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Filed with the BBB

Thank you for taking the time to review this complaint.   I apologize for the length.  Part of the issues have actually already been resolved (after much wasted time on my part).  These previous issues are included for two reasons - 1) to show Verizon's history of misleading, if not illegal behavior  2) to let their behavior be on record since I am clearly not the only customer affected, as is evidenced on their website's Community Forum.
 
I was with Verizon for 6 years or so,  but switched to another carrier since I was paying high rates for the small amount of cell service / data I actually use.  Unfortunately my cell service with the new carrier wasn't very good and I was looking into other carriers  when I saw an on-line offer for Verizon rebates.  I  figured the rebate money would help make up for Verizon's higher cost, but switching back has been a horrendous nightmare.  I've been misled / lied to about my (then) existing phones, had a crazy amount of billing issues and now they are saying the rebates I was promised by the store are "ineligible" and I have not been able to get them to resolve this issue. 
 
 
 
BACKGROUND
 
 
Issues marked  "*" were also posted by other members on the Verizon Community Forum. 
 
On Friday, 5.31.19,  I went to the Verizon Corporate store on Polaris Parkway, Lewis Center, Ohio to get SIM cards for my  recently purchased iPhone SEs to switch my service back to Verizon. 
 
At the store I was told that due to Verizon's upgrade to 5G service, my iPhone SEs  would no longer operate at the end of the year*, offered $500 in rebates (as I had seen advertised on-line for switching back and bringing my own phones) and also "free phones" (in exchange for trading in my SEs, and if you stay with Verizon two years, they make the monthly payment).  
 
The rep (Anthony) then switched the amount too $466.  (Two "Switch Back" rebates of $200 each plus $66.)  I was told that they couldn't do the "Bring Your Own Device" rebate since I was going to need to get newer phones (the SE is actually a newer model than the 6S), but that I did qualify for the $400 Switch Back to Verizon rebate.  The manager on duty was also involved.
 
I was sold iPhone 6ses which are much larger than the iPhone SEs that I traded in and I was not happy about the deal, but felt like I didn't really have another choice.  I was also charged an activation fee of $40 plus tax, which made me even less happy, but the whole process took 3.5 hours and I just wanted to be done.
 
When I returned home, I found out my first bill was also going to include two more "activation" fees and also *a $13+  "Protection Plan" added on one of my lines which I did NOT authorize.   I called customer service and got what they said was the "Upgrade Fee" that I had paid and the two $40 Activation Fees waived - they were supposed to be paying me to switch back, but this turned into a reoccurring issue.
 
 
On Monday, June 3rd, I went back to the store to return the iPhone 6ses that I had been sold.  This was due to terrible cell service, the billing issue, and reading on-line that the rebate I was told to claim wouldn't apply to the 6ses I was sold.   I waited 45 minutes to talk to a rep (Austin) who traded out my SIM cards for me, told me if I continued to have trouble then they would exchange the phone and *also assured me the rebates would be honored and I would get the $466 I was promised.  I agreed to keep the phones and sent my in my SEs as trades. 
 
I never heard back from Austin, but finally another rep (Kalup) sent me a text explaining that taxes, etc., had eaten up the $66, but acknowledging the rebates I was to receive.
 
 
 * On June 19th, I received e-mails from Verizon telling me that my trade-ins weren't "as expected" (?!?) and I would be billed for the difference.  The rep had the phones , serial numbers and IMEI information the day I spent 3.5 hours there.   They were the same phones I sent back.  He had accidentally listed one as a 32GB when it was a 64GB and they still tried to bill me additional funds.   That meant time on the phone again with customer service, continually dealing with dropped calls, poor reception and explaining everything all over again.   I also finally got the $13 Protection Plan taken off my bill.  
 
