I have heard of stories like that. I don't remember the details, but Verizon does tend to push certain phones at certain times. I think I may have even heard one where the person wanted an iPhone and they tried to talk them into something else.
Beyond that, salespeople are often idiots. I remember buying a dryer at Best Buy and the saleman told me that the LG dryer used less energy because it produced energy as it ran. To prove that me spun the dryer drum on the unplugged display unit and pointed to the lights on the display flickering.