We’re a Verizon family. Been one for years actually. Though I have a feeling this family’s about to break up.
See, we currently belong to the triple play which includes Verizon FIOS TV, Internet and phone service. While the FIOS customer service has been pretty much less than awful since we moved into our new home (For a service call, they showed up 7 hours late, after horrific communication all day and eventually having us reschedule the appointment… only to have the technician show up at the house 15 minutes later.), I do enjoy the service itself.
Granted, the Verizon Fios Twitter and Facebook team were on the ball. They followed up and helped keep me semi-sane. It’s the phone and online service that was terrible. In the end, we got our problem fixed and I was credited $50 for my troubles. A far cry from losing an entire day of work, but at least it’s something.
But besides having the triple play, we’ve had Verizon Wireless for a real long time. Probably close to 10 years I’d say. That’s pretty loyal, right?
So how does a company, a huge mega company like Verizon, reward a super loyal customer like myself? A customer who basically has a Quadruple Play of their service (oh and both my wife and I use Verizon Wireless for our phones, so it’s a family plan too)? Yeah, they want me to pay a completely bogus $30 just for the sheer privilege of upgrading my phone.
A what what now?
Here’s the story: Allie has an iPhone 4 that’s a serious pain to use. Her home button doesn’t work, so she downloaded an app that gives a virtual home button. It works but it’s super annoying. Her contract, according to Verizon Wireless is “Eligible for a discount now!” Her 2-year contract is now on a month-to-month contract.
So I figured I’d take a look and see if I can get her a new iPhone for free or super cheap. I was happy to see I could get her a total replacement iPhone 4 for just 99 cents! Except it’s an 8GB, and she has a 16GB. Okay, so I looked at the iPhone 4S and they offer a 16GB for $49. 99. Considering that I can trade in her old iPhone for credit at Verizon, I figure that’s a pretty good deal. Even if I get only like $25 for it, that means she gets a new iPhone 4S for just $25. Not bad, right?
Take a look at the screenshot below. In particular, that TINY text right below the ADD TO CART button. Yeah, it says “Upgrade Fee $30.00”
That has to be a fee for people who haven’t completed their 2-year contract, right? Right? That’s what you’d think. Or I thought. Until I spent 15 minutes talking to Verizon Wireless’ customer service only to find out that even after completing your 2-year contract, you have to pay that completely bogus $30 fee to upgrade your device.
So basically, to get a new phone at a discounted price, I not only have to finish my 2-year contract and then renew for another 2 years, but I also have to pay an additional $30 on top of the fee for the new phone.
To put this simply, Verizon Wireless is rewarding its LOYAL CUSTOMERS by charging them $30 for the ability to have access to their service. I’m so disgusted by this, that I am seriously looking around to change providers. Think about it, at a minimum that’s FOUR YEARS of loyal service (2 years of a completed contract and signing on for another 2 years), and they want us to pay $30.
I have two cell phones and an iPad on the Verizon Wireless network. Not to mention the Triple Play at home. That’s pretty big customer loyalty. Take a look at your Verizon bill and you’ll see a gazillion ludicrous extra fees and taxes. Not to mention the already pretty expensive monthly fees for phone and data services (which cost the company a fraction of what we pay). Yet they still feel the need to milk us, the consumers, for ANOTHER $30?
This fee is not just unnecessary, it’s insulting.
I don’t want to hear that other companies like AT&T do it as well. In fact, for that very reason alone, Verizon Wireless should NOT offer it, showing that they truly do care about their customers and aren’t trying to squeeze them for every penny possible.
It’s high time we stood up to these companies and refused to just pay every stupid, ludicrous fee they throw our way, all in the name of upgrading our phones. I for one, will not be paying an unnecessary $30 to upgrade Allie’s phone. Heck, even the $49.99 is a bit much considering it’s an older phone and I’m willing to sign a 2-year contract to stay on with Verizon Wireless.
As tech geeks, we might be enjoying our smart phones, but as consumers, Verizon is treating us like idiots.
Photo credit: iDownloadBlog
Are you happy with your cell phone provider?
I’d love any suggestions in terms of who I should switch to since I’m beyond fed up with Verizon Wireless!