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Verizon Wirelessfalse sales promo from verizon rep

3-4-11

You hear about telemarketing scams all the time. How unscrupulous callers violate your privacy, calling you in your home to sell you something you probably don’t need or don’t even know exists, and in the end, probably doesn’t really exist. Misrepresenting facts to “get you to sign on the dotted line.“ Typically this occurs from complete strangers, not usually from companies you’re contracted with.

On 3-2-11, a sales representative from VERIZON WIRELESS LOYALTY DEPARTMENT made an unsolicited call to my cell phone to which they have been a service provider to me for about 5 years, to “check on my current plan and make sure that it still meets my needs, go over other plans available, and inform me of any current promotions.” After explaining to me my plan, how many minutes I’ve used on my last statement, how many excess minutes I had, and me telling her I did not wish to make any changes until I researched the iphone4, she told me of a current promotion. She said that in addition to the current $100 off for customer loyalty, that I could receive an additional discount on the new iphone4. When I asked the price, she quoted me $49 for the 16 gig iphone4. I mentioned that I was interested in the one with the most memory, how much would that be? She quoted me $59 for the 32 gig. Well, needless to say this got me interested as I knew they were going for about $200 after the basic discounts. I wanted to call a friend and ask if this was a good deal, but I would have to hang up and she would lose the call. So I asked her if it made a difference if she were the one who signed me up for the deal. She said, “it makes a difference to me!” This indicates that they are on some sort of commission structure. So, being the loyal customer I am, I called my friend on my land line and we agreed that this would be a great deal and I decided to go ahead with it.

I was on the phone with her for about 40 minutes discussing the various plans and options available to me, and on several different occasions asked her to verify the $49 and $59 price for the iphone4 16 and 32 gig respectfully, which she did. After a very long wait while she entered the transaction into their system did she decide to inform me that the sales tax would be charged on the full retail price of the phone which was $749 and the tax for this transaction would be $73.12. Hello SCAM. That is their policy that on special promotions they tax on the full retail price. This is where it gets interesting. When she quoted me the full price, which was going to be on my next bill it was $273. That really doesn’t make sense, $59 + 73.12 = $132.12. It seems that after promising me this loyalty low discounted price, that they were going to charge me the standard $199 + 73.12 sale price. The other selling point that she stressed was that there is a 14 day return policy when purchased via the online store as opposed to 0 when purchased from a brick and mortar store. Had I not realized that I was being SCAMMED, I would have lost my current plan, been stuck to a new 2 year plan, and probably had to pay a restocking fee as she told me that once I changed from my old plan, I could not get it back. I have made several calls back to the number, have learned that there is a recording of the call, was told I would be contacted by a supervisor twice, and have still not heard from anyone.

If the VERIZON LOYALTY DEPARTMENT believes that lying to, wasting an hour of their time, and scamming them back into a contract is a way of showing appreciation to their long term customers, then they really need to re-examine this department or disband it completely. If this is how I’m treated, I’m going elsewhere I advise anyone else considering their service to do the same.


Sincerely,


Robert *******

P.S. It has been almost a week and I have not been contacted by a supervisor.

Responses

  • Wi
    wirelessguy87 Oct 12, 2011

    I hate to be the one to break it to you, but's that is exactly how all discounted cell phone purchases work. The phones themselves have a ridculous retail value. Even a low end "FREE" phone has a retail value of $149.99 to $249.99. The retail prices of phones are drastically over priced, because the carriers want you to think that they're giving you an awesome deal. A smartphone can be anywhere from $399.99 up to $799.99, depending on the model, and how old it is) So, when you are offered a FREE phone, it's not completely free, you still have to pay sales tax on the RETAIL value of a phone. FREE means that they SELL you (or GIVE you as they will say to make it seem free) a phone for which the retail value is $199.99, they charge you $199 + tax, and the give you an instant discount for $199.99. Only, they dont discount the sales tax, so that's what you actually end up paying for a free phone...oh ya, PLUS the ONE TIME ACTIVATION FEE ($25-36 on average)
    The discount that they offer is always for a 1-2 yr service agreement with thier company. You are typically allowed one discounted phone every two years, or until the end of your service agreement. Ironically, they usually offer better deals on phones to new customers, not their loyal ones who have stuck with them for years.
    The best part, is if you dont have insurance (which is sometimes impossible to get them to honor and actually process a claim for you) and God forbid that something happens to your phone before your agreement is up and are due for another "discounted phone", you are stuck paying that ridiculous FULL RETAIL PRICE for a replacement.

    As far as this "completely unconstitutional" $10 data fee on the newer phones, this fee is only mandatory (unless ALL features that require the use of thier data network are blocked and unable to be used). The newer phones have more apps on them now that require a connection to the data network (EVDO, 1X, 3G, 4GLTE). The data portion of thier network is far more advanced, and much more expensive and time consuming to maintain, and repair when neccessary. Also, they invested BILLIONS into it's development to keep up with competition. For instance, picture/video messages use up a certain amount of data usage, and can range from a couple hundred KB's, sometimes up to 1MB, depending on the picture quality. That amount of data can add up very fast if used regularly, so naturally they cant let people use features that require use of that expensive data network without a small fee. Other features that use the data network are mobile web, Get it Now, and any internet related feature. You used to be able to have the choice of paying $5/ month for mobile web, or to have all web usage count against the minutes in your plan.
    I am very familiar with this subject because I worked at a wireless provider for over 10 years, and watched the progression of greed and competition among the wireless carriers. We handled at&t (formerly Pac Bell, then Cingular), Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Nextel. They all follow suit when one company envokes a new policy or fee, they all figure if one of the other major players can do it, so can they. That's why when AT&T comes out with new calling plans, Verizon comes out with new ones as well, no better or cheaper than the ones AT&T had just released. It's a form of legal cost fixing, and should be illegal. Then, you have Sprint/ Nextel- includes Boost mobile, Cricket
    and these other lesser quality carriers, who tend to always have better plans, that seem less expensive, and give you more for your buck. But, just like in with any other product in the world, you get what you pay for. There are reasons why AT&T and Verizon have always remained a little more expensive; you get what you pay for quality and functionality wise, and they have exponentially more towers allowing for better tower placement, and resulting in superior coverage and dropped call ratios.

    Hope some of this helped shed some light on this issue, and the way that the major wireless carriers operate. In my opinion, they can, and will continue to do whatever they want, because they have a product that we have all grown completely dependent on, and we will always pay what they tell us to. Not always willingly and without a fight, but at the end of the day, you need a cell phone, and will pay those ### whatever they see fit.

    Good luck everyone

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