Oh, they are so full of it. They don't need to activate it for you. All you need to tell them is you need a sim card because you would like to activate a phone you will be putting on your line, that you are capable of doing the activation yourself, and that rather than having to make another separate trip into Verizon, you want to be able to activate it as soon as able. You could even let them know that you plan to move the phone from your mom's line to yours and that is within their policies.
Myself, I have no problem telling them politely what my plans are... it gives me an opportunity to explain that I plan to do everything I can to maintain my unlimited.
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