1. rbzane's Avatar
    The day finally arrived... February 20, 2014... The official release of the Nokia Lumia Icon from Verizon!
    I could finally get my questions answered from a Verizon representative regarding upgrade pricing! Well, maybe. I've provided this transcript for you reading pleasure and consideration.


    Representative: Hi there! Welcome to Verizon Wireless Sales Chat, my name is Representative. May I have your name, please?
    Representative: I haven't heard from you in a while. Would you like to continue chatting?
    Rob: Representative, My current phone is eligible for an upgrade. It looks like there is no discount for the Nokia Lumia Icon even if my current phone is eligible for an upgrade. Is that correct?
    Representative: Hi Rob! How are you today? When you are eligible to upgrade, you will be able to have the 2 year contract price on that $549.99 phone. Are you logged in today?
    Rob: Yes, I am logged in today. I understand that but the site says the device will cost $199.99 with 2 year contract and a $30 upgrade fee. This doesn't sound right because if I wasn't upgrading it would actually cost less (no $30 upgrade fee).
    Representative: The $30 upgrade fee is the standard fee that applies anytime a customer gets a new phone at a discounted price. It's similar to an activation fee, only less because you're already a customer.
    Representative: The fee was implemented by Verizon in April of 2012. We were the last of the major carriers to implement the fee and, thankfully, ours is the lowest.
    Representative: You are seeing the discounted pricing that you will be getting with that great phone. The phone is a $549.99 phone that you are getting for $199.99 plus that upgrade fee which makes this possible.
    Rob: I don't think you are understanding my confusion. If a was not a Verizon customer and just walked into your store off the street, the same great phone would cost me $199.99 with 2 year contract. As a Verizon customer, eligible for an upgrade, how am I getting the phone at a discount?
    Representative: I understand what you are saying. When you are a new customer you will also have a $35 activation charge with the phone at the 2 year pricing. The discounted pricing is the 2 year pricing for a new line or upgrade, you would just have the $30 upgrade fee instead of the $35 activation fee that new customers have.
    Rob: So, as a valued Verizon customer for many years, with a phone eligible for an upgrade since I've had it longer than 2 years, I'll save a grand total of $5?
    Representative: I would be happy to go over our trade in program you can get with trading in your old smartphone when upgrading to a great new 4G smartphone.
    Rob: No thank you. Is that a "yes" to my question?
    Representative: Right now you are receiving your discount, plus we do have a promotion code for $50.00 of Nokia Icon that is exclusive for our customers. You would need to start the order with me in order to receive this promo code. How does that sound?
    Rob: It doesn't sound very good to me if you honestly believe $5 is a reasonable discount for a loyal Verizon customer. Thank you for your time.
    Representative: It's not a $5.00 discount, but an extra $50.00 off
    Representative: It would cost you $179.99 today
    Representative: New customers do not receive that pricing, they would be paying $199.99 and a $35.00 activation fee.
    Rob: Ok, now it is a $55 discount, but only because you brought up this $50 promotion code. Where is this promotion mentioned on the Verizon Website?
    Representative: This would be a chat exclusive promotion for our upgrading customers, It's a promo code that is generated during the order by me. Would you like a link to the Nokia Icon to get started?
    Rob: No thank you. I'll purchase my phone elsewhere.
    Representative: When you choose Verizon Wireless you get America's Fastest, Most reliable network.
    Rob: I didn't say I was leaving Verizon. I'm just not buying the Nokia Lumia Icon from Verizon. I just wish Verizon took better care of their customers.
    Representative: When you purchase through a 3rd party you will have a 3rd party contract as well as the Verizon wireless contract. A 3rd party contract can have hidden fees and also can limit what you are able to do when you are in your contract. An example of this could be changing features of your plan during the contract. I would be happy to get that $50 off for you in the order today.
    Representative: I can definitely understand that wanting to save money is important. Here on the sales chats my job is to only deal with Verizon. You may not get as much information about plan changes, phones, policies or be able to ensure it is done the proper way when you go through someone else. I would hate to see you get stuck with a higher than expected bill down the road to save money today. In my opinion piece of mind is worth the extra money for the phone. Would you like to get it done with me today and pay a little extra to ensure you have no headaches in the future?
    Rob: I appreciate your effort today. I'm just not convinced. Thank you.
    Representative: You're welcome! Thank you for being the best part of Verizon Wireless.
    Representative: It has been my pleasure to chat with you today! Please feel free to re-open the chat session if you need further assistance. Thank you and have a great day!
    Representative: Thank you for your business today; I'm glad I was able to help you! At the end of this chat there is an opportunity for you to provide your feedback based on your experience with me today. We would very much appreciate your thoughts.

