Verizon fraud!! Help!!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Jeremy08, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Jeremy08 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    To make a long story short, here are the details:

    -Girlfriend and I Got iphone march 31st
    -Activated through iTunes just as it tells you to
    -90 days later charges for both me and my girlfriend's iphones (the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized) shows up on my account
    -Call verizon, claimed i never signed the contract, and that they attempted to send out a paper contract 30 days after the phone activation (we never got) and reminder texts (the primary account holder is an older lady, so she really doesn't check texts/isn't very good about it)
    -In retrospect, I also have spoken to them since the activation, but before the end of the 90 day period, they never mentioned anything about me having not signed the contract, and I obviously had no reason to think so because we paid the lesser amount (the subsidized prices) for the phones back on our april bill.
    -Now they are saying since it has been more than 90 days, there is no way for me to sign a contract and get the subsidized pricing, even though I obviously agreed to the contract when I activated the phone in itunes.

    -My answer is this:

    -Something as huge as this shouldn't just be informed via text, and since I called them before the 90 days and they failed to mention it, its their fault.
    -Since I signed the contract in itunes when I activated the phone, its their fault.
    -Since they failed to contact us in any other way than a text message its their fault.
    -Since they didn't even bother to send a contract via certified mail, its their fault.

    -The only thing I can remotely see that I would be at fault would be that we didnt' respond to text reminders, that by the way I never got and the primary account holder knows nothing about.

    -Am I correct in the fact that I signed a new contract through iTunes when I activated the phone?? Is there anyway I can retrieve that contract?

    -Any thoughts? I am a college student and I don't have 900 dollars to just throw around for Verizon mistakes. What should I do? I have spoken to multiple people and they are making it seem like this was my fault, not theres. (this by the way is in addition to the fact that they lied to me about the ETF on the phone since we were doing an alternate upgrade using our MIFI line, so I was told the ETF would be a 175 MIFI ETF, not 350 Smartphone).

    I feel like i need to call the BBB, but I just wanted to get some opinions from you peeps. THIS IS FRAUD, RIGHT??? I Signed the contract through iTunes, its not my fault they never got it, and that they totally failed to contact me, and when I did contact them, they told me nothing of the problem until they charged me and it was too late.
  2. noekozz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2010
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    100% incorrect. iTunes activation has no link with contracts at all.
  4. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    I would go back to the store where you bought the phone. Try to calmly talk to the Manager. Explain your situation tried to give as much detail as you can. Afraid the next option is selling your phone to help pay it off. I know this idea sucks. I would also explain this to the manager. not sure if he can do anything but it's worth a try. (good luck)
  5. DroidRules, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    It also sounds like you tried to get over on vrz and now that they called you on it your trying to figure out how not to get buggered with a huge bill.

    Why would you expect your smartphone ETF to be the same as the MIFI ETF when you have a smartphone?
    DId you get this new magical ETF in writing?

    Sounds like there is blame to go around on you, vrz, the older lady, your girlfriend ect..... sucks but poney up the bucks and be a bit more vigilant about your bills.... or the older ladies bill that you're on.

    Better yet, get your own cell service and this wouldn't of been a problem at all.
  6. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Unfortunately, you're dealing with a large company who does not care if you call the BBB or not pay them. They will simply file a claim and have collections go after you and the amount you owe will be on your credit report.

    But, besides that you are in the wrong. When you activate the phone it is not a contract you are signing. It's simply an activation for Appple and the iPhone. I don't know how you bought the phone, but it's not a smart method of going about it when you're (it seems) trying to get a subsidized price. Going to the store or buying it from Apple directly would be better.

    Also, trying to say "they should have" doesn't work in the legal world. It is your responsibility to get the contract signed, etc. For instance if a phone company does not mail you a bill for a certain month, you are still responsible for paying the amount due that month. The excuse "I never got the bill..." does not work. Read the fine print.
  7. gettysburg11s macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2010
    Yeah I think this is more your fault than Verizon's. Verizon is being a jerk about it, for sure, but its your responsibility to make sure everything was done properly. If Verizon sent a paper contract AND text messages, then whomever the account holder is ignored them and now expects Verizon to admit fault. Its true, their customer service sucks, but its not their fault.
  8. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Give OP a break. $900 is a pretty severe penalty for missing a bit of fine print. Yes, technically he is at fault but hopefully there is something that can be done to at least partially offset the amount.

    If VZ is steadfast in their refusal to help, OP can still take advantage of the unused upgrade credits. These credits have a value comparable to what was lost. I'd look into finding the highest resale value VZ phone and use the credits to flip those for cash.

    FYI - OP wasn't privy to the contact attempts. The primary account holder is the one truly at fault. You simply cant ignore contact attempts from your carrier for 3 months. As OP said, they sent several text and I'm sure that it was mentioned on at least two sets of bills during that period.
  9. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    I don't understand how you are talking about an ETF, but also saying you never signed a contract? If there is no contract there should be no ETF.
  10. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
  11. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    That plans sounds reasonable to me. He OWNS two defective Droids which are still under warranty. There is no reason for him to forgo the refurb simply because VZ offered him an early upgrade. The upgrade offer does not absolve VZ of responsibility on the previously sold items.

    At least he knows his way around ebay ;). He should have no problems getting his money back with his two exiting credits.
  12. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
  13. err404, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    That's his call. But the fact is that messages were sent only to her regarding the status of her account. She didn't understand the messages so she ignored them. Her failure to respond for 90 days does not constitute fraud on the part of VZ.
  14. djpuma macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    If you honestly can't get out of it.

