The power of a Retention Specialist – Verizon Wireless Edition

I’ve written before that I see Big Wins as integral in all aspects of my life. Ok, maybe that’s an overstatement, but they really are important.

One area that I think a lot of us are finding Big Wins in, are retention offers on credit cards. But there are others! I mentioned in the past, that I call my cable provider roughly every 6 months to ensure that I have the latest promotion, which keeps my cable bill at a constant or slight increase, vs. the 10-25% increases that others might see after an initial sign up promotion.

Well, another area, that I don’t think has been talked about much, is cell phones. Especially lately, with the wireless carriers moving away from subsidizing cell phones, in exchange for signing a two year contract, it is harder and harder to get any sort of “retention bonus” out of them. But fear not, it is still possible.

Thanks to a Retention Specialist at Verizon Wireless, I was able to switch between the Verizon Plan (which I had only switched to a month ago), which has a $20 per line fee, back to a 2 year contract, which has a $40 per line fee, because the net result was getting two free phones.

You see, the way the new Verizon Plan works, is, they lower your per line fee, but then they charge you the full market cost of the phone you decide you want. In most cases, these are $600+ phones, and rather than paying all at once, Verizon is happy to break that out over 24 months, and just add it to your bill. So, imagine you want a $600 iPhone, you’d have to pay an additional $25 per month (plus the taxes). So, while, with the Verizon Plan, you’re saving $20 on per line fees, you’re actually paying $5 more per month for your phone. Over 24 months, you are paying a net $120 more! Now, there are some promotions that come and go, like the current one, which offers $300 for trading in an old phone, when you buy a Droid Turbo 2 by Motorola.

$300 credit when buy LG Droid Turbo

$300 credit when buy LG Droid Turbo

With the old 2 year contract approach, which folks who have had Verizon Wireless before the switch over, seem to be able to be grandfathered back into, you get up to a $200 credit for a new phone when signing up for a new contract. Sometimes you can get even more by asking nicely for something to “sweeten the pot.” In my case, I was ok with the $200 credit, since the phones I wanted were less than that (the Galaxy S5, which if you did the Verizon Plan, wouldn’t be less than $200, see below):


My new phone!

I also asked for the “upgrade charges” of $40 per line to be waived. The retention specialist could only waive one, but at this point I was kind’ve worn down, so I accepted it. Overall, I’m still saving money.

The Elephant in the Room

Many (but not everyone) that work the miles and points hobby, like to travel overseas. So I would be remiss not to mention Verizon Wireless’ new International plan.


Candidly, Verizon’s option sucks. It got released to a fair bit of fanfare, even covered by other bloggers, but, it just plain sucks. It sucks so much, that I’ll be keeping my $20 per month T-Mobile Data plan. The T-Mobile plan gives you 100MB’s of international 3G roaming at no cost. It’s good enough for me, and since I’ve started, I’ve found the freedom offered to be amazing. There’s no way I’m going to pay $10 per day, per device to Verizon, because I’m not sure I could get sufficient value to justify the cost.

Bottom Line

If you’ve shown loyalty to a wireless carrier, always talk to a Retention Specialist To do that, you’ll want to tell the automated system or person who answers, that you want to either change/reduce, or terminate your service to get to one. This is especially beneficial if your carrier has moved away from subsidizing phones, as sometimes a retention specialist can “grandfather” you in to a 2 year contract and subsidized phone arrangement, vs. the monthly payment plan for a new phone.

But above all, remember, the skills that we learn and exercise in the pursuit of miles and points can, and should be used in other aspects of life, and through them, we can all achieve Big Wins.

4 thoughts on “The power of a Retention Specialist – Verizon Wireless Edition

  1. I have had the worst service with Verizon! I have been on the phone with a representative, customer care, tech coach’s, for hours and hours over the last 11 days (March 2017). My Google Pixel XL I’ve had for 3 months stopped working, so Verizon promised me a Brand New Google Pixel XL. (NOT USED NOT REFURBISHED)!!! I got in the mail a scratched up USED Google Pixel XL with the EXACT same problems my first phone had! Speakers, Microphone, etc. Now after a few more days and hours and hours spent on the phone with Verizon, I’m onto my 3rd Google Pixel XL phone that is a refurbished phone, (after i had been promised a brand new Google Pixel XL phone from the very first phone call). How do I know that the exact same problems are going to happen? I have lost Business, I can not contact my customers/they can not contact me. This is unacceptable! Verizon has not been helpful at all, and I am extremely disappointed with their services!

    • @Joanne, I’m sorry to hear that. I actually finally booted Verizon on Christmas Eve of last year. Have been much happier with AT&T and T-Mobile.

  2. My bride and I have been with you folks since 2001. We have 2 phones and two lines. We pay about $120.00 a month. We are also paying you $22.00 a month for a I-phone 6S plus that we paid retail price for about 3 months ago. Ridiculous. Other providers are contacting us with offers of $60.00 a month for both phones, both lines, unlimited talk, text and data. We are both seniors, my bride is disabled and strictly looking at this from a financial point. We don’t travel anymore, most of our talk, texting is done locally and live in New Orleans. We know all about you being the best, fastest, largest, more towers, on and on. We are also paying you $22.00 a month for a I-phone 6S plus that we paid retail price for about 3 months ago. Ridiculous. I can’t even get to a customer advocate to discuss this issue. I’m certain I will after we change carriers asking why I did not talk to them before I switched. They always say, well we could have done something through our loyalty program or provider loyalty program. This is may final attempt to stay with Verizon. You’ve been a terrific provider, great customer service and very helpful with any issues we have had. Old cliché, the ball is in your court. Thank you very much.

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