Julie’s gadget diary – Be careful how you order your new iPhone 7

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Last Friday (9/9), I got up before 3am EST so I could pre-order an iPhone 7 Plus through Apple. I was really surprised and happy when I saw that I could order one for $419 because I’d been saving my Verizon upgrade for years for just such an occasion. Well, if things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Today I called Verizon to use another saved upgrade for Jeanne so I could order her an iPhone 7. That’s when I found out that my monthly bill was going to go up about $50. Ouch… With subsidies a thing of the past, every carrier does it differently these days. and even a seasoned a gadgeteer like myself can trip up in these ever changing times of a million variations and added fees & costs. 

Last week a buddy at work called Verizon and ordered an iPhone 7 and his bill only went up by $2. I thought wow! I’m going to get in on that deal and order one for Jeanne. So I called Verizon today and that’s when I found out the confusing details about accounts.

I’ve been with Verizon for a long time and haven’t used any upgrades for years, so my contract ran out long ago. Due to that fact, I have been paying a very low line access fee each month. When I ordered the iPhone 7 Plus through Apple for Verizon, the option just showed this:


I was ok with having a 2-year contract again and I just assumed that Verizon brought the  subsidies back with my upgrade and that was why I was getting an $869 phone for only $419. I was wrong. Argh… The Kool-Aid was still in my system, so I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Since I don’t really want to change anything with my monthly bill, I’ve been trying all day to find a way to convert my order to a paid in full order and just buy the phone outright. So far no luck. I’m currently on hold with Apple customer care to see if they can help but it looks like I’ll be returning the iPhone 7 Plus when it arrives in a few days.

My local Verizon store manager gave me some really good advice if all else fails. He told me that I should come to the local store Friday morning and stand in line to see if I can buy an iPhone 7 Plus from their stock on launch day. The last time I stood in line for a device was for the very first iPhone launch in 2007, but it looks like I’ll probably be doing that on Friday morning.

Moral of the story: Make sure you know what new fees you might be adding to your monthly carrier bill when you order a new phone like the iPhone 7.

5 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – Be careful how you order your new iPhone 7”

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  2. I started doing the payment plan via Apple directly. With no interest, and no $20 a month “contract fee” that Verizon does, it saved me quite a bit rather than going through Verizon. We have one phone on contract (my husband’s) that will expire, I believe, in October, and we will save another $20. It’s going to be awesome.

    I also am pretty sure that no matter what, you have to pay around $30 just to change your device on Verizon now. Apparently their upgrade fee wasn’t getting them enough money when people got their devices outside of Verizon! I’ll be curious if they charge you that even when buying a device outside of contract from them.

    I only stay on Verizon because it is the only wireless provider in podunk Missouri where my in-laws live, and our shared plan with a hotspot is their only source of internet. I had hopes for T-Mobile when they bought some extra bands back in what, February, but alas, no luck.

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