    Sell the two brand new iphones (hopefully iphone 4's) on ebay/craigslist for 450 a piece and pay verizon off, go back and buy them again with a 2 year contract, or wait 3 months for the new iphones to come out.
  15. goosnarrggh, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    There's one thing I'm really not clear about: Where'd the talk about ETFs (in the second last paragraph of your post) come from?

    Have you threatened to terminate your service as a consequence of this debacle? In that case, if Verizon persists in arguing that there is no contract, then by definition you're on a month-to-month service. In that case, provided you give 30 days notice, you can terminate your service at any time without incurring any ETF.

    If Verizon then insists that you need to pay an ETF in order to terminate your service, then they are asserting that you are, in fact, covered by a contract. Perhaps, if you were already a Verizon customer prior to the iPhone upgrade, you may still be covered by the contract from the previous device you used on their network.

    But in that case, if you really didn't sign a new contract at same the time you acquired/activated the new iPhone, then still, you should only be subject to the amount of ETF you agreed to when you activated the former device on the original contract, and only for the duration of time specified by the original contract's start date.

    The only way in which you could be subject to a new ETF, subject to the iPhone's ETF amount and the iPhone's ETF duration, would be if you really did sign a new contract alongside the new iPhone.

    Please explain.
  16. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    One thing I don't have clear...are the phones still active on the new lines you activated or did you move them to another line?
  17. EddyP macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
    Sure. But then he's probably not eligible for an upgrade. Nobody is saying he's doing anything illegal.

    Sounds like he was offered refurb replacements but said he wanted iPhone 4 upgrades. He ordered the 4s then he changed and said "I want refurbs".

    You made way too many assumptions in your plan. Obviously you were wrong with many of them. Just sell the things on ebay. And get your own account.
  18. wordoflife, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Tell Verizon that if there's no contract and I'm not allowed to sign one, then you want to cancel your line. I'm sure they'll make things work out.
  19. wordoflife, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I hope you figure this out OP. I would definitely go to the store if the people over the phone can't help. I've never heard of that 90-day thing where you can't sign a contract.
  20. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Good find PNutts.

    Here's the quote for the record:

  21. macking104 macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2003
    California, USA
    The answers to your questions can be found in Verizon's customer agreement.

    You accepted this when you activated, opened a package, etc.
    Verizon sends messages on your online/paper bill, via text, etc. They are considered received immediately if by text.

    If the elderly lady is primary account holder, she would get messages. She can authorize someone else over 18 to manage the account.

    If you are on a family plan, Your girlfriend may technically/legally not be eligible unless she lived in the same house.

    Next time you buy/sign up for something, read the terms of service, etc before. When you hit that send button, you accept their terms.
  22. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    My feeling is that the OP screwed himself by trying to work the system. Getting refurbed droids AFTER buying iphones would have put the droids back on the account, thus effectively nullifying the "early upgrade." So this means that the iPhones were then added to the account as upgrades without a contract when they were activated. So then THIS means that there would be no contract to sign (hence the reason why he didn't get signed up for one when he activated his phones -on VZW, contracts are automatically updated when the phone is activated- and why he didn't receive anything by mail). The better way to do this would have been to get the refurbed droids first, activate them, and THEN order and activate the iPhones with an early upgrade (if even possible - see second half of my post below). If this is in fact the cause of the OP's problems, then it is his own fault, not VZW's. However, that being said, if he gets to a VZW store and talks to an understanding manager, he may be able to get this situation worked out.

    The best way for the OP to verify this is to check his VZW account online. You should be able to see your current contract end date (is it 2 years from your iPhone activation date?). Also, check your account history and see how the iPhones were purchased (subsidized or not).

    The other possibility of what happened... I'm a VZW customer, and I tried to get an early upgrade to the iPhone as well (I only had a few weeks left on my contract when the iPhone came out). However, I was told by EVERY SINGLE rep that there was absolutely no way to get an early upgrade for the iPhone (their system gave them error messages when they tried). Instead, I was offered all different android phones, just as you were, and they clearly said that the iPhone was not eligible for early upgrades at that time. So I had to wait. You say you "finally got a reasonable individual to help you out" to get an early upgrade for the iPhone, but I doubt even he could do it for you, and that could be where your problem started.
  23. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Except that somehow this kid is getting a bill and somehow he gets the bill but not the letters that VZW sent? I call BS. The kid got the bills and thought VZW can't do a thing and now look where he is.

    As it was already said, the upgrade to the iPhones were "subsidized" because the kid rejected the refurb Droids. However, once he went back and took the refurbs the iPhones were seen as out of contract purchases or "early upgrades". Either way, the kid owes the money. Best bet is to sell the other phones and pay the bill. These things happen when you don't fully control your own finances or take an active role in them if you're sharing responsibilities.
  24. austriak macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2011
    Go to different stores and talk to different managers until they help you out. If that does not work, call multiple times and do the same.
  25. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I've never had VZ, so I don't know how they work. in these cases is the charge made to the billing account, or to the CC used to purchase the phone?
    Years ago my girlfriend (now wife) had trouble upgrading her VZ phone because the plan was in her mothers name. They refused to make any changes on the account without the account owners approval, and her mother was out of town. I assume that the same rule still applies.
    I am forced to conclude that the old woman in this story agreed to the purchase and is therefore accountable for the charge. OP should feel justified in sticking her with the bill since it was the result of her negligence. Either that or OP attempted to make the transaction w/o the old woman's consent, but that would make OP the one attempting fraud! :eek:

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