Verizon trade in program didn't work (2023)

My husband and I have been customers of Verizon Wireless since 2009. We have always had good service with you and, when there had been issues over the years, the customer service was fantastic and all our issues were resolved quickly and smoothly. For these reasons we have remained loyal and highly recommend Verizon to anyone who asks.

Unfortunately over the past two months now we have experienced an absolute mess of a trade in process and it still is not resolved. I am hoping that maybe my experiencewill be taken to heart and wherever the issue is maybe it can be resolved so no one else has to experience it.

Back on October 1st I called Verizon and paid off my three cell phones and began trade in process towards three new iPhone 13s. The pay off process was fine, and the order was placed for the three new phones. I was to receive the new phones around October 22nd (they were backordered, we completely understood). I was told that the trade in fees and tax on the new phones would be charged to my card the day they shipped. No big deal.

October 13th I received an email saying there was an issue with my order, that my card was declined. First of all there is no reason why it would have declined. There was way more than sufficient funds in the account to cover the cost of the fees and taxes many times over. I logged in to try and see if maybe the card number was put in wrong or what might be going on. I tried to update the payment several times, even tried with a different bank card and a high limit credit card, but it kept telling me payment could not be updated.

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I contacted customer service who sent me a link to make the payment. No dice. I was eventually told there was no way the card should have even been charged at that point because the phones would not be shipping until at least October 22nd. I was told it was a glitch in Verizon's system and to wait it out.

Over the next couple days we continued to receive text messages and automated phone calls saying there was an issue with our order. Each time I contacted customer service (sometimes via chat, sometimes via phone) and each time I was assured it was an issue in the system and to wait it out. I asked about re-doing the order more than once and was told not to do that because then the expected ship date would be pushed back. I was told that if we do not receive a tracking number October 22nd to contact Verizon again. So we waited.

October 22nd came and went and no tracking number. October 23rd I called Verizon and the girl I talked to apologized profusely and stated she would get them shipped out right away and that we should receive them Monday the 25th. We waited for Monday. Monday evening no tracking number or new phone. So I once again called Verizon customer service.

This time I was passed around to a few different departments there when I finally got in touch with someone who basically told me that back on October 13th when I had the original issue whomever I talked to should have re-done the order at that point because of the unexplained issue with Verizon charging my card. So basically at that point they had to cancel my October 1st order. At that point the new phones I wanted wouldn't be available until December (the 13s were in stock but the 13 pro was backordered until December) I asked if I could just get the regular 13s now and the pro later and they said no it all had to be sent together. So we went down the list of available13s and I ended up with the 13 pro max, more money than I wanted to spend but I figured at least this whole mess will finally be over.

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I finally received the phones on October 28th. I activated my 13 pro max and it would not activate. I spent six hours (started out on the chat but then I called in) trying to get my phone to activate and work. My daughter was flying home alone from Hawaii the next day and I needed to have my phone working so it was very critical I had it resolved. The next day (the 29th) I got on another chat and asked them to check all the ID numbers associated with the phone. I had asked the person I talked to the night before to do the same but they said it wouldn't make a difference. Sure enough the ID for the phone did not match the one I was sent. They updated it and the phone worked.

I was able to activate the two other phones with little issue. The first week of November I was going to send the phones in. I did not receive any trade in paperwork/envelope/boxes. I called again and the person I talked to apologized and said they were sending me out the stuff needed to send in the old phones. A few days later I received one box. One. So I called and asked if I was to send in all three phones in the one box (I had never upgraded multiple phones in the past, I always had done them one at a time). This caused confusion both over the phone and over chat. I had someone tell me via chat to send them in one envelope, and someone over the phone tell me to send them in separately.

I asked if there was anybody higher up I could possibly talk to. With everything that had happened up until this point I just wanted to make sure I was getting what I was originally promised and that there would be no more confusion or issues. I was able to talk to someone at the Verizon executive offices named Gabriel. He told me to go ahead and send in the one phone that I had the trade in box and envelope for and he would get the other two sent out to me right away. I voiced my concerns over the original order being cancelled and that the phones were originally "traded in" on promotional credits that were now expired. I was assured that there were notes on my account to reference my original order that was placed on October 1st for the trade in credits.

Back on October 1st when I placed my initial order I was promised the iPhone 11 was worth $800 in promotional credits, the 11 Pro was worth $1,000 in promotional credits. The third phone was the iPhone SE which was worth $500. When I spoke with someone for the order (I placed it over the phone originally because I wanted to make sure it was done right) the person I talked to asked me if I still had the s9. I told them I did. He said send that one in instead as its worth $800 on the promotional credit. I told him the screen was cracked on it and the phone was in poor shape. He asked me if the battery was still good and would power on if charged. I told him yes. I even plugged it in and verified. So he told me he would process the s9 as the third trade in as it was worth more money than the SE. I again voiced my concern about the condition of the phone and was once again assured that as long as it powered on I would receive the $800 credit.

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Gabriel confirmed this when I spoke with him regarding how to send in my other trades. He told me they would give me the $800 credit for the s9. That was the phone I had the returnbox and envelope for. He also scheduled a call back to me when the first phone was received to assure me it was processed correctly.

He never called me back.

I know all three phones were received by Verizon. I checked the tracking numbers to make sure, because with the way everything else went I figured at least one would be lost in transit.

I should note that when I sent the phones in I printed off copies of my original October 1st order and wrote on each one please reference my account notes and my original order number when processing my trades. I was told by several people, including Gabriel, that there were some extra forms that needed to be completed because the trade in credits were tied to an order that was cancelled.

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We received an email last night from Verizon that stated out trade in credits were coming. I logged in this morning and saw that I was only given $550 for my 11, $550 for my 11 pro, and the s9 didn't even show up. I contacted Verizon via chat this morning and was told I needed to call in and talk to the trade in team. I am currently on conference calls all day and hopefully they will end early enough that I can get a call in today to try and get this resolved.

This has been a two month ordeal. This whole thing started because we noticed not even being able to go to simple websites like Craigslist on our less than two year old phones even in town next to cell towers with full LTE bars. I was told that the unlimited loyalty plan we were on was subject to being throttled back after a ridiculously low amount of usage and that if we wanted to be able to actually use the phones we pay a lot of money for each month we needed to upgrade our plan
(which we did on October 1st when we processed the original trade in order).

I am working with them at the moment to hopefully resolve my issues for good this time...

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