The Cost of the Verizon iPhone

This is a guest post written by my assistant, Kat Armstrong.

Earlier today, I happened to read a post on the Business Insider. The article discussed the fact that Verizon is ending its credit program for current customers. Up until January 16th, current customers can receive a $100.00 credit towards a new phone if they renew their contract when their two-year period is up. Theoretically, this means that they could apply that credit towards an iPhone and have it cost only $99.00. But is that actually true?

A few moments ago, I was chatting with a regular community member named Carlton Pecot. Carlton is a long-time Verizon customer who happens to have a contract coming up for renewal. Like many of you, he is excited at the prospect of owning an iPhone at long last. He called Verizon today to ask about pricing and such, so that he and his girlfriend (they are on a shared plan) can make their final decisions about the handset.

Needless to say, Carlton is extremely upset after speaking with a rep at great length. He was told more than once that he can not receive any special pricing or discounts when upgrading to an iPhone. The Verizon rep informed our friend that the $299 pricing ONLY applies to NEW CONTRACT CUSTOMERS. Carlton was told that current customers who upgrade to the new iPhone will have to pay $499 – even if they sign a new two-year contract.

This is in direct contrast to what is being said on numerous blogs and websites right now, and it’s frankly quite disturbing. Is this rep completely out of the loop and circulating somewhere in outer space? It’s impossible to know for sure, and I have a feeling that’s the way it will be spun. However, Carlton made sure to ask more than once for the rep to verify what he had said regarding the actual cost of the Verizon iPhone for current customers.

On the Verizon site, it specifically states that “When purchasing iPhone at the 2 year promotional price a new agreement is required. However, you will also have the option to purchase iPhone at full retail price, which will not require you to sign a long-term agreement.” That makes it sound as though current customers who sign a new two-year contract can take advantage of the promotional price. That is not what was told to Carlton, though… repeatedly.

If this is true, it stinks to high Heaven. If a current customer in good standing is up for renewal, they should get the same pricing on phones as someone who starts a new contract… just as we do on AT&T. This smacks of trying to gouge more money out of good people (loyal customers!) who have been impatiently waiting to renew until they could get an iPhone.

In my opinion, this shouldn’t be about new customers. It should be about new contracts. A “renewed” contract IS a new contract, folks. Why are existing customers being treated differently than new ones?

What are your thoughts? Could this particular rep have everything completely wrong, or is something not quite right here?

Update

As I said earlier in this post, it’s entirely possible that this lone rep is seriously misguided. Where, though, did they get the information they were tossing out to their customer? It had to come from somewhere! One of Chris’ Twitter followers said that he was given opposite information today by Verizon, with them telling him he can use his “New Every Two” credit towards the iPhone.

I still maintain that something smells fishy here, folks. It could be that not every Verizon employee has the proper information. That itself is a problem in and of itself. Whatever the case may be, someone needs to figure out what they’re doing and pass those important facts along to all of their reps.