    Thank you for chatting with Verizon Wireless. Please provide us with your feedback so we may serve you better.

    Based on your most recent Internet chat session with Verizon Wireless, did the last chat representative fully understand and take action to address your needs? *
    No
    Considering your Internet chat session with the last representative, how would you rate their performance? (10 Outstanding, 0 Unacceptable) *
    5
    Verizon Wireless would like to understand how to improve our Chat service. Please take a moment to tell us why you rated Verizon Wireless this way. (Please be as specific and detailed as possible in your answer below.) *
    The Representative's performance was good. Unfortunately, the Verizon pricing policies (no real savings for a loyal customer eligible for an upgrade) had her hands tied. She tried like heck to convince me to buy from Verizon and even upsell me. In the end, it was a lost cause.

    The local Microsoft Store just called to ask what time I'd like to pick up my new Nokia Lumia Icon I pre-ordered earlier this week!
    02-20-2014 01:03 PM
  2. hopmedic's Avatar
    Eligible for upgrade means that you can upgrade your phone, start a new contract period, and get the discounted contract price (the $199). If you were not eligible for upgrade (had your phone a short period of time), you would only be able to get it if you paid the full $549. This is exclusive of the added fees that you find almost everywhere that jack up the price.

    There really is no such thing as a loyalty discount in America, unfortunately. Really, this isn't good business, IMO.
    02-20-2014 02:08 PM
  3. Polychrome's Avatar
    The contract is intended to allow the carrier to subsidize some of the cost of your phone.

    I believe the purpose of the upgrade fee (which a lot of carriers do now) is specifically because of the iPhone, which has been known to have full retail prices as high as $850. And the problem is that a lot of other manufacturers are falling right in line behind them! This is why carriers are starting to try and move away from contract subsidizations (think Verizon's Edge Upgrade), and it's also the reason Windows phones are utterly squishing the competition in some countries where they don't do contract prices. The windows phones tend to be much less expensive. Hopefully as contract prices go away, manufacturer competition will be forced to replace them.
    02-20-2014 04:06 PM
  4. Chris Mooney's Avatar
    This is exactly my situation. I hope I can get that promo code as I will be buying two of the Icon phones.....I'll take what I can get.
    02-21-2014 12:47 AM
  5. falconrap's Avatar
    The day finally arrived... February 20, 2014... The official release of the Nokia Lumia Icon from Verizon!
    I could finally get my questions answered from a Verizon representative regarding upgrade pricing! Well, maybe. I've provided this transcript for you reading pleasure and consideration.


