Five Months Of Verizon Upgrade Runaround, Still No New Phone

Jeremy is eligible for an upgrade of his unreliable Droid X. Or maybe he isn’t. No, but today he totally is! It seems like every time he talks to someone new at Verizon, he gets a different answer.

This is a classic tale of the run around from a corporate entity, in this case Verizon wireless. It starts back in January of this year, when my droid x started to become a less than reliable phone. I went in to use my mobile insurance to get a new phone. The associate then told me if I can wait till the middle of February I would have an upgrade available, so I decided to suck it up and deal with my phone. So in February I go back to the Verizon store, only to be told basically that I have NO upgrade and they have no idea why the associate (this is at the same location) would tell me I did.

I went to 3 Verizon stores only to receive the same bad news, with each time being told that the associate was probably going to just activate a new line with a dummy phone and transfer my number to the new line leaving me with a phone lines would never use and cost me $10 more a month. Since I already pay $200 a month for service now, I took a walk on the idea of adding an extra line. I put this matter to bed because I don’t have time to play games with cell companies.

So let’s fast forward to yesterday (may 4th). I call Verizon customer service and explain the situation, the person I spoke with gives the usual apology and puts me on hold to look over my account. He comes back on the line, and says that even though Verizon terminated that annual upgrades for the main account line that I have been ‘grandfathered’ in and according to him I’m eligible for an upgrade. He begins the order process just to make sure he could give me an upgrade with 2 year contract pricing…and everything looks good.

At this point I ask if I can go to a Verizon store to get my upgrade, which he says he will add notes to my account and they should have no problems. This morning I’m off to the Verizon store to rid my self of my problem child droid phone. I arrive at the store,tell my situation to the associate, he looks my account up and says he can’t process an upgrade, let’s call customer service. We call customer service, only to be told I have to go to a corporate Verizon store and my line has NO upgrade available but I can do an alternate upgrade on the other line on my account.

So I have to go to yet another store, only to be told that the customer service rep I talked on the phone has NO idea what they are talking about. Even though they are a corporate store they can’t upgrade either line, and again they apologize that I’ve gotten wrong information.

So I have a half working phone that I’d rather not replace through insurance for the second time, and apparently no one at Verizon can tell me straight up what the deal is. Just a lot of go here and they should take care of you. It feels like on the phone they says whatever they can to make you happy and get you off the line whether or not they are right, wrong or indifferent. I just want an upgrade that 3 Verizon reps have told me I’m eligible for.

The next week, we heard back from Jeremy. Verizon approved his upgrade, but he still has no new phone. Why? He wanted to upgrade to an iPhone, and the reason why he can’t have one is a familiar refrain….it’s all Apple’s fault. An early upgrade to an iPhone just isn’t happening.

As it turns out, after a couple more phone calls to Verizon, they did agree to give me my upgrade and even went so far as to take my credit card number and process my order…BUT..since I recieved no email conformation from Verizon on my order processing let alone being shipped I called this afternoon to find out why. The rep I spoke to this afternoon informed me that that even though I recieved approvals from Verizon management to get an iPhone 4S, that Apple themselves have actually step in and denied my upgrade.

Now I know that Apple tends to keep a stranglehold on its products, but this really just seems unbelievable. All I really wanted was what several Verizon reps promised me, and then agreed to…but in the end it looks like Apple is the bad guy here.

Oh, Apple. So easy to love, so easy to demonize.


Edit Your Comment

  1. KillerBee says:

    The line they gave him about Apple being involved is complete bullshit. A total lie. Just another excuse.

    • RubiksDude says:

      I agree. Verizon is the one subsidizing the cost of the phone. No way Apple cares if someone gets an early upgrade to one of their phones.

    • jenndawl says:

      Verizon said the same thing to me when I had issues with upgrading my phone a few months back. It was just their way of trying to force another andriod on me. In the end, I was upgraded to an iPhone 4s and couldn’t be happier.

