Same thing happened to me and my step-dad. Bought phones on July 30th 2019. We bought tablets as well. Verizon told us the same thing!!! And they did have BOGO signs on the wall too is why we asked for the deal. Also told us they were waiving activation because we purchase so much. Not true! First bill showed activation for 4 devices
The retail stores do not charge, and can't waive a fee added automatically by computer later, on the first bill.