    Representative: Hi there! Welcome to Verizon Wireless Sales Chat, my name is Representative. May I have your name, please?
    Representative: I haven't heard from you in a while. Would you like to continue chatting?
    Rob: Representative, My current phone is eligible for an upgrade. It looks like there is no discount for the Nokia Lumia Icon even if my current phone is eligible for an upgrade. Is that correct?
    Representative: Hi Rob! How are you today? When you are eligible to upgrade, you will be able to have the 2 year contract price on that $549.99 phone. Are you logged in today?
    Rob: Yes, I am logged in today. I understand that but the site says the device will cost $199.99 with 2 year contract and a $30 upgrade fee. This doesn't sound right because if I wasn't upgrading it would actually cost less (no $30 upgrade fee).
    Representative: The $30 upgrade fee is the standard fee that applies anytime a customer gets a new phone at a discounted price. It's similar to an activation fee, only less because you're already a customer.
    Representative: The fee was implemented by Verizon in April of 2012. We were the last of the major carriers to implement the fee and, thankfully, ours is the lowest.
    Representative: You are seeing the discounted pricing that you will be getting with that great phone. The phone is a $549.99 phone that you are getting for $199.99 plus that upgrade fee which makes this possible.
    Rob: I don't think you are understanding my confusion. If a was not a Verizon customer and just walked into your store off the street, the same great phone would cost me $199.99 with 2 year contract. As a Verizon customer, eligible for an upgrade, how am I getting the phone at a discount?
    Representative: I understand what you are saying. When you are a new customer you will also have a $35 activation charge with the phone at the 2 year pricing. The discounted pricing is the 2 year pricing for a new line or upgrade, you would just have the $30 upgrade fee instead of the $35 activation fee that new customers have.
    Rob: So, as a valued Verizon customer for many years, with a phone eligible for an upgrade since I've had it longer than 2 years, I'll save a grand total of $5?
    Representative: I would be happy to go over our trade in program you can get with trading in your old smartphone when upgrading to a great new 4G smartphone.
    Rob: No thank you. Is that a "yes" to my question?
    Representative: Right now you are receiving your discount, plus we do have a promotion code for $50.00 of Nokia Icon that is exclusive for our customers. You would need to start the order with me in order to receive this promo code. How does that sound?
    Rob: It doesn't sound very good to me if you honestly believe $5 is a reasonable discount for a loyal Verizon customer. Thank you for your time.
    Representative: It's not a $5.00 discount, but an extra $50.00 off
    Representative: It would cost you $179.99 today
    Representative: New customers do not receive that pricing, they would be paying $199.99 and a $35.00 activation fee.
    Rob: Ok, now it is a $55 discount, but only because you brought up this $50 promotion code. Where is this promotion mentioned on the Verizon Website?
    Representative: This would be a chat exclusive promotion for our upgrading customers, It's a promo code that is generated during the order by me. Would you like a link to the Nokia Icon to get started?
    Rob: No thank you. I'll purchase my phone elsewhere.
    Representative: When you choose Verizon Wireless you get America's Fastest, Most reliable network.
    Rob: I didn't say I was leaving Verizon. I'm just not buying the Nokia Lumia Icon from Verizon. I just wish Verizon took better care of their customers.
    Representative: When you purchase through a 3rd party you will have a 3rd party contract as well as the Verizon wireless contract. A 3rd party contract can have hidden fees and also can limit what you are able to do when you are in your contract. An example of this could be changing features of your plan during the contract. I would be happy to get that $50 off for you in the order today.
    Representative: I can definitely understand that wanting to save money is important. Here on the sales chats my job is to only deal with Verizon. You may not get as much information about plan changes, phones, policies or be able to ensure it is done the proper way when you go through someone else. I would hate to see you get stuck with a higher than expected bill down the road to save money today. In my opinion piece of mind is worth the extra money for the phone. Would you like to get it done with me today and pay a little extra to ensure you have no headaches in the future?
    Rob: I appreciate your effort today. I'm just not convinced. Thank you.
    Representative: You're welcome! Thank you for being the best part of Verizon Wireless.
    Representative: It has been my pleasure to chat with you today! Please feel free to re-open the chat session if you need further assistance. Thank you and have a great day!
    Representative: Thank you for your business today; I'm glad I was able to help you! At the end of this chat there is an opportunity for you to provide your feedback based on your experience with me today. We would very much appreciate your thoughts.

    Thank you for chatting with Verizon Wireless. Please provide us with your feedback so we may serve you better.