    • homehome says:

      Actually it’s not, apple can do that, ppl don’t realize how much control they have over their phones. Apple has the control to basically that no you can’t do that. Usually phone makers just have say before they sell the phones to the companies then after the company can pretty much do whatever they want. Not with apple they have control before and after the sale. Now I’m not saying verizon couldn’t find a way to supercede this, but this incident is not unheard of.

      And the line that all apple want is their $700 is not true. They consistently try to control even after the phone has been bought.

      • RogerX says:

        Keep spinning… Facts be damned, your axe needs grinding!

      • Thorzdad says:

        “…but this incident is not unheard of.”

        Care to cite one?

        Apple Has no incentive to deny an upgrade to a 4s. In fact, Apple would prefer everyone be on a 4s. In any case, Apple has already made their money on the hardware by selling it to Verizon. They are out of the loop after that, happily making gravy on app sales. The story the Verizon rep told is just BS meant to push blame for their incompetence onto someone else.

      • jiubreyn says:

        Wrong. A customer’s upgrade eligibility is determined and controlled by the carrier — not Apple. Oftentimes the carrier will refer people back to Apple because they don’t know how to fix the problem or assume that it’s Apple’s fault when it’s actually their own. (I work for Apple.)

  2. scotty321 says:

    That’s actually not true — Apple doesn’t control upgrades, the carriers do.

    Verizon is full of lies against Apple — and they only push Android phones — because they’re scared of Apple making them look irrelevant as the “dumb pipes” that they are. Apple has already made them look irrelevant because consumers have figured out that it’s the phone that matters, not the carrier.

    • incident_man says:

      Couldn’t disagree more with your statement. I could have a brand new shiny Apple iPhone 5000GsTZ with free coffeemaker attachment (extra ridiculous embellishment intended) anytime I would care to go to Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, but I don’t BECAUSE of the CARRIER I do business with. The carrier I deal with offers me so much more than anyone else could and they don’t offer the iPhone. I don’t need an iPhone to feel worthy. The phone I have works great; the carrier I have offers great service, awesome coverage, fast data speeds, and affordable pricing. I’ve tried the big three……no thank you; I’m not switching just for a phone.

  3. wildbill says:

    No, I doubt it’s Apple either. All Apple wants is their $700. It’s Verizon. They don’t do shortened upgrades to iPhones because it takes them too long to recoup the almost $500 they are subsidizing on the phones.

    Cut your losses, pay whatever ETF there is and get the phone you want. Too many people fret and waste their time (time is money you know) over cutting and running. At this point the OP could have been in an iPhone a long time ago.

    I had a data device that was costing me $50 month. I no longer had a solid need anymore (yeah it’s nice to have a hotspot, but I was working from home), so I paid the ETF ($150) and it has been 9 months and I still don’t need the hotspot. Saved myself $300 so far.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “It seems like every time he talks to someone new at Verizon, he gets a different answer.”

    Indecision Is The Key To Flexibility.

  5. theblanconino says:

    this guy clearly doesn’t know how to play CSR roulette. when you get a CSR on the phone who’s willing to give you what you want, you take it. his biggest mistake was thinking that the rubes in the verizon store would acknowledge the note the CSR put on his account. best thing he could do is look up the verizon executive customer service number that’s lurking around here somewhere. i’ve dealt with ECS three times, and each time i got exactly what i wanted overnighted to me. they don’t screw around, they just make their customers happy…the way it should be.

    • scoosdad says:

      The one thing that anyone should learn from reading articles here is that when someone says they’re putting notes in your account, they’re lying. The next time you talk to a different rep about the same thing, it will be like a blank page and you’re starting over again.

      Agreed, his biggest mistake was not taking the phone rep’s offer of a deal and then going into the store. What was that all about?

    • Gehasst says:

      When the CSR approves it and will ship it, let them. It’s super simple to change smart phones on Verizon’s network without ever having to step foot into a store. Only reason I head into the store, is to play with the phones hands on.

