Will Verizon Wireless Please Stop Harassing Me To Renew My Cell Phone Contract

Published 2/6/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

For the last few weeks I've been receiving incessant phone calls several times daily from some unknown toll free number - specifically 1-800-261-1646. Because I have a habit of screening my calls and not picking up my cell phone if I don't recognize the caller ID, the missed calls kept coming in. The unknown calls were perplexing because I recalled signing up my number for the National Do Not Call List. Eventually I gave up and chose to call the number back to see what was up.

The Verizon Wireless Sales Pitch - May We Bind You To A New Multi Year Contract With Just A Few Freebie Offers?

When I called the number, at first there was dead air and I wondered if I had called a scam number, but then a voice over the phone introduced himself thanking me for my interest in Verizon Wireless and requested my cell phone number. I was a bit suspicious but since my cell phone was indeed serviced through Verizon Wireless and I figured my cell phone number wasn't really confidential information, I gave him my information. If he had inquired about the last 4 digits of my social security number I might not have readily given him the number, since I was still a bit suspicious at that point. But with my phone number information, he immediately ascertained my name so I figured he was at least somewhat legit.

Immediately he launched into a sales pitch to get me to sign up for a new binding multi year cell phone contract. On that point he was correct as my current wireless phone contract was near expiration. He informed me that I was eligible for a new phone (although he didn't specify what model it would be) and offered to throw in an extra 100 minutes per month if I would be willing to renew my wireless contract. He offered to mail me my new phone replacement right away but I refused to get suckered in. I told him the extra minutes were useless since I never even get close to reaching my monthly limit and that I probably could find a better deal online without the need for a contract extension. Unable to lock up the contract and without even saying thank you or goodbye, the supposed Verizon Wireless rep hung up abruptly - a typical sales commission driven response.

After investigating further, the phone number traced to a 3rd party outsourced vendor working with Verizon Wireless to help it secure new contract renewals. Apparently the vendor's allowed to call individuals on the Do Not Call List because they are calling on behalf of Verizon Wireless to customers who are all current or recent Verizon Wireless customers. However, it should be noted that they can still be blocked if you tell them not to solicit or call you ever again.

My Advice For All Those Nearing The End Of Their Cell Phone Contracts - Negotiate With Leverage

Cell phone wireless contracts are the most anti competitive mechanisms that major wireless phone carriers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint-Nextel, AT&T, and T-Mobile use to keep their users in line and bounded to them in customer servitude. This contractual obligation is frequently renewed and extended through clever solicitation of verbal consent, and the dangling of seemingly attractive freebie carrots - shabby offers that are not really all that great.

Currently my phone plan is under Verizon Wireless' America's Choice 450 Anytime Minutes with Unlimited In calling for $39.99 a year. However, because I took advantage of student and corporate employee wireless phone discounts, I was able to save 19% off my monthly cell phone bill. My 2 year wireless phone contract is indeed going to expire in a month or two but I have no intention of renewing my contract just yet. I want to make sure I maximize the leverage I have when negotiating better terms.

Wireless carriers are desperate to retain their customers and look to using legal contracts to prevent them from jumping ship to another carrier. My advice is to initially resist the temptation to accept any of the free phone deals, upgrades or whatever extra minutes they offer, because once you accept, you automatically agree to a new contract extension. Wait until your contract is fully expired before you negotiate - you'll have a lot more leverage with these wireless companies once your contract is up. At that time, you have the option at your disposal to leave and go to another provider without a termination fee - their nightmare scenario.

So, wait till your wireless contract is up, and then ask for any and all upgrades you want in addition to a new phone at zero cost. Currently Verizon Wireless only advertises a measly "New Every Two" year phone upgrade that only provides a paltry $50 or $100 good towards a new phone. In my opinion, that's not good enough - so be sure to demand more minutes, more functions (like internet access), and a new phone for free. They will happily oblige but just remember, you'll be signing a new contract with them for another year or two in the process, but at least you'll know you truly maximized your options.

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18 Responses to “Will Verizon Wireless Please Stop Harassing Me To Renew My Cell Phone Contract” 

  1. Pete @ biblemoneymatters.com says:

    ah yes, the sales pitch phone calls. I love 'em. We recently just had a salesguy from gold's gym calling us non-stop for a couple of weeks until we told him to stop calling. very annoying.