 
After another week of horrible cell service, I took my main phone back to the Verizon store to exchange it.  The rep wasn't going to exchange it until I threatened to take the issue to the Attorney General as the phone had never worked right and I was told it would be exchanged (It was exactly one week old and the issues had already been documented - not to mention it was brand new an still under warranty!) .  He refused to exchange the phone from the store stock and told me I would be sent a replacement.  I didn't realize until after I received the replacement phone that it wasn't a new phone, but something Verizon calls a "cleaner", a refurbished device.  I was going to keep it and be done (but even less happy with Verizon) until I had issues with the "home button".    I requested a new phone like the one I purchased and am paying for, but I was told since the rep sent me out a "cleaner" that it couldn't be replaced with a new phone.  They sent me another "cleaner" that only has 84% battery life and no warranty since it's used.  At least the home button works properly.
 
 
During the process of setting up replacement phones, I realized that my back-up phone / 2nd line was not able to receive calls.  It turns out that Verizon never completed the porting process (the transfer of my phone from my previous carrier).  I had to call my previous carrier, have the phone re-activated and then call Verizon to have the port completed so I could use my phone.   This resulted in Verizon resurrecting my former account , charging me $4+ and another call to customer service to have the charge credited.  They seem to bill at random and hope people will pay and not complain.
 
 
Somehow Verizon decided that my trade-in phone was still not what they gave me credit for and started billing me $10 a month on my main number (instead of it being "free").   After an hour and a half on the phone was given a billing credit on my account to cover the additional amount I will have to pay for the next two years. 
 
 
I was still being told the SEs  wouldn't work at the end of the year even though by now a lady I know bought a new SE at the Apple Store and was using it on Verizon.  I advised her what Verizon had told me about the SEs not working at the end of the year, but her son, who invests in tech stocks for a living, laughed and said that was a lie.
 
I decided to get some answers, so I went to Verizon's Community Site.  I finally got an answer back from an actual Verizon employee (Erica G) stating that the iPhone SEs will indeed still work on Verizon's upgraded network.   I was also given some sort of billing credit (compensation? for my SEs?) with no explanation / further communication from Verizon.
 
 
* Verizon keeps checking my credit and sending me notices saying someone is checking for upgrade eligibility. (?) Not me.  I actually froze my credit so they can't do anything else.
 
 
*July 28th, eight weeks after my original submissions, I received e-mails telling me my "Switch Back Rebates" (which should have been BYOD Rebates) are "Invalid".    I have re-submitted, "chatted", and complained on-line.  I have given them more than enough time to review the information.   Apparently this is the second time I was misinformed / lied to in the name of making sales quotas.  This has to stop.  As noted above,  I am not the only person who has had this issue.  There are several of us who posted on Verizon's Community forum and I would say there are likely a lot of people who go away quietly because they keep getting blown off by Verizon and they just give up.
 
 
IN SUMMARY
 
Switching back to Verizon has cost me countless HOURS of wasted time that I did not have to spend dealing with cell phone issues; not to mention I lost money on the trade-in deal - not only on the phones, but on screen savers and cases as well.    Basically Verizon entices customers with promises of rebates they have no intention of actually letting the customer have - they just eat them back up in taxes, "activation fees",  "upgrade fees" and protection plans that may not get removed right away...   Not good business, not ethical and it may be hard to prove, but it's looking more and more like a deliberate scam.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION
 
How can Verizon resolve this for me?   
 
I want to return the iPhone 6Ses I was sold under false pretenses and the contracts on them cancelled (with no further / future chargebacks / billing issues).  In turn I will use the money from my billing credits to again purchase iPhone SEs.
 
I also want the "Switch Back Rebates" I was promised (even though I agreed to the lesser amount of $200 each, instead of the "Bring Your Own Device Rebates" which I would have qualified for if I had not been "misled" / lied to about my SEs not working at the end of the year.    
 
 
 
Thank you again for your time in addressing these issues for me.  I have neither the time nor the desire to take anything away from Verizon that they did not either offer to me or take from me through false pretenses.  I only want this situation rectified and for them not to continue to mislead / deceive people who thought they could be trusted.
 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
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Re: Filed with the BBB

Expert

Why didn't you add this to one of your other discussion threads instead of creating a new one? It makes it hard to follow the issues through to the resolution. 

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Filed with the BBB

Expert
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