Verizon expected to modify its restocking fee policy?

This article contains unofficial information.
Verizon expected to modify its restocking fee policy?
When you're number one in all the land, it can some times lead to some changes that some may consider shocking. Just as we've witnessed Sprint's recent attitude change towards new phone activations, one of our tipster is reporting that Big Red is also modifying one of its policies surrounding the sale of their handsets. Starting April 18th, it's being heard that Big Red will charge their $35 restocking fee to not only exchanges, but returns as well. This new policy change affects only phones and netbooks – accessories are not factored into the mix. So when you're ready to buy a handset, just be sure that it's the exact one the first time around so there are no regrets or buyers remorse when you get home.

Thanks to our anonymous tipster!

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31 Comments

1. allboutverizon

Posts: 66; Member since: May 20, 2009

I guess that is their way of saying, "Well the Gov made us stop charging you a $350 termination fee, lets see them stop us from charging you a restocking fee on everything. We always get our money". I wonder if the return rate on the Palm phones have anything to do with it, I hear alot of them come back to the store from complete exchanges.

6. DonLouie

Posts: 594; Member since: Dec 22, 2008

They still have the $350 ETF but you could be right this may be in preparation for the reduced one. There are so many zealots here justifying the added cost that no other carrier is doing, it's silly to pay a restocking fee because a phone is broken, that has nothing to do with researching the right phone.

15. jundibasam

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 05, 2009

I believe DonLouie and allaboutVerizon are wrong on this. $350 ETF is still being charged, and the $35 restock fee currently only on exchanges but does not currently apply to straight returns for refunds. The $35 restocking fee also doesn't apply to broken phones either. Its only the customers who exchange a working phone for another new phone in the 30 day return period because "they don't like how it functions" or "they want a different color". Best Buy, Target, Walmat, and many other companies charge a version of a restocking fee for returning electronics because electronics cant be sold as new again once they have been opened and used. Why do you think Best Buy always have those open box buys where they give like 30 to 40% discounts off the sticker price of a new product? A compnay shouldn't lose money because they're offering a return policy for the customer's benefit just because the customer doesn't like their purchase and/or changes their mind on it.

24. grech03

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 24, 2010

Well said!!

30. Cali_E

Posts: 196; Member since: Sep 24, 2008

junedibasam- you hit the nail on the head dude.

2. AZNphoneGeek

Posts: 200; Member since: May 15, 2009

it's a business. they loose money with each exchange and people abuse the policy. i champion restock fees. make the right choice the first time eh?! and if you need to exchage, it's just $35 people. stop crying about it.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17043; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The problem is, so many cell phones are pure crap. And it's not always easy to know if it works right for what you need without using it a while. My Omnia is almost unuseable out of the box. Luckily, there are custom ROMs, WinMo 6.5 hacks and third party UIs. Without these, I would have had to return it. And, research would have been nearly useless, as most reviews on the Omnia were very positive.

21. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

We must remember: This article contains unofficial information. I like Verizon's service but I have to admit, don't they make enough money already? Restocking fee, hmm ok. But the forced data package?! I wish they'd drop that. I have Android so I'm not affected by it but my family who have dumb phones hate that move.

3. jmill75

Posts: 121; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

Makes since, why should you get to borrow a brand new phone for x number of days and return it, what are we suppose to do with a phone that is pre owned.

4. bobrhine

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 13, 2010

you guys actually got it backwards. exchanges always had the restocking fee. returns didn't.

8. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

Yeah you're right, I thought phonerena.com would check their articles, but nah what for?

23. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Thank you for the note! We have fixed the article and apologize for the mistake!

5. icesick06

Posts: 30; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

This posting has it backwards. currently you get charged a $35 restocking fee if you bring the phone back in 30 days to exchnage it for a completely different phone (the same phone of a different color is considered a different phone as well). What they are adding in is the fact that if you do decide to upgrade and then change your mind after the fact and return the phone all together, you still get charged the $35 dolloar restocking fee. Now if its a defective phone, and you are bringing it back to exchange out for the exact same model, there is no restock fee.

7. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Verizon has been charging $35 restock fees on exchanges for months now PA. The new policy change is to start charging for returns. To the earlier poster's point...the 30 day exchange policy has been abused with every carrier...so Verizon decided to do something to combat that. Get the right phone the first time...instead of blaming the salesperson. When I go into a store to buy I at least have an idea of what I'm lookin for...your tipster needs to get his facts straight or maybe you need a new tipster....