  2. Ginger says:

    We are actually in the middle of an ongoing battle with SprintPCS to run as far away from them as possible after almost 10 years of doing business with Sprint. In the last 8 months my cell service has really gotten much worse. Dropped calls, underwater connections, excessive static, flipping from 5 bars to no bars in one spot and going into roaming all while the phone sits on a table in the same exact spot. Calling them does nothing. I get nowhere. I have begun calling every single time my service is sub-par. A wired line is looking good again. Their customer service is purely EVIL. We are kept on the phone for excessive amounts of time and bounced from one person/office to another.

    Your comment about not accepting anything free, upgraded, enhanced, making a change whatsoever is right on the mark. It is costing me an additional 8 months on a contract I'd love to get out of. We have 4 lines and have managed to get one line canceled. One more will go soon. And then when my line ages out on the contract we run for the border. We are actually thinking we'll go with Verizon because of their coverage, other family members already in the network and an employee discount via my husband's employer.

    Until December, I am forced to deal with it. Sprint told me I have to die before I can get out of paying the ETF. I was told this by their CONTRACT office. But the dude in the Philipines working for SprintPCS understood me when I said I want someone who speaks English!

    I guess there isn't a cell phone on the planet that really is fair, has great customer service and is contract free.

    Ginger

  3. Raymond says:

    Ginger,

    I completely know where you're coming from on this. Unresponsive and rude customer service drives me crazy and makes me very upset as well.

    I too had Sprint PCS for several years before I finally finished my binding contract and switched to Verizon Wireless. These cellular contracts are very difficult to get out of. I have heard of people bailing out of their Sprint PCS agreements by telling Sprint that they are moving out of the country (white lies), which allowed them to successfully end the contract early without having to pay the unreasonably pricey termination fees. I've heard numerous stories of that approach working with Sprint PCS, but not with other carriers, including Verizon.

    BTW, I encourage you to switch to Verizon Wireless as I've been happy with them overall, although I think call quality may be a regional thing. I'm located near Washington D.C.

  4. J. says:

    I too got countless calls from Verizon wanting me to update my cell phone calling plan. I said no and what part of no don't you understand. I told them not to call me anymore but they kept on calling. I made a note of the number (which was not an 800 number) and called Verizon Customer Service. They said the number was the local Verizon store and they couldn't do anything about it. So I called the store and chewed the manager out, told him the calls were harassing and I was on the do not call list. The calls finally stopped but it was a draining, frustrating experience.

  5. Jane McIntosh says:

    I was surprised at how many folks receive unwanted calls to renew their cell phone contracts. I am in the business of renewing contracts with any cell phone customer with any carrier for whoever needs a renewal; however, I do not make phone calls to anyone. I do my work with them ony upon meeting them face to face and finding that they need to do a renewal. Then I go online and complete their order. Or they may go to my website and do it themselves choosing the changes they may wish to make and choosing the minutes they wish to carry which then determines their monthly payments. They can scroll and look at all of the latest phones and choose the one they want to have for the next 2 years. We get lots of happy customers. Maybe I can help.

  6. Jack says:

    800-261-1646 is one of several telephone numbers associated with Connect North America, a Canadian company which is purportedly making outbound calls on behalf of Verizon Wireless.

    Connect North America is headquartered in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. The company also has a facility in nearby Presque Isle, Maine, United States.

    Barry D. O'Donnell is President and CEO of Connect North America Corporation. Mr. O'Donnell is listed by the New Brunswick Certified General Accountants as having an office in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. O'Donnell & Company is listed in Canadian phone directories as providing accounting and tax services.

    John Maclean is Director of Operations for Connect North America.

    Connect North America suggests that those seeking employment opportunities should contact Kim Dyer in Connect North America's Presque Isle, Maine facilities.

    If Connect North America is indeed calling Verizon customers on behalf of Verizon Wireless, they would not be in violation of Do Not Call laws, since they are calling as an agent of a business with which you have an established relationship.

    The Better Business Bureau has no record of complaints for Connect North America. Frustrated recipients of their calls can certainly change that by visiting http://welcome.bbb.org .

    While the federal Do Not Call law applies to companies soliciting individuals, it does not apply to individuals calling companies to express their displeasure with annoying calls. Federal law also does not prohibit individuals from calling companies to express their joy and excitement that such company has no compunction over being a massive hemorrhoid to millions of innocent phone customers.

    Perhaps you'd like to express your joy and excitement each time you get a call from Connect North America. Just make sure you're fully aware of the cost of toll calls to New Brunswick, Canada. And L'est you want to receive a ton of unwarranted e-mails, be sure to create a special e-mail account when contacting them electronically.

