So for the last year and a half I've had a cell phone with Verizon -- for the most part it was a great phone...I had reception in places where I couldn't get it before and next to no dropped calls. So for the last week, the reception turned to crap only in my neighborhood. So I go to the store and ask if there's anything I can do about it. They sell me a new antenna (as the ones on this phone break all the time). They said my phone was out of warranty so repairing it would not be an option. I called customer care (thanks to advice from the post linked above) and the rep was great. I told him I would be more than happy to get a NEW phone but since I was still under a 2 year agreement (only 5 months away from the end of it), I'd have to pay FULL RETAIL PRICE for a new phone which would run at least $250 (money I don't have). The rep WANTED to get me an "early upgrade" since I was only 5 months shy of being eligible for one. He asked TWO supervisors who not only said no but also put a note on the account saying NO EARLY UPGRADES. I'm not completely mad at this point but I ask the rep what could he do since my problem has yet to be solved. He offers to give me a $50 credit for an "Out of Warranty Exchange" where I'd get the same model phone that normally costs $50. Cool I think -- I go to the store and get a new one. They test it, I'm happy and I leave the store but alas, the fat lady hasn't sung yet...
I try to make a call (three blocks from the store!!) and the phone goes postal. No reception at all. *Grr* I have to go to work at this point, disgruntled, I hope it goes away after work. It doesn't the phone will NOT work. I call it, it doesn't ring, I leave a voicemail, the phone just sits there. I place calls, it never connects. Annoyed, I go back to the store -- the guys give me a look like "you're here again?" I don't even get angry, I simply show them the phone and its inability to place calls. They give me another one and everything works fine.
Granted I got what I needed (a phone that works)...I don't think any of this would have happened in the first place if their rules regarding two-year contracts weren't so rigid. Oddly enough, a customer at the next counter had already done one swap due to a defective phone and had the same defect happen in the same phone (also under a 2 year agreement). I asked the girl if I get into this situation again, what are the odds I'd get an early upgrade. She said I'd have to swap out a phone at least 4 or 5 times. FOUR OR FIVE TIMES?!?! I told her whem my contract ends, I'm really not sure if I'd even stay with Verizon anymore given what I've been through over the last thee days. I would have been more than happy to get a new phone (at promotional price) and renew my contract.
Okay, so what's the point of this post? If you go with Verizon, two-year agreements bite you in the ass because:
- A phone that isn't top of the line will more than likely give you one year of good use
- Once that year is up, the phone is out of warranty and will be a bear to get repaired
- Verizon is VERY rigid about honoring their agreements -- they'd probably rather honor their agreement than satisfy a customer -- I understand the importance of honoring a contract but things happen and since I was more than half-way through my contract, I don't think it was fair that they not only said no, they made a note on my account preventing from doing so should something go wrong again.
That said, keep that in mind when you look for a new cell phone.