1. mothershipload's Avatar
    So I cancelled service with my former carrier, got a final bill with ETFs, all's cool. I paid them off. Then I got another bill from the local store, they want me to pay for the phones. I thought, maybe wrongly (?), that I only owe the carrier company for phones AND services AND ETFs.

    Is the local store in the right when they asked me to pay for the phones?

    04-30-2015 11:01 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Assuming that you hadn't bought the phone outright at the beginning, you still have to pay it off. You probably just paid off the last bill with the carrier, and the ETF is for the contract, not the phone. If the phone wasn't fully paid off, you still have to pay the balance--and that would be to the phone store (which I assume was contracting with the carrier).
    04-30-2015 11:06 PM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    The local store usually has you sign a contract that if you cancel before a certain amount of time, you;ll pay them a certain amount. (They get paid by the carrier for getting you as a customer, and they use that to offset what they pay for the phones. They lose that money if you cancel before the contract is ended, so they want you to replace it.)

    It's not common for shops to do that - it's a good way to lose you as a customer - but some stores do. (I never did - I'd rather have a customer than $50 - or even $500 when Cingular was going crazy in the NYC market. Even if he never spends any money in my store in my store, he'll recommend me to others, and I'll make a lot more back from all that than the early termination cost me. [I had customers drive past 10 other stores to deal with one of mine - they knew I was selling them what they needed, not what I made the most money on.])

    But is it legitimate? Probably. Check all the paperwork you got when you got the phone - there's probably one sheet in there that says they can charge you in addition to the ETF.
    05-01-2015 12:38 AM
  4. mothershipload's Avatar
    How about this one additional piece of information: One of the phone was a Galaxy S5, at the time, Samsung had a promotion going, which gave me a tablet for free if I got the phone. Now the store wants me to pay for the tablet too. I don't think that's right. Do you?
    05-01-2015 09:45 AM
  5. B. Diddy's Avatar
    The free tablet probably was based on a 2 year contract. There was probably something in the fine print of the contract you signed about having to pay off the tablet if you broke the contract.
    05-01-2015 11:27 AM
  6. mothershipload's Avatar
    Thank you.
    There probably is something in the contract to that effect. I, and probably most people, didn't spend the time to go over every word. Those contracts are loooong and the prints really small. Just my being ignorant, I thought that only the ETFs were what I had to worry about. Chalk it up to another lesson learned.
    05-01-2015 12:10 PM
  7. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Yep. Always remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true.
    05-01-2015 02:40 PM
  8. Rukbat's Avatar
    And I'd find a different local store to deal with. (I say this as the retired owner of a few "local stores".) The way that store is doing business is no way to do business.
    05-01-2015 11:37 PM
  9. mothershipload's Avatar
    Now IF I had ordered the phones online at the carrier's website, thereby bypassing a brick and mortar store, would I still have had this problem?
    05-13-2015 12:22 PM
  10. hallux's Avatar
    Now IF I had ordered the phones online at the carrier's website, thereby bypassing a brick and mortar store, would I still have had this problem?
    Likely not. There are 2 kinds of stores, "Corporate" and "Authorized reseller". The one you dealt with is likely an authorized reseller, the same kind of stores Rukbat owned (so it seems). When you buy from verizonwireless.com you get a "corporate store" experience. The authorized reseller can be likened to buying a device or service from Amazon as they'll have similar policies on early terminations. Amazon may sell the phone for less than Verizon but if you drop the contract early, you have fees to pay them on top of what Verizon charges you.

    I'm fortunate in that there is a corporate store near me.
    05-13-2015 12:35 PM
  11. mothershipload's Avatar
    Thanks hallux! I don't know why the heck I walked into that "authorized reseller" store. I've always gotten my phones online directly from the carrier, and was ignorant of this other way of getting a new phone.
    05-13-2015 12:46 PM

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