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$500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Miembro

Hola,

For some reason, my previous posting now says it is an unauthorized one and it cannot be accessed. I'm posting about a case of my girlfriend who upgraded to iPhone 5S 32G ($299.99+26.62) on December 23, 2013 with the 2-yr contract and had to cancel on January 7, 2014 since she had to leave the country. It would have been nicer if the cancellation was within 14 days, then she could simply cancel the contract and return the device without the early termination fee $350. Unfortunately, it was not the case, and she had to pay the early termination fee $350, the upgrade fee $35, and the amount for the last month usage. Everything was paid off as the terms and clauses said, and until that time, everything was fine: paid the gross amount of $299.99+26.62+350+35+more unfortunately, but kept the phone at least.

The bad story came today via an email from Rosee (eliminado) (Customercare@Stayconnectedwireless.com), a person from Collections Department of stayconnectedwireless.com, saying that my girlfriend will be charged the sum amount of $500 due to terminating your Verizon wireless account without returning the equipment to the store. What??? She looked at T&C very carefully before the unfortunate early termination and paid all the huge amount of fees Verizon described in its T&C for termination. The early termination fee is usually considered to account for the discount you get with the 2-yr contract. At the time of early termination, Verizon either wants the device back or the early termination fee paid, not both. Since my girlfriend already paid off all the fees, the email sounded totally weird. What will be your reaction if you paid $299.99+26.62+350+35+more which is about the full retail price and the store says you have to return the device or pay $500 more?

I had to search over the web to figure out what happened.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-2

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-4

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-5

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-6

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-8

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-9

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-10

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verizon-wireless-stay-connected-new-york-11

I understand how much anger this person Glenn P. had for these "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless" stores that are seemingly genuine Verizon Wireless stores but just premium retailers unless you look at the signboard very very very carefully. In fact, I could realize the fact today since they pretended to be genuine from many aspects. Now after reading the posting and thinking, what happened becomes very clear to me. They are not genuine Verizon Wireless but pretend to be the one, and they put a disgusting term on their receipts: if any 2-yr upgrade or new activation is cancelled within 7 months of contract, there is a $500 equipment termination fee unless the device is returned to the store in perfect condition. What this term essentially forces is, if you terminate between 14 days and 7 months, you pay all the phone price and the early termination fee properly, but you also need to return the device to this disgusting "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless" retail store or pay $500 to the "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless" retail store.

I would like to suggest a few things.

0. Look at the store names and the receipts very carefully. There are stores that are seemingly Verizon Wireless but just retailers. And the receipt may say something absurd. I believe this term is a sort of duplicate penalty (thus not legitimate) that rips off more than the retail price of the phone.

1. Do upgrade or activation from the genuine VERIZON WIRELESS. If you upgrade or activate a phone from these "STAY CONNECTED VERIZON WIRELESS" retailers and if you happen to cancel the contract between 14 days and 7 months, you have to lose your phone or pay additional $500 even if you paid off the already-huge $299.99+26.62+350+35 which is about the full retail price.

2. Verizon Wireless, I believe the company, as an influential company in the US, should carefully control the dealer quality and impose reasonable T&C for the dealer. The genuine Verizon Wireless is reasonable in that sense: either take the device back or charge the early termination fee. However, this unethical retailer does not. They first pretend to be the genuine store in many ways, put an unreasonable (perhaps not legitimate) term with small letters on their receipts without explaining the huge difference, and try to take your PAID phone away if the contract is terminated between 14 days and 7 months. I believe a reasonable T&C has to be enforced by Verizon Wireless for this retailer, or they have to be punished if they resist.

I may have to be ripped off $500 for not paying too much attention on the store name and on the receipt term which nobody will read by trust on Verizon Wireless, but no other people should suffer from the same pain.

How do you think? Thanks for any input from people or Verizon Wireless representatives.

Private info removed as required by the Terms of Service.

Message was edited by: Admin Moderator

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Community Manager
Community Manager

@jh.jeon,

I'm so sorry to hear that your girlfriend had to cancel her account with VZW! She will definitely be missed.

Please keep in mind that when purchasing or upgrading at a 3rd party dealer they may have their own promotions which require separate or different agreement then with VZW. You will need to contact them for additional information regarding the agreement your girl friend signed with them when she upgraded.

With VZW if you cancel you are responsible for the cancellation fee and any pending balance on the bill. You are not required to return the phone.

I apologize for all the inconvenience this situation has caused.

JohnB_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Líder Sénior

There's always extra fees or what call hidden fees when you go to third party Retail Store instead of a Corporate)  they have follow Guide-Lines set by Verizon to follow but they can also apply and early Termination fee of there own to cover there cost in such a way.. If you look really close that is if the price labels are visible & are out in the open they're higher at the third party stores I've seen this when visiting our Local Radio Shack, say your wanting to buy a Moto X it may be $200 more buying it from R.S. than it would be a the Corporate level Stores.. So you have to be on your game when you go into one of these places or they'll take ya..

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Community Manager
Community Manager

@jh.jeon,

I'm so sorry to hear that your girlfriend had to cancel her account with VZW! She will definitely be missed.

Please keep in mind that when purchasing or upgrading at a 3rd party dealer they may have their own promotions which require separate or different agreement then with VZW. You will need to contact them for additional information regarding the agreement your girl friend signed with them when she upgraded.

With VZW if you cancel you are responsible for the cancellation fee and any pending balance on the bill. You are not required to return the phone.

I apologize for all the inconvenience this situation has caused.

