My Best Buy and Verizon nightmare experience
Walked into Best Buy (my first mistake) to buy an iPhone 5s because they had a $100 trade-in promotion. First off, if you don’t have an existing account, you have to show them a driver’s license and a social security card. I repeat, a social security card. They don’t just ask you for the number they want to see the actual card. I don’t carry that around with me so of course I had to go home and get it. I should’ve known already that this wasn’t going to end well.
Went back and tried again. They didn’t have the model I wanted so they pre-ordered it for me, but most likely it wasn’t going to come in before the promotion ended, which was the whole point of me going to Best Buy in the first place. I really should’ve just given up at this point. There was something about a rain check in the ad, which I assume would’ve just gotten me the promotion while I waited for the model I wanted to come in. It would’ve been nice if they offered me that option.
Waited until today, the final day of the promotion, to just buy whatever model they had in stock. I just wanted to get this over with by this point. I try to sign up for a new line, but they say I can’t because I had an existing account with Verizon, which was disconnected about 3 weeks ago. They can’t sign me up for a new account. I have to go to a Verizon corporate store if I want to open up a new account or re-open the account that I closed. I really really should have just walked out of there. I really wish I would have.
In my infinite stupidity and optimism, I call up Verizon to get this straightened out. I get redirected numerous times because that’s just what happens when you call customer service of any kind in this country. Just keep on passing the buck. I am resigned to the fact that I have to reopen an account and just have Best Buy add a line. I’m going on 2 hours at this point. (A guy that was there before me was just finishing up getting his new phone, so even when you’re successful in making a purchase, it can take quite a while at Best Buy apparently.) Verizon wants to talk to the Best Buy rep, but the Best Buy rep says that he can’t. He is only allowed to talk with Best Buy’s dealer.
Now this is when things get real good. The Verizon rep finally says that she can re-open the account for me. She says, “do you remember the terms and conditions that you signed up with originally?” I say, “sure whatever.” I mean, who doesn’t memorize all those terms and conditions. Now this is the awesome part. She says something about an activation fee if you cancel an account within 50 days. “Do you agree with the terms of the activation?” I was confused by that last part, so I asked her to explain that again. She says that because I’m re-activating an account within 50 days of closing it, they’re going to charge me an activation fee.
So I would not only get charged an activation fee for re-opening an account, Best Buy was also going to charge me an activation fee for adding a new line. You don’t have to be a mathematician to realize that this deal that I’m taking advantage of is starting to take advantage of me. Now, I’m finally ready to give up. Stubborn ass me is finally giving up. It’s over, right? Nope.
The Verizon rep tells me that I already agreed to the terms of re-activation and that they’re going to have to charge me an activation fee. What? This is absolutely nuts. I cannot believe that this is happening. She talks to a “manager” to see what she can do. She comes back on the line and says that she can waive the activation fee if I buy the iPhone from them. Unreal. Good bye. We’ll see if Verizon actually charges me an activation fee. If they do then I’ll have to call up the credit card company and dispute the charge.
So Verizon was unwilling to waive an activation to get a customer back on a 2 year contract. Now that’s customer service and a sound business move. Good job, Verizon. I can’t really get too upset with the Best Buy employees. Whatever system they have in place in the mobile phone department seems to be the real culprit. In any case, I won’t be going back there anytime soon. Best Buy probably won’t be around much longer anyway.
So many lessons learned.