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Old May 16, 09, 12:16 pm   #1
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Verizon purchasing - Costco v. Retail Store v. Online

Does anyone here have experience, i.e., comparison shopped for which will give you the best deal (i.e., price, options bundled in, etc.) In the past, I've compared online v. telephone v. stores, and each would have its own thing better than the other, but in the end, it was almost a wash. But it is now 2 years later. So, before I start on my own.... all input is welcome.
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Old May 16, 09, 12:26 pm   #2
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I knowledgeable friend recently told me no real deals at the Costco Verizon booth. He ended up at the Verizon retail store in a big mall for landline and cellphones. Dont know where he gets his FIOS tv and FIOS HSI.

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Old May 16, 09, 9:12 pm   #3
 
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Last year when I bought my Blackberry I checked all the deals, and you are right each one has a slight advantage but with one advantage comes with something that might not be an advantage. Amazon had probably the best deal but I decided to go with the kiosk at the Sam's Warehouse (Don't have Costco here) because the person at the kiosk was actually knowledgable about the phone and had my number ported and I walked out of the store with a working phone. It worked out to be they were $25 more than the best deal I found online at Amazon, but I didn't have to send in and wait for a rebate plus I didn't get charged for activation, which was $30, so the in-store deal was actually better when I did all the math.

I was switching carriers so I looked at everybody and it is amazing how many different deals there are. I had different 800 numbers with the same carrier and found different deals for the same phone. I mentioned Activation fees, and found they ranged from $0 to $50. Some required certain plans to get a free phone, and some only required any phone plan.

I think they all have an amount they are going to receive as profit, and they move the numbers around like a car dealer that it is difficult to find the real best deal unless you make a check list of everything and get a true bottom line price. I did most of my "research" when I was travelling and had many hours to kill at airports and did a lot of surfing and calling on the deals.

The thing I was most pleased when I got my Blackberry was switching from at&t to T-Mobile. I was able to get voice and the unlimited Blackberry Data for just a few dollars more a month than what I was paying for voice. T-Mobile is significantly cheaper and where I use the phone it has better coverage. And don't get me started on how much better T-Mobile's customer's service when you compare it to that miserable at&t's. It's been a year and so far T-Mobile hasn't done anything to annoy me.

What I discovered was it was just a few dollars difference on the hardware among deals, but the service price is where you can really save, and when you calculate that savings over the 24 months of your contract you are looking at quite a large amount.

There are just so many variables with cell phone service, bundling with other accounts/organizational discounts, and even how they round-up minutes of use. Some have free incoming minutes, some allow free calls to a group of numbers, or to others with the same carrier. You have to know as much or more about their service before you can pick what turns out to be the best deal.
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Old May 18, 09, 4:38 am   #4
 
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I was at a Costco in Sonoma county recently and they didn't really have any great deals but they were willing to throw in a case, car charger and hands-free device for free. I have no idea if this is done at the verizon stores or not.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 11:55 am   #5
 
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Costco vs other ways of purchasing a cell

I am in the process of upgrading my cell. My friend, who is a Costco member, always raves about their return policy, and was pushing me to buy there, but I looked elsewhere. Today I talked to a Verizon rep who also recommended Costco, so I called for a price. to my surprise, the phone I want is $50 LESS than if I bought it directly from Verizon! I am going to Costco ASAP. If things do not work out well, I will post again.
Reasons I was told buying from Costco is better:
1) "Flawless" return policy. Can return in up to 90 days instead of only 14 (although after 14 you will lose your upgrade IF you don't get another phone, as per Verizon rules.)
2) No restocking fee for returned or exchanged phone. ($35 from other stores.)

According to ads, I could get this phone for free from Circuit City, but the Verizon rep warned me to ask what contract restrictions there are IN ADDITION to the Verizon contract. If you are not happy with the phone, it could become an expensive "free" phone, and they require a major credit card.
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Old Nov 13, 11, 10:41 am   #6
 
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Better double check to see if the return policy applies to cell phones - that booth is a contractor, not Costco.
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Old Nov 13, 11, 5:46 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
Better double check to see if the return policy applies to cell phones - that booth is a contractor, not Costco.
It's 90 days. I'm about to return my bionic and get the razr or nexus. Also, in CA at vzw u pay taxes on full retail, not at Costco.
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Old Nov 13, 11, 11:15 pm   #8
 
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We just upgraded our cell phones at Costco.com and got a better price than in store Costco or AT&T. Had a problem with the mic not working on one phone and they exchanged it with no questions and even gave us a second bonus gift (chargers and case).
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Old Nov 14, 11, 7:38 am   #9
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I got lucky once through Costco Wireless and got upgraded without having my contract renew for 2 years.
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Old Nov 15, 11, 1:56 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Does anyone here have experience, i.e., comparison shopped for which will give you the best deal (i.e., price, options bundled in, etc.) In the past, I've compared online v. telephone v. stores, and each would have its own thing better than the other, but in the end, it was almost a wash. But it is now 2 years later. So, before I start on my own.... all input is welcome.
If you buy online from Verizon, Amazon, or Wirefly this discount site applys a 10% discount off your monthly bill. Amazon and Wirefly also offer other perks too like free activation, free shipping, etc. You can check it out here
Verizon Discount
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Old Nov 15, 11, 8:50 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by chanp View Post
It's 90 days. I'm about to return my bionic and get the razr or nexus. Also, in CA at vzw u pay taxes on full retail, not at Costco.
Any reason for switching away from the Bionic? I got it Sunday and am liking it so far (previously had Droid X).
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Old Nov 16, 11, 3:12 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by alanh View Post
Any reason for switching away from the Bionic? I got it Sunday and am liking it so far (previously had Droid X).
When i go from 4 to 3 g, lose all data connection for hrs at a time. Even a battery pull doesn't fix the issue.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 8:10 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Besos78 View Post
If you buy online from Verizon, Amazon, or Wirefly this discount site applys a 10% discount off your monthly bill. Amazon and Wirefly also offer other perks too like free activation, free shipping, etc. You can check it out here
Verizon Discount
This is a fantastic deal. Is the monthly discount applied to all lines on a family share plan, or only the line of the phone that was purchased through StudentRate's link?
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Old Nov 18, 11, 11:53 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by R U? View Post
This is a fantastic deal. Is the monthly discount applied to all lines on a family share plan, or only the line of the phone that was purchased through StudentRate's link?
It will come off the 1st 2 lines of a family plan. Also I just saw on Verizon's site that their having a 4 day sale on some phones w/ free activation, which you can use one top of the 10% deal as long as you follow the link in the deal. That;s some good savings.
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Old Nov 23, 11, 12:55 pm   #15
 
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I just saw today too that Amazon is having a holiday special, you can get any verizon, att, or sprint phone for only a penny! But it has to be new lines or new customers
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