5 secrets from the mobile-phone trenches
Ever wonder how to break a contract without paying a fee? Or how to stop spam texts? One Verizon Wireless salesman is telling all.
Buying a mobile phone means sifting through a dizzying array of options, from the type of phone to the data plan. And with some wireless companies dinged for their customer service, it's not always clear whether you're getting the best advice from the salespeople.
But one anonymous Verizon Wireless (VZ) store manager is telling all to readers at website Reddit, taking questions on topics ranging from his view of the iPhone (bad) to how to break the dreaded contract.
One thing is clear from readers' questions: The wireless market often seems like a confusing morass of obligations, tricks and loopholes.
Here are five secrets revealed by the store manager, a six-year employee of Verizon Wireless:
1. How do you get out of your contract without a termination fee? "Only way I know of is if Verizon somehow didn't live up to their end of the arrangement," the manager writes. What would qualify? If the carrier's map shows your house should get coverage but your reception is terrible or nonexistent, you may have a loophole to exit. However, he warns that Verizon might just buy you a $300 service booster to fix the problem. The only other way is to find someone else to pick up your contract.
2. Why do sales people hate the iPhone? Part of the reason is the salespeople earn "complete crap" in commission, but the manager cites another criticism that has been lobbed at Apple before. "Apple keeps changing things, therefore forcing people to buy new stuff. You would think we would like that at the store level because it increases our accessory sales," he writes. But it's "arrogance on Apple's part."
3. How can you get a new phone while still under contract? The manager encourages people to buy used phones (OK, they're not technically "new"), which consumers often sell on Craigslist when they upgrade for the latest device. Consumers can then go online and activate the phone, or dial *228 on Verizon phones to activate. (That number will also allow you to update your phone's software.)
4. Can you keep your unlimited data plan? One of the much-hated changes at Verizon Wireless is its attempt to eliminate contracts with unlimited data plans. So is there any way to keep that sweet deal when you upgrade to a new phone? Absolutely. But there's a catch: You'll need to buy a phone outright and avoid signing a new contract. (The manager notes that he practices what he preaches, writing, "I've actually maintained my unlimited data package as well just by buying phones outright.")
5. How can you stop spam texts? One tip that works for all carriers is to reply with the word "stop" if it's a spam text that's advertising something, the manager notes. That will unsubscribe your phone from the messages. The FCC also suggests you forward unwanted spam texts to 7726, which will help block future unwanted messages.
Get a used phone or keep your phone after contract ends and sign up with a prepaid carrier. straighttalk, net10, pageplus, etc. You will save thousands.
Another useless article that makes common knowledge statements. These are insider secrets? kept from whom? who are the idiots who would read this article and believe they have gained some form of insight. Maybe I should write for msn, I have gotten better information from my shoeshine guy than any of these articles.
10 days and a different rep later: "We show that you should have reception in that area..." (you explain the entire situation AGAIN, and then some) "Ok, we'll send a technician to check out the tower. Wait 10-28 days blah blah blah." Aka: Suck it! We're gonna keep finding excuses to drag you along until you get fed up with us and buy out of contract or deal with us, but you're not getting out for free that easy!
I know this from experience. I dropped T-mobile for free when they nixed the 5 Favs or My favs program, whatever. And I also got out of Verizon for free when the unlimited data plan was dropped. I am now with Sprint and very happy. I haven't come across a way to get out for free with them yet, but then again, I'm not really looking for a way out.
Never, never, never reply to the text with a STOP request. Spammers knowingly send out massive amounts of unsolicited messages in hopes to find someone responding to their text via the link or sending a stop command.
now the spammers know your line is a live line and will resell this to others.
the writer needs to do better research by actually visiting the MMA or FTC site for the proper guidelines.
I wouldn't give verizon,AT%T,sprint,or any of them the time of day.
Theres ways to buy the phone and not get locked in.
If you want to win at this game, invest! If you buy Verizon stock from a dscount broker for your 401K retirement, you can WIN Stock is @ $48.62 share pays a $2.06 share dividend which today is 4.23% on your money. Wait for stock market pullback and the % will be higher on your money.
As Verizon raises prices, changes plans, profits more, you profit!
Even 25 shares that cost $1216 pays you $51.50 in tax free dividends. Buy more figure the return.
10 years from now that stock could be worth thousands tax free plus $500-600 in tax free dividends.
Play the game a win. I bought a utility stock when I was 12 and at 17 sold and bought a small motocycle to take me to school.
Buy the stuff you use anyway, even if you hate the company if they pay a good dividend and will only grow over the years.
I was in the business for 14 years... and the whole "doesn't work at my house" reason was valid back in 1999 when coverage was sparse. Now you have your 15 days/30 days after activating to know whether it works at your house, after that, you are stuck. If you provide a death certificate, that will end a contract for a family member. I live in Montana and have heard some T-Mobile customers saying they got out of their contracts because there is no T-Mobile coverage here (thus roaming 100% of the time) and they moved here. They had to provide proof of residence (electric bill, etc) but that may work for some smaller carriers- moving to a state with no coverage. Military usually have some flexibility with "suspending" service but not ending a contract.
As far as these "5 secrets".... blah! Pretty much common sense. My cell phone bill is higher than my car payment and that is what society has made of the cell phone carriers. We have given them so much POWER that they can take away Unlimited packages, they can force us to have a data package on smartphones, they can make retail prices so high that insurance is almost mandatory... the only way this will ever change is cell phone carriers lose some of that power and people go to the Straight Talk Smartphones ($45 unlimited everything) or the Net10's, etc. But this will at least take 5 years or so... I will be making this transition myself in the next 9 months... so, we'll see.
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