9. Lylefk

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 13, 2010

A buyer can always go to some indirect dealers to avoid this restocking fee, such as Costco. They also provide a 90 day exchange policy which can be handy.

11. downbeat3

Posts: 13; Member since: Nov 05, 2009

COSTCO!!!! Ya, let me go to Costco and have some idiot fu$k my account up...and them waste a real sales rep's time getting my sh!t fixed...Do they accept Wal-mart gift cards at Costco????? Restocking fees....i vote yes.

17. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Agreed downbeat3! I hate that sh*t!

10. JagerDJ

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 02, 2009

The truth to this change the the returns is this: In the past, if you opened a new line of service/added a line, you got a $25 or $35 activation fee that remained even if you returned the equipment the next day. That part is going away, however now this $35 will apply to all returns, not just new add a lines, but also upgrades. Basically, You're not hit with an activation fee, but you do get the "restock fee", so it balances out in the end. The activation fee will remain for those that keep the line for 30 + days. This is the company quietly recouping more money without fully disclosing how it works so a shit-storm of mis-information doesn't come out. Internally, this is the explanation.

22. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I though you said the activation fee is going away, then later you said the acivation fee will remain for those that keep the line for 30+ days. So which is it? And if they're keeping the activation fee, they're getting you on the front end and the back end. I don't have a problem with the restocking fee. The only time I ever returned a phone in the 30 day window was the Dare and that's because all of the stores within 200 miles only had dummy units and I couldn't tell how bad the touchscreen worked for me. But that was when only the activation fee was there . I think it's a good idea to charge people if the only reason they are changing the phone is the color, that way people who research the phones don't pay for people who practice this. But if they ARE still charging the activation fees as well, then it doesn't help the people who research their phones at all.

12. D-man

Posts: 11; Member since: Mar 17, 2010

VZW can charge whatever they want because ultimately the individual can decide when/if enough is enough - that's the market system at is definition. However, occasionally but not frequently, salespeople do help buyers select the right phone; but it's more common that buyers don't get a thorough demo of what the phone can/can't do. Phone capability is growing so fast, it's almost impossible to even get an adequate test of a phone. And for many buyers, getting a new phone could mean you're switching carriers so you have their network issues untested too. Reviews and recommendations help, but it's not the same as being able to test a product. And you're really not going to get much if you're considering a high-demand phone. I've been two the two carriers most noted for customer service, and the salespeople there would not 1) let me even touch the phones in demand (Droid & HD2) and 2) could not offer a demo on a store phone so I could see the phone in action - seriously, they need displays with service connections and additional features all turned on. Rather than charging fees for change of mind, I'd love to see something bold from the carriers like a phone rental program. I've always found it extremely helpful to rent a vehicle a few times or for a week before buying so I know whether it really does fit my preferences and lifestyle in reality as it does on paper. I don't want anything for free, but I do think being able to test a phone and network before having to live with a 2-yr contract is a reasonable wish for consumers. To some degree, you can test out PCs, TVs, and other electronics as well. In many cases, you're considering something that you're not unfamiliar with so it's easier to pick something you know will work. However even in the case of PCs, I find Apple retail locations invaluable because you can try/test most aspects of a computer if you have the time or schedule an appointment. Not so easy to do that when it comes to buying complex/capable smartphones.

13. allboutverizon

Posts: 66; Member since: May 20, 2009

I agree with you to a degree. I agree 100% on the trying things out. I've had Verizon for 3 years now, and I've never had to exchange a phone back in because I always do my research, and I go to the store usually to play with the phone, and I'll try to run applications and everything. Usually I'll have a full feel for the phone before I buy it. The first phone I didn't do that with was my Moto Droid, but I still have it and love it. To often customers don't detail their needs in a phone, and reps rush sales and don't ask enough questions. Leading to people with phones and plans they don't need. So it's like who do you blame, I say it's 50/50.