      • quail says:

        Agreed. Until a few years ago when I wanted to jump feet first into smart phones, I never once stepped into a phone carrier’s store. Did everything on line. But the smart phone reviews were all so contradictory I needed to get a hands on feel for what I was getting.

    • Sillyheart says:

      The CSR probably did notate the account. Key words there were “corporate Verizon store” indirect retailers can’t view notations for whatever reason and Verizon prefers to use indirect retailers for store front locations so it can get pretty confusing.

  6. JenK says:

    Sorry to say it, but Verizon has you by the reins. You need to stop being their puppet and change companies immediately. And Apple doesn’t control who phones go to…this logistically doesn’t make sense as Verizon should have a stock of IPhones in their warehouse as they would have any other model of phone in their warehouse. Apple doesn’t send out phones on a case by case basis.

  7. Costner says:

    I’m not happy with my Droid X either… I’m on my second one and it is flakey as all heck, and even though I am eligible for an upgrade I’m holding out because frankly I’m not sure I want to be stuck with Verizon for two more years.

    I’ve thought about AT&T, and I’ve even thought about Sprint. It just seems that the big “V” is so incredibly large and complex that you can never get the same answer out of them, and they treat you like a number rather than a customer. Maybe the others are the same… but right now based upon some recent issues I’ve had, I just can’t bring myself to lock in to another contract.

    Maybe Boost mobile or some other pay-as-you-go plan is a better option.

    • ILoveBacon says:

      Don’t go with Boost. I used to have them, and will never do that again. Text messages would take a minimum of 5 minutes to reach me, and in multiple cases took longer than 12 hours. I know from time stamps and people complaining that it took so long for me to respond. I switched to a different phone with the same carrier and had the same issues as before. Data speeds were slower than dial up. Phone calls were in and out even when I was seeing full bars. Never ever ever go to Boost mobile.

      • alulim says:

        When Boost was launched it ran exclusively on Sprint’s “Nextel network”. Great for walkie talkie but terrible for data/text messages. Most phones now run on sprint’s cdma side. Text messaging is as fast as any other carrier and data runs on its 3g evdo network. It’s genrally not as fast as verizon’s 3g and no where near its 4g lte (battery killer).

    • alulim says:

      Pay as you go is a descent alternative. Virgin and Boost run off sprint’s 3g network (except boost phones with “i” in the name) which isn’t bad but not great. You can only use registered phones though. They have some good ones but not anything on the bleeding edge. You’re, however, a second tier customer. Sprint/Nextel customer’s get priority in both voice and data on any given tower. It’s normally not a big deal, I didn’t have any problems when i used them, but it may cause some issues in certain markets or emergency situations.

  8. Thorzdad says:

    We’ve found that talking to a Verizon rep is a coin-toss as to whether you get something close to the truth, or just bs.

    We’ve had far “better” luck with upgrades by doing it online through Verizon’s website. “Better” is in quotes, though, because Verizon has one of the worst corporate website ever made. It almost seems purposely designed to confuse. But, it’s still better than talking to a rep.

    • carlogesualdo says:

      I’ll second that website comment. It’s terrible! How in the heck are you supposed to pick a new phone from that mess?

  9. oldwiz65 says:

    Go to verizon’s executive service, or better yet, get your state’s telecommunications people involved (the ones who regulate phones). Verizon hates it when state people start nagging them.

