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.

7 thoughts on “The Cost of the Verizon iPhone”

  1. WOW, nothing but lies. The FAQ on Verizon’s website clearly talks about upgrading customers and the $199 price.

  2. If that’s true then Verizon is making a serious mistake. Now on Verizon’s website in the FAQ’s it says,”. existing customers will be able to take advantage of their New Every Two credit if eligible, and use it towards the purchase of iPhone (may not be available at all agent locations)”. So them all of sudden backing out of that would be a wrong on many levels

    Now in a statement according to the Examiner that was just posted a few hours ago (after the phone call with the Verizon Rep I’m willing to wager) “current subscribers will still get a “New Every Two” credit after that date (January 16, 2011). That, however, will be the end of it for current subscribers.”

    So Verizon is reshaping their policy just before the sale of the phone.

    Over the coarse of the next year Verizon is set to make so much money from not just the sale of Iphones, but the data usage as well. They’ll recoup any money from a discount after just a few months of service. Verizon is starting off on the wrong foot. Hopefully with enough out cry they’ll change their tune again.

  3. Chris;

    I chatted with a Verizon customer service rep the day the Iphone was announced. When I returned my new droid phone, “without me asking” She stated, ” Jim, the great thing about your service here with us is that you have a $30.00 upgrade credit you can you towards the purchase of an Iphone.” “Would you like me to add your number to our caller list to get you set up on one on the 3rd?” I replied, “HELL YES!!”

  4. I guess we’ll just have to wait until February 3rd to find out. But I don’t think Verizon is going to make you pay more then a new Verizon customer.

  5. This is why I stick to my TracFone for 5+ years. Very simple and minus all the BS people are spouting about the new iPhone on verizon.

    If I was going to get a new phone and up grade to one of those “smartphones” I would really look into getting one of those LG Optimus 2X that features the world’s first mobile dual core CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GPU, and a 1080p video processor for recording and playback of full HD video.

    Does the the new iPhone on Verizon have all that? No, I think not. So, the Big Rush” and “Big Hoopla” to me, again too me, is just a bunch of something about really nothing. My GOD we got so more selections of “smartphones” coming out of CES.

    Good blog post article Kat, Thank you! for keeping us informed.

    “Observing & Reporting” you can follow @FiremanRich on Twitter. Be Fire Safe, Be Fire Wise, Learn Not To Burn!

    Ciao For Now!
    Peace : )

  6. I have been a verizon customer for a long time and this has always been the case. The promotional pricing is often only offered for new customers, HOWEVER!… there is a way around this. A few years back I found myself on the phone with one of their technical support people getting help with a windows mobile phone I had back then. They had just come out with a newer generation and I was anxious to get it but.. same story. So I mentioned in passing to this tech support person that I would LOVE to get the new phone but I wasn’t eligible. That person was able to get it for me.

    Also if you are not married to your number, a rep in one of their stores had told me that you can do it that way. You cancel your current plan (or let it expire) and then you can sign up as a new customer, but that of course means you get a new phone number!

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