Verizon Upgrades My Smartphone, Downgrades My Data Plan

At the end of last year, Christopher and his girlfriend upgraded their Verizon phones to a pair of lovely matching Samsung Galaxy Nexuses. They’ve both had Verizon data plans long enough that they’re grandfathered in to unlimited data, and Christopher has unlimited international data as well. Or…. he did. After the upgrade, his unlimited plan is gone, the employee who turned it off has (apparently) fled the country, and no one at corporate or the local Verizon store knows how to get it back.

In December, 2012, my girlfriend and I upgraded our identical HTC Incredibles to identical Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones. We were both existing VZW customers, and we both had unlimited plans. (data for her, and both data and global data for me)

The agent helping us made a big deal about how great it was we were grandfathered in on unlimited plans. He finished processing our order, and we were on our way.

Fast forward to early February, when we planned to go out of the country, and I log in to check if my global unlimited data plan covered our destination country, only to discover that it was completely gone, and even my regular unlimited plan is gone, replaced by some weak, throttled plan.

I was floored they would do this behind my back, while telling me to my face what a great plan I had. But when I called Verizon Customer Service, they assured me that plans cannot be changed without the customer’s knowledge, and that it would be no problem to re-instate my unlimited plan. It would just take 5 days to process. In the meantime, they would put a temporary global data plan on my account, so I wouldn’t be without data services during our trip.

When we returned, I checked and found out they didn’t fix it.

So I went back to the store to see what was up. After learning my story, they claimed that the employee who did it “went back to his country,” and they don’t plan to do anything about it.

E, C, and J at the store were all supremely unhelpful.

I’m afraid I lost my cool; I was so shocked. How could they not take responsibility for what their employee did? Was there really so much commission money at stake for them to think this under-handed behavior was okay?

I left, but my girlfriend stayed to learn more. Then they claimed the unlimited plan is “not available” on the Galaxy Nexus. We checked, and it turns out my girlfriend still has her unlimited plan! So apparently they decided to screw me out of my grandfathered plan, but left hers intact. ???

Then I wrote a review about my experience on Yelp, warning others about my experience at this store. I got a reply from another Verizon rep, apologizing for what happened, saying their “representatives [will] receive the necessary training to better assist our customers in the future,” but offering no help restoring my unlimited plans.

My question: is there anything I can do to get my grandfathered unlimited plans back?

The men and women in positions of power at Verizon Wireless have been very helpful in the past to readers who harness the power of the Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb. That time-honored method might get your plight in front of an actual human with actual power.

Other readers: Guard your precious unlimited data plans carefully during upgrades and new contract signings, lest this happen to you.