My indentured servitude to Verizon (and probably yours to your carrier)

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agp
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My indentured servitude to Verizon (and probably yours to your carrier)

Postby agp » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:33 pm

Sorry, rant post. Here we go.

Anyone tired of this oligopoly that is our mobile phone industry? I have been a Verizon customer since the first day I bought a cellphone many many years ago. But now it's just getting ridiculously expensive, and it's not only Verizon, Sprint and AT&T aren't much different. Anyone remember the good old days when you didn't have to buy a $30/month data plan? Thank God I got grandfathered in the $15/month for 150MB plan from my old Blackberry so I don't have to pay $30/month for 2GB of data. 2GB data is more data than I need in 2 years. I'm someone who uses his phone as a phone - for calls, a few texts, and occasionally responding to important emails - not someone who uses his phone as a big toy/small computer - for music, videos, web browsing etc.

So last night I did some research, looking for a cheaper carrier and fell in love with TMobile. I then called Verizon hoping to cancel my contract only to find out that I will be charged a $180 early termination fee if I cancel before my contract is over. So I went to a TMobile store today and asked the manager if they have any promotion/incentive for me to ditch Verizon. Since they're on the bottom of the big mobile service providers, maybe they'll take on more risk for a loyal customer. TMobile people said that they have had customers before switching before contract's end, and TMobile paid half of the customer's early termination fee. So I thought, great, let me call TMobile and see if I can get that. Called 3 times, got 3 different CSR, all said no.

:mad:

Then I did some research online to see if there's any way to get out of contract without having to pay a hefty ETF. The things people come up with now days... Fake my own death? Tell them I'm deployed? The most reasonable one is to check the billing policy from the past few months and see if any changed. So I tried to do that online, couldn't find it, chatted up CSR for about 20 minutes to ask for Verizon's billing policy. This was extremely difficult for her to understand. After some more time, she came back and said that the only thing that changed was my data plan (it hasn't changed for years). At which point I gave up.

:mad:

Any idea for me to get out of this contract without having to pay the ETF?

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FastSRT8
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Postby FastSRT8 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:55 pm

Why not as them to price match?

Would that not be easier for Verizon to do? Plus they won't lose a customer. Just a thought
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MB131174
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Postby MB131174 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:58 pm

As a former VZW employee, I can attest first hand that there is zero ability in the system to "price match" another carrier. The closest they could come is issue a reoccuring credit to the account for a fixed number of bill cycles.
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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:03 pm

Move somewhere where Verizon has no coverage.

Also, search the web for Verizon contract changes. The Consumerist used to post them up every time they happened to help people avoid ETFs.

Also, why do you have a smartphone that requires a data plan if you don't use data?
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:18 pm

I've been a customer of this company (Verizon Wireless) for 10 years. It's been my only cell provider, and I have only a cell phone (no landline, haven't had one for years).

The service has been fine, compared to the nightmares I hear people with other carriers describe. But they have to be one of the greediest companies on the entire planet. They are always coming up with new ways to chisel more money from you, as if you don't pay them enough already.

I loved seeing how they were going to add a fee for you to pay your bill online using a credit card. Imagine that charging you a fee to pay your bill what are you the DMV charging me a "counter service fee" to go into the DMV and waste 3 hours of my life dealing with rude employees like that's some kind of priviledge? I thought that was really above and beyond in terms of the greed.

Then they got rid of unlimited data plans for a fixed fee no doubt because they want to chisel yet more money out of us. And I'm already paying them 130 plus dollars a month as it is, how much more do you want Verizon, 500, 1000, a trillion? I mean how much is enough to satisfy your limitless greed?

There are not many realistic options but if there was, I'd be open to them at this point.

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Postby MB131174 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:32 pm

Member - you are eleventy bajillion times correct when you said they are greedy. The profit that company makes is unfathomable to us common folk; yet they love to fee us to death. So glad I'm not there any more.
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Postby KrazyNick » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:06 pm

I'm in the same boat with sprint, I pay $100 bucks a month and the house I just bought is in a weak signal area. Been thinking of switching to tmobile as well but I would have to pay $220 for early termination :(
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Postby agp » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:34 pm

djrez4 wrote:Move somewhere where Verizon has no coverage.

Also, search the web for Verizon contract changes. The Consumerist used to post them up every time they happened to help people avoid ETFs.

Also, why do you have a smartphone that requires a data plan if you don't use data?


I do use data, but only for emails. Totaling less than 50mb per month when I use email a lot. And I mean A LOT.

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Postby s.jessica » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:28 pm

First I recommend Page Plus http://www.pagepluscellular.com. They are a pre-paid MVNO for Verizon so you would still have Verizon service but you would be getting the service via Page Plus. 4g phones are a little difficult to deal with, but any Verizon branded 3g android device should work right out of the box. Think about this, get say a Droid X or Droid Pro and you can get a Page Plus plan for it $29.95/mo. no extra data plan required. 1200 voice minutes and 3000 text. If you can get by on 50mb of data, you'll do just fine with the 250MB of included data. If you need unlimited talk and text, it's only $39.95. Upgrade to 1GB of data for $55 and 5MB of data for $69.95.

Take the cost you are paying now, subtract the Page Plus plan you think you can get by on and note the savings each month, then take the savings times 12 to see your annual savings. I would guess the savings over the next 2 years would more than make up for the ETF. Cell phones are worse than credit cards, every day thousands of people sign contracts for phones only to realize they won't use the phone as much as they thought they would, then realize when they upgraded they are stuck with a data plan making their bill over $100 per month for a single line. The problem is, you pay to play and the fine folks at the Verizon store try to hide the fact they still have basic phones that don't require data plans because the commissions are higher for selling phones requiring data plans. What they do is put the high end phones up front and point your attention there while the basic phones are in the back.

Verizon makes if very difficult for someone breaking a contract, but the best way is to set your phone to roam constantly. You want your entire month to be roaming. Many people have tried to use the changes in terms of contract, but Verizon has been very good about grandfathering users and you would have to prove that you were adversely affected by the change which would be like your text package doubled in price.

something you could try, search for "assumption of liability" there are people out there willing to take over your contract and if you have an unlimited plan you might even be able to sell it. If you decided to go the Page Plus route, let me know and I'll help you get it activated for free, I just can't tell you how. Howardforums.com has lots of useful information if you are interested.

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Postby benhollberg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:33 pm

The only really successful option I have heard of using in getting out of contracts is complaining you live or work in a bad service area, I mean calling once a week and complaining and asking to speak to supervisor after supervisor. I know of one person who did this, he was let go of his contracts a few months early, which is probably the most they'll let you out. Funny thing, he switched to T-Mobile.

Although, what I don't get is why people sign these contracts when they do. They should know they are signing a two-year deal, you know you can buy a phone without signing a contract. When I buy a phone on contract I know what I am getting into.
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