Confused about contracts, NE2, early upgrades, unlocked phones, etc.


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  1. Marsh511

    Marsh511 Member This Topic's Starter

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    As a by-the-books kind of guy (mainly because of lack of time), I've come to the point where I hope someone can explain to me how best to purchase a new phone when I'm mid-contract with Verizon. My wife and I both got Storm I on launch day (Nov 22, 08). About a month ago, we got the "You've been selected for an early upgrade!" flyer, which listed our phone numbers. However, nobody I've talked to at VZW customer support seems to have any record of any such eligibility. That aside, my real question is more about buying a phone from a 3rd party (Best Buy, Walmart, wirefly.com, etc.), as they seem to offer some great deals on the phones themselves.

    What's the process of "synchronizing" the purchase of a new phone through a 3rd party and extending my existing Verizon contracts without getting hit with any extra penalties? Do I have to first notify Verizon...or does this happen automatically when I buy the phone and do the paperwork at Best Buy (or wherever)? I'm trying to minimize time spent on the phone, having to explain "well, my new phone eligibility date w/ Verizon is XXXXX, etc.". I am SICK of talking to people on the phone and re-explaining things 80 times!! And, I'm not the most assertive phone communicator (LOL I can be a real jerk and negotiator in person, but I cave in over the phone!).

    But at the same time, I don't want to do everything "automatically", fill out a form or two, then end up with a bill from Verizon for Early Termination Fees either. I would also think I'm a VIP, considering I've written VZW a check for well over $200/month for the past 10 years, but nobody has been able to verify that either.

    Anyways, what's the process for efficiently buying a phone from someone other than Verizon, then making sure I don't get hit with extra fees or penalties? How does this all work???

    Thanks!
     

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  2. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    If you were sent the email, then you'll be best off using the link and signing in to my VZW to get your early NE2 discount.

    However, it depends upon how you want to pay for it - most VZW CSRs are more than willing to start you a new contract without charging you the ETF, especially at this time of year, and especially with the DROID.

    There is a thread floating around listing the different prices that are being offered on the DROID - last I saw was $199 @ Best Buy, $179 @ Wal-mart, $149 @ Sears, and now $119 @ Dell. However, BBB is also price matching Sears $149 price (not sure if they are going to match Dell's price yet - too new). The disadvantage there it that the retailer you choose may or may not be able to start you out with a fresh contract and avoid VZW charging you the ETF.

    We were already in our NE2 time period, but I was able to buy 2 Storm2 phones (using the BOGO offer), then return the Storm2 on the primary line and get a DROID - this allowed me to get the second Storm2 for free (verified this past weekend when we checked the bill) as well as the DROID with the NE2 (only problem is that since I purchased it on opening day, I bought it for $299 - $50, with a mail rebate).

    VZW CS will always work with you - our average phone bill for the last 2 years was just under $100 / month for the Family basic plan with a $5 / 250 SMS added and a third line added, and I got all this done, as stated above, with no hassle from them whatsoever.

    In the thread mentioning the Dell offer, one user has posted that specials like this from Dell were, in that user's experience, very poorly organized, with many delays and other problems. The other three, however, have been spot-on for most people.

    If I were you, I'd log into My VZW (sign up if you have not already done so, then log in) so that your early NE2 period shows on the online screen. Then call VZW the next day (by then they should be able to see it as well) and you should be golden - ask them the best way to go about getting what you want at the best possible price.
     
  3. Marsh511

    Marsh511 Member This Topic's Starter

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    The problem is, the My VZW site doesn't show anything that says I'm eligible for an early upgrade. I only got a card by snail-mail, and the CS's I've spoken to have no record of anything like that, telling me that may be a 3rd party arrangement. My VZW still shows my NE2 eligibility as 7/24/2010, which would be 20 months from the purchase of my 2 Storms. But, I will see what I can do when I can set aside another hour or so of being on the phone! This past week, I spent nearly a total of 3 hours complaining about the signal strength (-105 dBm and worse outside) at our home, and after being put through the same troubleshooting steps by 3 separate techs on 3 days, they finally fessed up that there was nothing they could do to improve my signal...other than my buying the femtocell antenna ($249). So why am I being so loyal to Verizon??

     
  4. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    However, when I first joined here, I read a rash of posts stating that although the NE2 claims 20 months, most people get it at more like 16 months, and as early as 11 months into their contract.

    My last contract began in Dec 2007, but I was sent NE2 upgrade eligibility in June - that's at 18 months. And this was my first ever contract with VZW....

    As for being on the phone with them - you should see the number of hours I logged with then from Oct 24th through Nov 7th....

    I documented most of my dealings with them in threads here on the board when I first joined - IIRC I ended up speaking with 10 or 11 (maybe as high as 14?) different CSRs during that time span (2 weeks) - with me living in the Eastern time zone it was pretty easy to most of it after work hours, but a few calls were during rushed breaks I had between / after classes.

    As for your signal, well, that is not a good thing, methinks. You have a valid point and a valid question...unless you have wireless in your home. I have my WiFi enabled the entire time I am home - Bah! to the signal except when making calls....
     

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