping networks (I do, but purely for the fun of their staff using language just like this) they often sell their wares by trying to tell us what we deserve: as in “You’ve worked hard you deserve to reward yourself by buying this…”

    It’s an interesting injection of morality into advertise. They’re trying to Nothing new.

  23. Outtacontext says:

    Man, I mangled that comment. Sorry.

    I meant to say it’s an interesting injection of morality into selling. They’re trying to get you to buy on emotional grounds.

  24. EdnaLegume says:

    @some_yahoo: You “earned” your new phone because your verizon contract (that you’ve paid monthly) is due to expire and they want you to sign up for a new 2 year contract. It’s the verizon new every 2 plan.

  25. Altdotweb says:


    It’s not a scam, There is a period missing between the word Dare and Bold. Bold is one of the words in the LG Dare ad taglines.

    As for Verizon misrepresenting the availability of 3g, that is also incorrect.

    3G is a term used to descibe the feature set (multimedia, broadband speeds, connectivity, etc.) of the third generation of wireless networks and not a specific product.

    1RxTT (CDMA2000) is a 3g network protocol.

    Verizon has used 1RxTT for a while now (Since 2005).

    EV-DO is also 3G. It’s just a newer version. EVDO Rev-A is even newer.

    Verizon was first to offer 3G, then Sprint, then ATT. T-Mo will eventually get around to deployment.

    The marketing department for another large wireless company would like for you to believe otherwise.

  26. tande04 says:

    Thats awesome that AT&T and apple have convinced people that they are the only 3G game in town.

    As pointed out. Not only is Verizon fully 3G (3rd Generation) they’ve got the widest 3G coverage of the bunch.

  27. xaqdesign says:

    Kinda funny. I got an upgraded Chocolate for my Fiancee right before the Chocolate 3 (yuck) came out.

    She was 1 year into her contract and had gotten a similar message in her email. The part thats funny is that it told us to visit a store or buy it online. I sent her over to the store while I was at work. They wanted to collect 129.99 for the Chocolate II, which we could get for FREE online with a 2 year renewal of her plan.

    She supposedly argued with the store people, and then eventually even I spoke to them while she was there in the store…They were full of it.

    I came home that night, ordered the new phone on their website, she had it 2 days later for FREE…

    BONUS: Somehow when she came onto my plan and we change the plan to a Family plan, her contract date and my contract date were different…by a year, how this makes any sense I will never understand. Now after the new renewal, we end within 2 months of each other.

  28. Camon says:

    Weird. I got this same email and DID get a free Blackberry Curve 8330. TBH Ive never had an issue with Verizon. Solid network here in Phoenix. I had no real reason not to renew my contract.