Best Buy Glitch? (Getting Phone at Contract Price while Keeping Unlimited)

Discussion in 'Verizon Wireless' started by ScarletBuckeye, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. ScarletBuckeye
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    ScarletBuckeye New Member

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    ok, so I just saw on another forum that if you order a phone on the Best Buy website for the subsidized price they have an option that says Keep my data plan. They click on that, then when the phone arrives you just swap the SIM card that is in your current phone and put it in the new one. The website still shows unlimited with contract extended for 2 years

    Anyone else try this or heard of it?
  2. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    My best guess is that is an error. Verizon clearly has done away with the Unlimited plan for any new subscriber or any subsidized device upgrade on the same line. The only option I am aware of to use that phone line for the subsidized upgrade is to be forced onto one of the metered data plans and lose the Unlimited data option. The only ways I am aware of to keep the Unlimited plan are to either purchase the new phone outright from anywhere you choose, purchase a new phone under the Edge plan on a different phone line and then port the phone over to the unlimited line, or use an existing or new phone line to purchase the phone with the subsidy, then move the phone over to the unlimited line. In all cases, the line that is already grandfathered to the Unlimited plan can not be used to effect the subsidy of the phone purchase.

    I may be slightly wrong in one or another description above, but I did purchase a new phone with the Edge plan on a third line I have, then moved it over to my Unlimited plan and have retained Unlimited so I know that process works.
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  3. ScarletBuckeye
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    ScarletBuckeye New Member

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    apparently people have been able to do this for a while
  4. ScarletBuckeye
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    ScarletBuckeye New Member

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  5. zomnomnombie
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    zomnomnombie Active Member

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    I think something similar happened recently and they ended up letting people keep the devices but they closed the loophole.
  6. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    The problem with these "loopholes" is that the funding to subsidize the phone is coming from the carrier - in this case Verizon. Verizon pays Best Buy the commissions for the activation and the 2-year contract which includes the data plan. The commission paid to the retailer - Best Buy is derived from the 2-year contract and accompanying 2-year data plan. Early termination of either part of the plan would constitute the circumvention of being able to recover the subsidies by Verizon via the remaining portion of the 24 months under contract, and therefore suffer a net loss. This is why they have what is known as an ETF (Early Termination Fee). The ETF from Verizon is for the early termination of the phone plan, but the ETF typically charged by the retailer is to reimburse them for the commissions they would suffer the loss of once you terminate the data plan and Verizon takes back the commissions from the retailer.

    There was another similar situation during the $0.01 phone sales that Amazon was running last year. They were losing the back-end revenue on the data plans because people were activating a new phone line onto their family plans with data, getting the phones for $0.01, and then pulling the data plan off the new activation, moving the phone to their unlimited lines and just paying the $10/month for the additional line. This was quickly squashed. I'm surprised that Best Buy has let this go on as long as it has.

    This is the same way all third party retailers (Authorized Verizon Dealers, i.e. Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Radio Shack, private Cellular dealerships, etc.), get paid for the activations and the subsidized reduced prices of the phones. This loophole WILL eventually be closed once someone at Best Buy figures out they've been losing their revenue source for the transactions being completed in this loophole, but like mentioned above, those who get in under the wire will likely be allowed to keep things the way they are. The talk that there is no ETF in the Best Buy agreement is hogwash. It's there, possibly under a catch-all phrase but it's almost certainly in there somewhere. Also, someone at Best Buy will likely lose their job for allowing this to go on as long as it has.
  7. ScarletBuckeye
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    ScarletBuckeye New Member

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    I agree it probably won't last much longer, especially if more people take advantage of it, which is why I'm thinking about trying it now instead of waiting for the S5

    I just went through it, but didn't complete the order, the only option it gave me was to keep my data plan, didn't give me any option to select any of the family share ones
  8. itbedave
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    itbedave New Member

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    This does still indeed work! I just did it at the end of February when renewing my wife and my contracts. It's the ONLY way I found to maintain unlimited data while getting the Verizon subsidized upgrades. At that time, the Galaxy S4's were $99 each, plus you got a $50 BB gift card for each cell number you signed up with prior to upgrading. You order them online and have them SHIPPED TO YOUR HOME. That's the ONLY WAY. If you go in to pick them up, they will INSIST on activating them for you. It's THAT STEP where you will lose your unlimited data, because they put in a new SIM card and go through the initial activation steps.