    In Canada…
    Barry D O'Donnell, President and CEO
    Connect North America
    Tel: 877-457-4466
    Cell: 506-471-0192 (Canadian Number)
    506-470-3636 (Canadian Number)
    Fax: 506-450-4018 (Canadian Number)
    b.odonnell@diamondfinancial.ca
    b.odonnell@connectna.com
    barryo@nbnet.nb.ca

    506-457-4466 O'Donnell & Company Telephone (Canadian Number)
    506-450-4018 O'Donnell & Company Fax (Canadian Number)

    John Maclean, Director of Operations (in New Brunswick, Canada)
    j.maclean@connectna.com

    In the United States of America
    Kim Dyer
    Connect North America USA, Inc.
    18 Greenhill Dr
    Presque Isle, ME 04769
    (207) 760-9120 Main Company Line (U.S. Number)
    207-764-6484 (Direct Office Line) (U.S. Number)
    k.dyer@connectna.com

    In addition to your own US Senator and Congressman, you may also want to inform these individuals about the activities of their constituent businesses:

    Rep. Michael H. Michaud
    Second Congressional District of Maine

    Washington DC
    1724 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515-1902
    Phone: 202-225-6306
    Fax: 202-225-2943

    Presque Isle, Maine
    445 Main Street
    Presque Isle, ME 04769
    Phone: 207-764-1036
    Fax: 207-764-1060

    Susan M. Collins, United States Senator
    413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington DC 20510
    (202) 224-2523
    (202) 224-2693 Fax

    Olympia J. Snowe, United States Senator
    154 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington DC 20510
    (202) 224-5344
    (202) 224-1946 Fax

  7. Wulf says:

    Recently, I was getting harassing calls from telemarketers saying my cars warrenty was about to expire. I did everything I could politely do to find out what company this was to file the proper FCC complaints, along with BBB, state prosucuter, etc...

    When I called verison to get the information about where exactly the calls were coming from, I GOT STONEWALLED for well over an hour... Their technology is good, but they have a problem with taking care of their customers, so they resort to distrubuting fresh new toys to their "contractual clients". (my spelling sucks, I admit it, no spell check here)...

    ATTENTION VERIZON: WHEN MY CONTRACT IS UP I WILL SCREW WITH YOU. I'LL GO TO CRICKET, WITH ALL 4 OF MY CELL PHONE LINES (I have three employees at my business, and weve been using Verizon for a few years now, make it worth MY while)... How about FREE BLACKBERRIES instead of JUNK phones made in CHINA BY SLAVES that break into pieces after being in a pocket for 9 months??? Auf weidersehen, Verizon...

  8. christine says:

    Thanks for this article. I really wish there were something we could do about these loopholes in the Do Not Call Registry. I seem to be getting more crap calls now that I'm registered than ever before.

    But I appreciate the information you provided, especially the identity of yet another pesky caller.

  9. Benjamin says:

    In response to the very first entry. Yes, we do call our CURRENT Verizon Wireless customer to see if they would like to renew their services with us. But, it is totally up to you whether you want to take it or not. The 3rd party company that does make those calls is not a commision based company, we are hourly paid and with great incentives. I believe if I was the agent that answered the call that day, you will now be in a two year contract but not by any tricks......

    If you have the Americas Choice 450 plan, paying $39.99 per month, that is an older plan. Our NEW Nationwide Plan gives you more coverage in more areas, plus you are included in Americas largest 3G network. And by the way, access to out Mobile Web 2.0 is not included in the plan so you will not have to pay that $5.00 monthly charge that would have to do with the Americas Choice plans. Plus yes, we do give out 50 or 100 overage protection minutes for renewing also, and yes I know, you don't use all your minutes, but let's just say if their was an emergency in your life and you need to use your cell phone more you would not have to worry about costly overage charges by going over you base 450 minutes.

    As for a phone, well yes you only get a $50 or $100 NE2 discount but that in many ways can get you a top model phone with all the bells and whistles you want for close to nothing after the mail-in -rebate. Depending on the phone you wanted, the phice would have been anywheres in the area of $100 or FREE.

    I believe you would have renewed your service and gotten a new phone if I was the one that responded to your call that day. You would have been happy with your decision and you would have wrote something completely different. Like any business we are here to make money and make sure that our customers are happy with what they have chosen. I make sure of that everytime I put the headset on at work.

