Verizon Sells Me Phones That Don't Work, Won't Give Me One That Does

John bought a Droid in April, but the smartphone stopped working after a few months. He went in to get a replacement, touching off a bizarre chain of events that included an attempted upsell to an iPad.

Left phoneless, John, who describes himself as disgruntled, says he can’t get any help from Verizon.

He writes:

I bought a Droid smart phone from Verizon in April 2010. Since that time (approx. 6 months), I have had three phones (same model: HTC Droid Eris). The first one was a lemon and did not work at all. After much frustration and hassle, Verizon gave me a new phone which, of course, I had to totally reprogram for my needs. That phone worked fine until the battery completely died in August.

Verizon gave me yet another HTC Droid Eris phone (which I re-programmed), but told me that that particular model was defective. When I asked for a different model that was not defective and agreed to pay the difference in the cost of the phones, they said that was not possible. They could give me no logical reason or rationale for that decision – just not possible. However, they did offer me a refurbished Blackberry or suggested that I buy an iPad from them for $650. I purchased a Droid in the first place because it had the features I wanted.

I am not technologically savvy and have now learned how to use the Droid. I do not have the time or energy to learn a new system. Because the Droid would not sync with my Exchange server (work emails), which was the primary reason I bought it, the Verizon folks downloaded an app to perform that function (it cost $20). However, the app stopped working soon after I left the store. I sent an email to the salesperson asking again for a different phone. She said she would check with her manager and get back to me. Guess what – radio silence. I also have spent countless hours on the phone with Verizon’s customer service (an oxymoron) to no avail.

I then tried to find a phone number to contact the Verizon corporate folks. Ultimately, I reached a human in the press room who said there was no corporate number that I could call. No surprise – they don’t want to hear from disgruntled customers. My phone still does not work, and I feel I have no further recourse. Help!

What should John’s next move be?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.