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Just finished a couple of really frustrating phone calls with Verizon Wireless. I’m interested in buying the Motorola Q Smartphone, but I’m not interested in paying the full retail $419 price for it (new activations get the Q for $199). I want some kind of discount/credit for being a good customer, and being willing to extend my contract another two years.
The girl at the first store I called said that she would not sell me the Q at all. According to her, it’s Verizon policy that the Q be sold to only new customers, and customers who have finished a two year contract. I verified with her that they would not sell it to me at all, even at full retail ($419) price, and she said yes. I asked her if she was saying that they would not take my money, and she said yes. Un-flipping believeable. She stated clearly that she would sell me any other phone at full retail, but not the Q. I guess Verizon Wireless is rolling in money, and they don’t need to take mine. I explained that I would be blogging this fact, and she replied “OK”.
I called another store, and found someone who would sell me the Q, but only at full retail. I told him I was willing to re-extend my contract for another two years (I’m about 8 months in to my current contract), in exchange for some kind of discount. I don’t expect the new customer price of $199 but I do expect some kind of discount for the fact that I’ve been a good customer for 8 months, I have two phone lines and pay $45/month for EVDO data access (total of about $120/month), and was willing to extend my contract for another two years. He insisted I pay the full retail price of $419, or wait until September 2007, when I’m supposedly eligible for a whopping $100 discount under their “New Every Two” program *chortle*. Sure, I’m going to wait a year to pay you $319 instead of $419.
So, if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer, or are thinking about becoming one, you had better like the phone you get when you first sign up, because they’ll bend you over if you ever want to upgrade.
I bought a $600 premium phone (Samsung i730 Windows Mobile phone), signed a two year contract, pay their outrageous EVDO fees, and even bought a phone for my wife and added a line, and this is how I’m treated. Nice. I told the guy that I’d be taking my money elsewhere, but this was a mostly empty threat, because they’d hit me with the old $175 cancellation fee, and I don’t know who I’d switch to, because they’re all pretty much the same, policy-wise. I switched to Verizon because of their fast EVDO access. Sprint is the only other carrier that offers EVDO, but they have a much smaller selection of Smartphones and PDA phones, and their EVDO coverage is not as wide as Verizon’s. T-Mobile and Cingular have EDGE for wireless data, but that tops out at about 120Kbps, and I just don’t want to go back to something so slow. I use my phone far more for data (email, web, etc.) than I do for voice. That’s why I wanted EVDO in the first place.
I guess I’m just venting. It’s so frustrating! The cell carriers get us locked into contracts, and then don’t do a thing to try to keep us as happy customers. They figure that they own us. And led by the EVDO ring in my nose, I can’t work up the guts to do anything more that make a blustery post on my blog about how much it all sucks. *sigh* What a wimp…