    So in ending, you are wrong to post something like this without knowing everything that consist in this type of business. This 3rd party company employs a lot of our little towns citizens and we know how it feels to get solicited, but we feel we are not soliciting when all we are doing is trying to give OUR VERIZON WIRELESS customers the best service they can and saving some money in the long run. If you are interested in renewing your service just call the number and see if we can help. 1-800-261-1646 if you are on a singleline account and 1-866-831-8125 if you are a family share account holder.

    Thanks,
    Benjamin

  10. warren davis says:

    Hey ben. Suck it.

  11. Jason says:

    They're on an auto dialer that works for crap, that click you hear is them actually switching from the computers dialer to the rep so you think they hung up when it was them finally connectiing. If you hate going to the stores dealing with the sales people long lines you can get your phone thru them early and get bonus minutes as well most time I mean if your not planning on leaving might as well. After all you can always get out of contract without paying termination fee by saying your moving out the country I hear that works wonders. If your not interested I suggest either waiting for that rep to pick up or just calling right back and say put me on your dnc (do not call) list. If your calling them back your going to need to give them your mobile number so they can pull up the acount they have on file to add your number to the dnc list take about 2 min if they're computers aren't freezing trying to pull up your account. (They're working with old pc's after all to insure more money for the big wigs like the names mentioned above) I suggest not taken it out on the rep that called if you have an issue, after all the reps jobs on the line with every call some have families like you and I and with the job market the way it is only job they can get and they're management knows this and forces the reps to push sales and if they don't meet the sales goals out the door they go because this company cares nothen for the people that work for them but only about the money they make. So ask for a supervisor and tell them to give you the pitch laugh and say no thanks put me on the dnc list and fire yourself for not getting the sale. Oh one last note reason these reps that call and don't seem to understand the word "no" and keep trying its because they're forced too and if they mess up and actually don't rebut and take the no for what its worth and just say ty and give you the number to call bam that reps fired because they record all the calls they make so they can fire reps who are not forcing you to renew. Sounds like a great job to me!!!

  12. Mark says:

    Best way to stop the calls is to call that number back give them your mobile number they're going to need that to add you on there do not call list. Calling them back and just saying don't call again doesn't work because they're on an old auto dialer that works for crap hence the click sound which is actually the sound of the rep finally connecting to you from they're slow computers. Yeah they dont have state of the art stuff their after all that would mean spending money and management can't afford to do that it affects their pockets and they're greedy after all. Don't give the reps the hard time yes they're annoying and pushy and NO seems to just mean use another angle to sell to me. Thats because the reps who are calling you jobs based on hourly work meaning each hour determines if they're going to keep they're job and if they're not getting sales that hour they're supervisor will pull all recorded calls from that rep find the one call the rep didn't push you hard enough and tell that rep hey your not doing your job your fired go home. A lot of pressure on the reps that work for the company and you know its not they're dream job and they're like us have families to feed and jobs are scarce these days. What would be great is if everyone that got these calls would just call back ask for a supervisor and they have to put one on for you speak to that supervisor and say hey put me on the dnc list your the one not getting the sale so fire yourself not the poor slob your running into the ground on an hourly basis for min wage.

  13. SYost says:

    I've been getting calls for another person in the same area we live in that has the same name...apparently they're not paying their bill...they keep calling me, and the odd thing about it...I have unlisted phone number.....there's no way that other person has my phone number....Verizon is trying to get someone to pay and I keep getting the run around from Verizon.....telling they need an account number...I tell them they already have my unlisted number why can't they get it straight.

    the number the keeps calling is a Verol II Corporation 206-315-3010

  14. Bob says:

    Honestly yes we do get frustrating sometimes for some people that are not able to take the 5 mins that i would take to put you on the Do Not Call list and the fact is that many customers would rather sit on the phone and swear at me up one side and down another. If this makes them feel better great, otherwise it really doesn't hurt my feelings and the fact that they have nothing better to do with their time then sit and scream at a sales rep over the phone rather than something constructive is beyond me. If you don't want to be called then simply ask to be put onto the Do Not Call list its a brief thing that is read to you and lo and behold you aren't getting anymore calls.
    Also take into the fact of what you do for a job, Do you work in food service,How about go to college with a part time job, Do you just drive trucks and have a cell, how about a doctor, maybe an electrican? All of these jobs PAY PEOPLE if you stop and think everyone has to make money some how and some areas don't leave alot of choice open for jobs since the economy isn't the greatest at the time. So next time you get a call from a telemarketer just think they are just trying to make ends meet and you, the person that likes to cuss these people out, is just making a difficult job more difficult. And yes i work for one such company like this IN THE UNITED STATES.