JohnB_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

View solution in original post

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Community Manager
Community Manager

B33, we want jh.jeon to be well informed about any fees when upgrading equipment. All disclosures regarding the Early Termination Fee, return policy, and Customer Agreement are available online at our website too. Just click http://vz.to/18odyHz for details.

LasinaH_VZW
Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Líder Sénior

Absolutely my thought's as well) was sadden to hear how in this case the customer was charged. as they were that's not good business..

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Miembro

Hola,

Thanks for answering. My posting had been blocked for some time, so I thought Verizon simply did not like the posting. Now I discovered this posting was re-opened.

To clarify, I have been using Verizon for 7 years, and I'm well aware of all the Verizon charges, fees, and T&C in the process of properly upgrading phones multiple times. The point is that, the retail store "STAY CONNECTED VERIZON WIRELESS" in NY has deceptive signboard and interior that are sufficient to enforce or confuse customers to believe the store is a genuine Verizon Wireless. And, they inserted unreasonable and unacceptable term on the receipt about the termination (very problematic between 14 days and 7 months). However, they did not notify at all about those (3rd party and termination). If I knew the store was 3rd party, I would have read T&C very closely. Actually, you can see that all the angry yelp reviews by Glenn P. also point out the deceptive signboard part. The person also thought the store was genuine Verizon Wireless until the collection department contacted for the astonishing $500. Later, basically they softly threaten to report for a negative record if you do not return the PAID phone or pay the extra $500.

Apart from the deceptive signboard and interior, I want to simplify the example for the unreasonable T&C as follows. As a customer, I paid for the discounted phone price $299.99+tax, the upgrade fee $35, and the early termination fee $350. At that point, the genuine Verizon Wireless does not take the phone away and all the business is done since the early termination fee compensates the discount. When the weird retail store kicks in, they suddenly require the phone back or $500 equipment termination fee paid because the termination was between 14 days and 7 months from the contract. I don't think they truly have a legal right or basis to do that since it is a duplicate penalty which is also very excessive, but I just respected the one ugly sentence on the receipt about the unreasonable $500 equipment termination fee. Anyway, the full retail price is $749, and the total payment with this retail store became easily more than $1,200 or I have to return the PAID phone (~$700) to them. What an easy business from their sides! I believe Verizon Wireless, once you know about this unethical retail store, you should take a proper action. I would understand a bit more about special T&C if they provided special discounts as Best Buy or Walmart, but the discounted price was exactly same with Verizon Wireless. Is there any justification about the $500 equipment termination fee? Possibly you can have $100 or so to minimize the damage as a 3rd-party store, but not $500.

When I contacted the collection department of stayconnectionwireless.com, the person tried to justify $500, but I just told one thing: I know the genuine Verizon Wireless does not charge the weird equipment termination fee once the early termination fee $350 is paid. The person became silent after my comments because I knew Verizon's T&C very well. However, I had to pay $500 to avoid all the potential legal issues. Normally the good way to deal with this should be to pay first and take wrong things back.

My first expectation was that, Verizon Wireless would take a reasonable response on my posting. However, two postings on this Verizon forum were immediately blocked, so I had to file a complaint on FCC (Federal Communications Commision) about "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless". I don't know how much legal obligation they can impose, though.

Now, since you re-opened my posting and replied, if your company situation allows, I hope Verizon Wireless can investigate this retail store's T&C and advise not to do that. They might be the only store that excessively charges such fees as authorized 3rd-party dealers. If they resist and if I'm one of the board member in Verizon Wireless, I would control the quality of authorized 3rd-party retail stores and take proper actions to retain Verizon's credibility. I don't know whether Verizon Wireless will do that.

Please contact me if more information is needed. Gracias.

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Miembro

also, by the way, I could see an answer for the other posting. The answer was

We definitely want to clear up this confusion; I know it's important for your girlfrien to receive an accurate bill and that is certainly a top priority of ours as well. There are many factors we need to review that are impacting this disconnect and the overall fees. Please have her contact us directly so we can review her account and clarify all the charges.

However, the posting is locked, and I cannot answer. She is already out of the country, so I paid for all the charges. You can contact me if needed. Also, to clarify, the billing with Verizon Wireless was perfect. Simply, the retail store "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless" demands something insane. I just wanted some actions from Verizon Wireless as a company that authorized the retail store "Stay Connected Verizon Wireless" to deal with Verizon products.

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Sr. Member

Just out of curiosity, did they say if you would get your purchase price back if you returned the phone? I ask because it seems like the $500 is the difference between the subsidized pricing or full price.  Doesn't seem fair you would have to pay $500 AND return the phone, basically forcing you to pay full price for a device they would then turn around and sell to someone else.  Bad deal all around.  I hope you are able to get things resolved.

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Miembro

Thanks for the answer.

Yes, you are correct. If I knew the store is 3rd-party, I would first avoid and then read T&C more closely. But the store signboard and interior were very deceptive to confuse people.

In general, unless it is a very nice deal from a credible dealer (I think Best Buy was at least okay), you should better to deal directly with the genuine Verizon Wireless.

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Re: $500 equipment termination fee after paying $350 early termination fee?

Sr. Member

Verizon should be monitoring the activity and policies of their third-party stores, and pull the franchise if policy is not in the best interests of the customers, because a situation like this doesn't reflect as badly on the store as it does Verizon.  Basically as if the right hand has no idea (or desire to know) what the left hand is doing.  It's Verizon's job to ensure quality of service in these reseller stores, not the customer's.