14. BlackberryUser

Posts: 609; Member since: Jun 26, 2009

So here is my experience with this. First the article is backwards, their is a restocking fee to exchange a phone, but not return a phone. My Blackberry Tour 9630 fried in Nov when an update came out. I was traveling and they had no replacements available, instead of replacing the phone with a new one they sold me a new one against my account. When I received my replacement in the mail they had me return the new one with no restocking fee. I think this is a broken process and inconvenient for the customer. Either way, i think restocking fee's are justifyable for returns. That said I personally think exchanges shouldn't have a restocking fee, because you're maintaining customer satisfaction. Why keep a customer happy who might be leaving for another carrier while penalizing your loyal customer?

16. ToddD00

Posts: 38; Member since: Mar 30, 2009

Verizon-- "we never stop working for you". Somehow I think when they made that slogan they accidently added the word "for" in there.

18. CHEFJEFF

Posts: 147; Member since: Sep 22, 2009

I'm getting really tired of Verizon, and thier Damn fees!

20. tedkord

Posts: 17043; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Another issue is salespeople. I've been in Verizon stores, and heard the slaespeople tell outright, bald-faced lies to customers about the phones they're showing them. It's possible that some folks buy phones based on false info the salesfolk give them - then get a restock fee to return it for a valid reason. I was a victim of a lying ATT salesperson about 10 years ago (the plan, not the phone - lied and told me that there was no roaming in a 50 mile radius around my home address, and that my area was saturated in coverage. Both were lies. First bill had about $100 in roaming charges even though I hadn't been outside the 50-mi radius at all the whole month, and I couldn't hold a call ever. When I called to complain, the ATT rep told me that the roaming didn't work that way, and that they had no towers in my area so I couldn't expect a good signal, and that they weren't responsible for what their reps told me. I calmly told her that ATT would not be getting a penny, and to this day they haven't. I returned the phones, cancelled the account and took my business to VZW)

25. cellex

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

I think people seem to forget if you buy a phone from Verizon and then return it, its not resold but can only be used as a certified like new replacement. Therefore. If the full retail price of the device is $500, the potential is VZW might get $50 for the clnr fee. So Verizon lost $450. I know that people will respond with

26. merkeke

Posts: 62; Member since: Jan 03, 2009

When you buy a car, you tend to do alot of research online before purchasing it because in most cases you cant just return it. Most people i know do this with any large purchase they make including a cell phone. Do your research then buy, dont buy then do your research.

27. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

In SD they've been charging those fees for a while. I work for an indirect retailer, and we've been ordered to charge them as well on our customers, but for the most part, we don't. I like the idea of being able to charge the fee if it's obvious a customer is trying to hose me, but usually I don't mess with restocking fees.

28. Sellcell

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 16, 2010

So what ever happened to the trial period? What else can Verizon charge their customers for, hmmmm. In the last three yrs they've added $350 etf, $35 return/restocking fee, must get internet on feature phones, what else I know I'm forgetting something.

29. cellex

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

the $350 etf fee is for advanced devices only. devices that cost usually frp between $400 - $600. So that if you pull a stunt such as do a bogo blackberry and get them for a total of $200 then decide to walk away, disconnect your lines and then sell the devices on ebay for a huge profit then oops you have to pay $350 a piece for disconnecting.Perfeclty sensible business decision. Regards $35 restocking fee, see my last post. Clearly every time you buy your phone, decide you dont like it and take it back to vzw you cost them money, not YOU but VZW. And dont pull the @how much money does VZW make from its customers@. If every time you guys complain about a charge that you think VZW should give you back then you can kiss good bye to paying less than $200 for a cell phone and start pay maybe $500 - $1000 for a two year price. Thats what they would have to do for subsidising all the free loaders that call in every single day wanting credits back for services proivded, used but now all of a sudden you didnt want. Also internet not required for feature phones. For 3g multimedia phones. Esentially for devices with HTML internet browsing and mobile email ... and why? So that when you guys buy the phones and acidentially connect to the internet for sever hours a day for entire month and then call VZW to get a credit for the $50+ worth of mb charges there is a safeguard. And remeber when it comes to the internet plans. The $10 that you pay per month is for 25 MB, do the math at $1.99 per MB thats $50 of data for $9.99. Cheaper than AT+T ... not cheaper than Sprint or Tmobile with their everything for $10 or whatever they currently run. But then again when you sell poor service that you fail to maintain correctly you can give it away for free, it doesnt mean its any good!

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