    Based on your most recent Internet chat session with Verizon Wireless, did the last chat representative fully understand and take action to address your needs? *
    No
    Considering your Internet chat session with the last representative, how would you rate their performance? (10 Outstanding, 0 Unacceptable) *
    5
    Verizon Wireless would like to understand how to improve our Chat service. Please take a moment to tell us why you rated Verizon Wireless this way. (Please be as specific and detailed as possible in your answer below.) *
    The Representative's performance was good. Unfortunately, the Verizon pricing policies (no real savings for a loyal customer eligible for an upgrade) had her hands tied. She tried like heck to convince me to buy from Verizon and even upsell me. In the end, it was a lost cause.

    The local Microsoft Store just called to ask what time I'd like to pick up my new Nokia Lumia Icon I pre-ordered earlier this week!
    Your comment feedback at the end was very good. However, you do realize that she did a really good job and you rated her sub-standard which WILL affect her job performance, right? From what some of the reps on this site have said before, they go by the numbers you leave, regardless of why you rated them that way. You should have answered the 2 questions about the reps performance, squarely on her performance, and not the end result. You only punish the rep, despite the fact that she did as good as she could, and you even admitted it in the comments.
    Darkgift likes this.
    02-22-2014 08:49 AM
  6. sticitodaman's Avatar
    It's the same story with ALL the major carriers, nobody knows exactly whats going on half the time. Not the customers, not the sales people, and not the support. You could get a different grand total price if you tried making the same purchase from the same carrier, but at different locations. It's almost as painful as going to a car dealership, which it shouldn't be. However, in this case the support rep did a good job. They told you EXACTLY how it is without giving you the run around. When you weren't happy with the discount he/she even offered you a $50 discount. You didn't agree with Verizons "loyalty" policy but that's not the Reps fault. Next time, DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!
    Darkgift likes this.
    02-22-2014 10:02 AM
  7. Lnin0's Avatar
    US carries have traditionally offered "subsidized" phones in exchange for agreeing to a two year contract. This is why you see $599 phones being offered for $199 and a two year agreement.

    What carriers do not tell you, but do file with the SEC, is that every contract is padded by an estimated $20 to make up for the phones the are giving away for $199. So those "subsidized" phones aren't so much in exchange for you just agreeing to a two year contract. You are actually paying for the phone over those two years in hidden charges.

    So moving to the Edge program, Verizon takes full retail cost of phone, divides by 24 mo. and adds that on top of your monthly contract bill. And, since the hidden $20 padding is not itemized or even spoken of, you rates on the Edge plan also remain the same.

    So you are essentially paying a $20 monthly subsidy fee AND a monthly installment for you Enge phone. Verizon is essentially double dipping but not telling anyone about it.

    When you do want to upgrade you are obliged to pay off half the phones retail cost. Only your installment payments count toward this even though you may have handed Verizon an extra $240 in hidden subsidies over a year.

    On top of this you have to give your phone back to Verizon so you have nothing for$300+ in payments and Verizon has a 12 month old phone to sell or use as a referb.

    The Verge breaks down some of the math better in this article.
    Verizon's Edge phone upgrade plan is the same bad ripoff as AT&T Next | The Verge
    pci2k likes this.
    02-22-2014 10:53 AM
  8. Jeff Webster1's Avatar
    I tend to get annoyed at any program that allows a new customer to receive a benefit that a current customer in good standing can get. My educational background totally supports Verizon's choice, however. The bottom line is better on their end the way it is. This is standard in the industry so there's really no other option short of not using devices/phones. Not likely to happen.
    07-11-2015 09:08 AM
  9. gordonfink's Avatar
    I tend to get annoyed at any program that allows a new customer to receive a benefit that a current customer in good standing can get. My educational background totally supports Verizon's choice, however. The bottom line is better on their end the way it is. This is standard in the industry so there's really no other option short of not using devices/phones. Not likely to happen.
    Use unlocked phones, and don't commit to a contract, is the only other option. I supposed maybe you're doubly hosed, because part of your bill subsidizes other people's phones, but at least you're free to split anytime you want.
    07-11-2015 11:20 AM

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