Just went into a Verizon Store. WTF?

alywa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 6, 2004
350
0
I'll preface this by saying our AT&T service sucks here. I've been an iPhone owner since day #1... used a 2G for a little over 1 year, switched to the 3G 2 years ago and have been using it since. We've never had 3g coverage in our area, but always had reasonable EDGE. Over the last year, our EDGE has basically become unusable. Voicemails magically show up days later. No data (outside of wifi) whatsoever, even though the E and 5 bars show up. Endless phone calls, excuses, and refunds over the last few years. They assure me we are getting 3G at the end of the month (been confirmed by multiple sources, both locally and at AT&T CS.)

I decided I was going to go scout out Verizon and see what the store had, get pricing for our family plan (2 smart phones, 2 standard phones), etc. My God, what a dreadful store.

It is brand new, a nice renovation of an abandoned building in town. I walked in expecting something decent. Nobody said hi, nobody asked if I needed help. They had a 15-20 phones (well, phone replicas) set up. No pricing info anywhere.

Why would a store possibly have replica phones this day and age? What does a plastic dummy phone tell me about The Droid X, the Incredible, etc. How is anyone supposed to tell if they like the phone, screen, handfeel, weight, etc?

Seriously... are all Verizon stores this terrible? There is no chance in hell I'll buy from them, even if I do end up switching (they DO have much better service and coverage here)... I'll just order based on reviews (hopefully won't have to if AT&T keeps their promise).
 

Roessnakhan

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2007
3,518
494
ABQ
In my experience most retailers carry both the actual devices for demo and dummy (i.e. non-working) phones. I'd say the ratio between working phones vs. dummy phones varies between locations, but they're not all like that.
 

h1r0ll3r

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2009
3,890
1
Maryland
Some are like that around here too. Really lazy, half a$$ed employees that don't even know what they're selling. They're just there for the employee discounts. In the event you decide to jump ship, your best bet it to go online or call them up directly. They may even give you some special discount/promo or something. The idiots in the stores won't even know what they are.

EDIT: as for the dummy phones. depends on your location. If you're in a shady area, you'll see more dummy devices. If you're in a glitzy suburb, you'll have live units to demo with.
 

Bobby Corwen

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2010
2,723
474
The product is outside, in form of the coverage map. The devices are simply portals to their reception. -Carefully controlled portals with high standards for call behavior. CDMA based phones have always been ugly and behind the times.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,108
1,871
Manhattan
Maybe you walked into an "authorized retailer" rather than a corporate store. In my experience all the corporate stores have working models of the phones and good customer service, while authorized retailers usually have the dummy phones and underpaid, unmotivated workers.

It's the same with AT&T & Sprint. You always want to deal with the corporate owned stores.
 

Carl G35c

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2008
488
0
it was probably an authorized retailer. All my Vzw stores have live units.

But you could always ask to see a live unit. best buy mobile will show you any unit they sell
 

kepner

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2003
366
2
Seriously... are all Verizon stores this terrible?
No. My Verizon Store is quite nice. As soon as you walk in, an employee takes your name and asks what you need help with, and you're put into a queue. (I believe there might have even been a screen for everyone to see with the queue of names on it, so you knew when you were almost up. I can't quite remember.)

And… all the demo phones were actual working phones. (I know this, because my cousin and I managed to get the phone numbers to a few of them and ring them all at once when people walked by. :D )

Right now I carry around a Verizon MiFi with my iPhone since Verizon's data network is so much faster in my area.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
What city? Where's the store you went to?

There's a big Verizon store near us out in the woods that has walls full of tethered live units that you can make calls on.

Other stores, especially in malls, often just have dummies to look at.

As for not being approached, some people hate that and prefer to make the first move. Again, depends on where you live.

Did you ask anyone to show you some live units?
 

Roofy.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2009
595
0
Maybe you walked into an "authorized retailer" rather than a corporate store. In my experience all the corporate stores have working models of the phones and good customer service, while authorized retailers usually have the dummy phones and underpaid, unmotivated workers.

It's the same with AT&T & Sprint. You always want to deal with the corporate owned stores.
This. There is a small shop in my town that only has dummies on display. Right down the high way there's a big retail store with all working models.
 

alywa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 6, 2004
350
0
What city? Where's the store you went to?

There's a big Verizon store near us out in the woods that has walls full of tethered live units that you can make calls on.

Other stores, especially in malls, often just have dummies to look at.

As for not being approached, some people hate that and prefer to make the first move. Again, depends on where you live.

Did you ask anyone to show you some live units?
Yeah, it was a reseller, not a corporate store. Not obvious from the building, but I looked on Verizon's website. The area is poor, not terribly sketchy, but maybe theft is a big issue. Still, it is a nice looking, new store... I just expected more.
 

peapody

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2007
3,126
73
San Francisco, CA
Seriously... are all Verizon stores this terrible? There is no chance in hell I'll buy from them, even if I do end up switching (they DO have much better service and coverage here)... I'll just order based on reviews (hopefully won't have to if AT&T keeps their promise).
Never had that experience. Depends on the store. You can't use one experience as the rule..otherwise you will never be happy with any product or service - apple or non.
 