  10. carlogesualdo says:

    I went through my own Verizon phone hell last month, when my partner’s phone screen cracked. Repeatedly. After the 3rd cracked screen in 2 weeks, we decided to reactivate an old phone while we tried to figure out how to deal with the problem, since having a cracked screen couldn’t POSSIBLY be a manufacturer defect. Reactivating an old phone turned out to be at least a big a problem as the repeating cracked screens. Verizon evidently changed their contract language a bit and changed the plan names slightly – just enough to cause complete confusion. An older, but still perfectly working Palm Treo (don’t laugh – I LOVED that phone) couldn’t be activated for any other reason than I had bought it under Alltel. Not because it couldn’t work with their system, but just because they didn’t feel like it anymore. I finally had them activate the Palm Pre I had just replaced 6 months ago, even though I HATED that phone. I needed something to make calls and send texts and that was the only other phone in my house without a cracked screen besides my Android.

    So the guy on the phone tells me there’s no way I can reactivate that phone unless I agree to a new contract with a capped data plan. “No way,” said I, much preferring to stick with my grandfathered plan leftover from Alltel’s predecessor. This just seemed ridiculous to me, so I took the Palm into the corporate store to discuss my options. The lady in the store was incredibly helpful and was able to reactivate my Palm while explaining the mishap with the new plan names. She told me the phone people are mostly new and don’t know anything about the grandfathered plans leftover from pre-Verizon times.

    Fast forward a week – we finally picked out a different brand of phone to replace the one with the cracked screens (which Verizon still swears we caused – even the one that was cracked right out of the box.) They were at least willing to allow us a substitution, so I was willing to give up fighting for a refund over this issue. The new phone is great, no problems 3 months later.

    But how to deactivate the Palm again? The phone rep can’t do it. At least, not without signing up for a new Verizon contract with a capped data plan. WTH? Well, I know they can fix it in the store, because they’ve been with the company since forever and know everything. Except the first idiot I encountered wouldn’t even talk to me without some slip of paper that he said was supposed to be in the box (it wasn’t, and he didn’t need it). Absolutely refused to even look at my account, just told me I had to go through the phone reps, which I already know doesn’t work unless I agree to unacceptable terms. I don’t know why – it’s not like he had anything else to do. He was holding up a wall with his back when we walked in. Fine.

    So we drove across the city to another corporate store where not one, but two people went out of their way to fix the problem, even though that store was blitzed with customers. It was crazy in there, but we walked out 15 minutes later with the Palm deactivated, a new cover for the new phone, and a smile of victory on my face.

    Take home message: Don’t buy Samsung phones if they’re not smartphones. Also, Verizon doesn’t really want your business and will do everything they can to make any customer-company contact as miserable as possible. At least Sprint just fires you as a customer. Nobody likes it, but at least it’s honest, more or less. Too bad I’m stuck with what I have. Because of the way I travel, Verizon’s the only company available that has coverage in the right spots so I don’t end up having words over all my out-of-area and roaming usage. I envy those of you who can just pick up and change carriers.

    • alulim says:

      Verizon and sprint use a cdma network. All phones are given a prescribed electronic serial number (ESN). You’re altel treo while comptable was probably not in the database. The only way to get it to work would be to “reflash” it with a new esn. It’s done all the time with refurbished phones but is not available at a retail store and can’t be done over the air. As far as reps go, they are commission based. The first one saw there was literally no money to be made in your situation and acted completely out of self interest. Get his name and fire off some emails.

      I absolutely loved my 755p. Had palm been able to finish thier updated os on time they never would launched the stupid pre and still be in bussiness.

  11. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    problem child droid

  12. BigDragon says:

    You lost me at “Since I already pay $200 a month for service now”. This person is insane. That’s more expensive than my utilities each month. That’s more expensive than my car payment, student loans, and gas each month. Why would you spend so much on cell phone service? It’s time to leave Verizon and find a cheaper carrier. $200 a month on cell phone service is insane. There are so many better things that money can buy.

  13. scottd34 says:

    At least he didnt replace a problem android with another android.. i dont know why people think another android will magically work properly…

    • alulim says:

      Android has absolutely nothing to do with situation. It’s like saying your ford broke down after putting shell gas in it and boycotting the gas station. If you’ve had a bad experience it’s probably because you bought a cheap phone or didn’t take the time to figure it out.