If only corporate stores existed I would have to drive 60 miles to go to a Verizon store. One of the biggest reason why Verizon is far ahead of at&t where I live because the nearest at&t store of any kind is 60 miles away. People here appreciate that there is Verizon store here even if it's not corporate.
As far as your situation it's been known since June of 2012 that unlimited data customers can only upgrade their phones if they pay full price. Also you bill will tell you exactly how much data you use each month. I can't fathom people not being aware of their data usage.