Schweitzer

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2010
181
0
I'll preface this by saying our AT&T service sucks here. I've been an iPhone owner since day #1... used a 2G for a little over 1 year, switched to the 3G 2 years ago and have been using it since. We've never had 3g coverage in our area, but always had reasonable EDGE. Over the last year, our EDGE has basically become unusable. Voicemails magically show up days later. No data (outside of wifi) whatsoever, even though the E and 5 bars show up. Endless phone calls, excuses, and refunds over the last few years. They assure me we are getting 3G at the end of the month (been confirmed by multiple sources, both locally and at AT&T CS.)

I decided I was going to go scout out Verizon and see what the store had, get pricing for our family plan (2 smart phones, 2 standard phones), etc.
Thanks for the interesting background info!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,390
33,010
Boston
Was it a corporate store, or an authorized retailer?

I've found start differences in how I'm treated and how the sales staff interacts with customers. Corporate stores, typically have some one at the door welcoming you, and asking you to register to get you in the queue. After that its a professional interaction.

Authorized resellers; in some stores, I witnessed a much more friendlier laid back approach but in others, I was just looked at while the sales staff continued to talk amongst themselves.
 

alywa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 6, 2004
350
0
Thanks for the interesting background info!
Yeah, I guess I could have made it more clear that I was thinking about switching to Verizon if AT&T doesn't improve here. I really like my iPhone, but hate the service as it is now. I was hoping to get some hands on time with some of Verizon's phones, hence my gripe with the store.

I'll go check out a corporate store when I have time.
 

Wicked1

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2009
3,283
14
New Jersey
Just ask a lot of questions, see what your options are, know which phones they can replace with new or refurbs and just make sure you contact customer service before buying from a store.
 

jkozlow3

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
897
499
Not to be a jerk, but you realize this is an iPhone forum, right? You didn't mention the iPhone ANYWHERE in your post. You might as well have talked about your experience with your Windows laptop and how much it sucks or how happy/unhappy you are with your Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Your insight about the Verizon store would be better suited to a cellular website such as howardforums.com. Again, not being a jerk, just saying that there are better forums for this kind of thread.
 

unamused

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2009
275
0
Yeah, it was a reseller, not a corporate store. Not obvious from the building, but I looked on Verizon's website. The area is poor, not terribly sketchy, but maybe theft is a big issue. Still, it is a nice looking, new store... I just expected more.
That's why... The upkeep of that store in no way reflects how actual verizon corporate stores are kept.

your level of expectation can only be based on the owner of that store, not verizon.... Go check out a corporate store before saying "wow this vzw store was garbage"

It's like going to a private mechanic that works on Mercedes Benz's..... It wouldnt be right to say, wow, that MB shop was horrible! It was ghetto, dirty, etc.... it has no reflection on the company because its a 3rd party vendor/seller.


Just be careful Verizon plays some tricks when you buy a phone, besides the restocking fees and the $350 ETF.

Last month my son bought a Motorola Devour basically a slider Droid, well next day screen was pixelated, so I looked up this phone to find there are problems, and when I went into the store I asked them what I can do, since they did not have another one in the store they offered to ship me a Refurb replacement, so I declined returned the phone paid the restock fee etc.

Talked to manager my son decided to get a motorola Droid however I warned him about the battery etc.

Two weeks later he asked if he could return it because the battery dies to fast so ok I am within my 30 Day window right, here is where the fun begins.

I go back and asked them to take the phone back willing to pay the $restocking fee, just that I do not want a phone this expensive for a teenager who doesn't like it, so I told him go back to his old slider basic phone and stay there.

Well the manager decided to tell me I can not return it because I returned one already, so I was stuck with it, and the MGR and sales woman kept saying to me keep it as a spare and we have lots of other phones. Duh I just used my early upgrade so I would have to buy a phone at full price, NOT...

I argued the first phone was a MFG defect and getting a refurb on a brand new 2 day old phone was not an option, keeping the Droid now was IMO not an option, I even talked to her, if you do not take the phone back I would cancel Verizon which I have been with them 9 years, she didn't care, so I left.

2 Hours later on the phone with customer service they agreed I was within my rights to go back the next day and return it, I even paid the restocking fee.

Needless to say between the store MGR and sales people, I finally had it with Verizon, got my money back, paid the fee and I am now officially done with Verizon. If they had taken it back and just understood my point that the 1st was a defect and this was my official first return, I wouldn't have had an issue but 3 hours of my time wasted was more then enough.

Went to AT&T next day bought two new iPhone 4's one for son and other for my wife, I have an iPhone 4, and now my older son decided he didn't want my White 32GB iPhone 3GS, he wants a new one too.

I have been with AT&T a long time and Verizon and never ever treated like this, in fact AT&T gave me money back on my bill because it took so long to activate my family plan and I hate to wait in the store for 45 minutes.

Moral is ask a lot of questions, see what your options are, know which phones they can replace with new or refurbs and just make sure you contact customer service before buying from a store.
I've actually had good experiences with customer support with VZW but flukes happen.
 
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