    When you check out, it asks you if you want to keep your current plan or upgrade to a new one. Just check the keep current plan button, and checkout.

    Once the phone arrives, you simply remove the old SIM from your old phone, and pop it into your new phone. It does it's thing automatically and you stay on the same plan.

    I checked my online VZW account info immediately, after a week, and after a month - STILL on unlimited data... since they came up with the idea. :icon_ banana:
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  9. Rumblesis162
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    Rumblesis162 New Member

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    I got the S5 on contract with Verizon from Best Buy - AND kept my unlimited data.

    I got the S5 on contract with Verizon from Best Buy - AND kept my unlimited data. I was skeptical that it would work, but it did, with no problems. I have had my S5 for a month now, and still have the unlimited data on my account.

    In fact, I am getting my kids off my account and they both have unlimited data. It is my understanding that I can turn the plan over to them, with Verizon's approval, and they can keep unlimited. Anyone do an assumption of data plan this way? I will soon have two available.
  10. KevinJ
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    KevinJ Member

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    I wonder if this still works. BB has the S5 for $99 this week.
  11. itbedave
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    itbedave New Member

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    Yep. There an ongoing thread about how to do it on slickdeals.net

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  12. greevedogg
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    greevedogg New Member

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    CR6 just pointed me over here to this thread from s3forums...Man, this is awesome news! At least for me! Does anyone know if this will work with iCrap? My wife needs a new phone...
  13. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I'd just point out that while traditionally VZW has not taken adverse actions against a customer because of a glitch on their end, it is entirely within their right to force you onto a limited plan because that is what you agreed to when you got the subsidy. They are highly unlikely to do that and it's probably well worth the risk, but don't come crying if they drop the hammer.

    Although it's interesting they haven't fixed this glitch when they almost certainly are aware of it.
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  14. Jeffrey
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    Jeffrey DF Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Try it and let us know...
  15. itbedave
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    itbedave New Member

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    Please show me in my contract where I agreed to a limited contact in order to get the phone subsidy.

    I actually don't think it's a "glitch." I think it's a loophole in the way the agreement with Best Buy has been written as a reseller of Verizon services, and that itself is a contract that can't be changed. Which is why you can still do this.
  16. jackiescivic
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    jackiescivic Active Member

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    The Customer Agreements I deal with have a list of features included for that phone line. You are signing saying you understand and agree to these features

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
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  17. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is when you select the option, you are told you will have to choose a new plan or something to that effect. The glitch is it doesn't actually force you to select a new plan. There's no loophole - if VZW wanted to continue subsidizing unlimited plans they would have never taken it away from us. And there's no way Best Buy gets enough money from VZW to cover that $300 or so subsidy for your phone.

    But I assure you, in your old TOS and the new TOS, when you do a new contract (a.k.a subsidized phone) you are choosing a new plan. And since your old plan is no longer offered, they got you. They probably will never do anything, but it is entirely within their right. Also, I'm pretty sure it is set-up to boot you to a new plan as soon as you turn it on, which is why you have to use your old sim. That's not a loophole - that phone is purchased and shipped to move you to a new plan...this is just a flaw in the execution that people found a workaround for.

    It's hardly unprecedented. More than a few people have walked out of a store or dealership having been charged the wrong price. And I'm pretty sure they have at least 12 months to come after you to get the difference for their error. I myself have corrected and billed significant undercharges B2B more than 12 months later. It is actually a legal right the seller has. VZW could do one of two things - boot you onto a limited contract or charge you (or BB, who then charges you) for the difference. And you're choice would be to accept it or pay an ETF.
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