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  1.    #1  
    Last August after more than two years with our prior phones my wife and I upgraded phones and signed a new 2 year contract with Verizon. In December I accepted a new position with a big 4 accounting/consulting firm and moved to Charlotte. My new employer has national and regional contracts with Sprint, Verizon, Cingular/AT&T, TMobile and Nextel. My new employer "suggests" (read - mandates in soft consulting terms) managers and above to carry either a Blackberry or Treo device and will pay for monthly phone service (a national bulk minutes plan) and for an unlimited data plan, but will not pay for the device. As a side note - if I'd known I was going to have to get a smartphone of some sort I obviously wouldn't have upgraded last August.

    So I've waited a few months for Verizon to release the Treo 650 because I'd really like to stay with Verizon and use it as my only phone (lots of reasons, coverage and most of my family is on Verizon so the in-network benefits make it reasonable to use as both my business and personal phone) - just transfer my number to Charlotte, increase my minutes plan for business use, get the Treo 650, add unlimited data and apply the corpoate discount to the primary line and data plan. Should be simple right? Of course not. Thus far all the channels I've tried - Verizon reseller, Verizon customer service, Verizon customer service supervisor, all say "tough" that I'm not eligible for a discounted equipment purchase until August 2006 so I can buy the Treo at full retail but that's it. To make matters worse I've called and left messages twice for the southeast Verizon business representative on our account and have never received a call back. My employer has probably 20,000 professionals employed worldwide - so you think it might matter to them.

    I understand the last phone I had was at a discount, and if it was simply my whim to get a new phone I might understand their reluctance to budge. But given my circumstances - I am going to get a Treo somewhere because of my new job - all they're doing is forcing me to go to Sprint and in the process are losing an additional $20 a month in phone plan income and $45 a month in data income for the next 24 months. Basically they're losing $1560 in revenue over giving me a $175 discount on the equipment purchase. And I'm turning into a bitter customer who will let everyone in the firm (i.e. new managers) know just how unhappy I've been with Verizon and encourage them to buy elsewhere.

    Just really bad business sense, but over the past few months during this move and the related transactions I've had nothing but bad customer service experiences with a wide range of vendors (Time Warner cable - like Microsoft almost the antichrist, GE - don't get me started on my expensive cooktop experience, Verizon, painters, contractors, etc...). The only folks who've been at all helpful have been Alltel (local phone and DSL service, all my interactions with them have been great) and the guy who built my fence (and did a fantastic job, at the price quoted, on time).

    Just had to vent a bit
  2. #2  
    Actually you will be eligible for "upgrade" pricing in about 6 weeks. Once you've had you phone for 1 year, if you are willing sign a new 2 year contract, you become eligible for upgrade pricing, which on the 650 is $399. If you are adding a new unlimited data plan, they will then knock off another $100 bringing the total cost down to $299. I know, because I just went through the same scenario.

    Once it's been one year, just call direct fullfillment. If you get any push back, just ask the sales rep (nicely) to double check with the manager. Tell them customer service told you were eligible for upgrade pricing after 1 year, but that you just wouldn't qualify for NE2 pricing. Worked like a charm for me.

    Good luck.
  3. #3  
    I've heard the same. Eligible for upgrade after ONE year. Just find the right CS rep.

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