    One thing you guys may not realize is that legally telemarketers are REQUIRED by law to give the number they are calling from if they are unwilling or say they do not have a phone number then its a complete scam coming from China or India or somewhere else. This number makes it so that you can call back if you need to and shows we are not scamming you out of anything and we also have a direct number to Verizon Wireless that you can call and verify that we are legally given permission to make calls on behalf of Verizon Wireless.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have a similar plan (though I think I only 400 minutes - how'd you score the extra 50?!) and do not want to give it up, because it includes Canada in its "local" calling network, which is important because of family living there. Because of this, my wife and I were coping with phones that were nearing the end of their useful lives, out of fear of being forced to sign up for a new contract if we purchased new phones. We were eligible for new-every-two discounts on phones, but thought of losing our free calling to Canada kept us from taking advantage. Finally, the unthinkable happened. My phone broke - in half! It was not possible to repair it, as it had literally snapped in half, and it was a flip; of course the snap was at the hinge, and the little fibers that sent data from the base to the screen (and earpiece) were severed and hanging loose. We dejectedly went to a Verizon Wireless store, bracing ourselves for a big fight to try to hang on to our precious calling plans, or else just buying cheap phones for $20 bucks in order to keep from having to sign up for new plans. Imagine our surprise when we found out that we could renew our current plans AND take advantage of the new-every-two discounts! We were thrilled, and to make matters simple, we got the same phone, so we could share a charger when we travel and leave one at home, in case it gets lost. We didn't go all out and get new fancy smartphones, as the discounted prices were still over $100, and our goal was FREE. So we went with the Samsung U620, which has a decent camera, larger memory than we had previously, and a sleek, durable slider design. Now, though, they are coming again to their end, especially after an unfortunate dropping incident making my wife's screen unclear, but we are near the point of new-every-two upgrading as well, so we're looking for ways to negotiate into a better contract but still retain our Canada calling. I've got it almost all figured out - we use Packet-8 for our home phone, which includes calling to Canada in its basic plan at $24.99/month, and they offer a mobile version, which is free (for life) as of now, though they plan on making it a pay-for-service feature soon to new subscribers. The problem is you can only use it on smartphones. If we were to get smartphones from Verizon, we'd need to subscribe for data plans, which would be nice to have anyway, but they start at $79.99/month. Has anybody been able to negotiate this down to something closer to the $50 range (I'm paying $39.99 right now, and $79.99/month is a big leap)? Thanks!

  16. Mad in massachusetts says:

    I also have had problems with calls from 1-800-261-1646. Twice now I have received offers from that number that were not accurate and when I followed up with Verizon they would not honor the offers. Mail from the place that makes these offers comes from "Verizon Wireless Order Processing" PO Box 1658 Presque Isle, ME 04769-9915. I am very frustrated by this and thinking of contacting the Better Business Bureau.

  17. Sandra says:

    What a lot of people don't realize that just because you are getting a new phone, doesn't mean you have to change your plan. Renewing your contract has nothing to do with the plan you have(minutes, features etc.) It only has to do with the phone you have. You can make changes to your plan at any time on Verizon Wireless with or without a contract.

    Verizon pays so much for new phones every year and to sale a phone for $100 that may have cost them $600 and not have a contract would cost any wireless provider a lot of money. So by getting a customer to agree to a contract states that the customer plans on keeping the phone that they have for at least 20 months(in some cases 1 year depending on how much you pay for your monthly service) to ensure that Verizon get's their money back for each phone.

    Another thing I don't understand is people who curse and scream at customer service representative. I am not speaking to the original poster because I feel that he/she handled themselves in a very professional manner, but to anyone else who has yelled at a customer service person or telemarketer do you not realize that you have no idea who this person is? 9 times out of 10 you don't catch their name and even if you do they don't always have to give a real one but they know yours. You don't know where they are or where they live but they have your address. If you have any social networking sites at all these people can look you up and find out what you look like. They have your birthday and social security number a majority of the time and in some cases your credit card or checking account information. It's a crazy world that we live in and you never know what you are dealing with. Someone could ruin your life over something really small.

    I am not a customer service representative but I have been and it was so much easier to get things out of me if you were nice than it was if you were mean. Customer service representative hold most of the power. They can make it where you never receive another credit, promotion, or anything good with the provider that you are with. I take into account each time someone calls me that I don't know who they are and all they are doing is the job that they get paid to do. I hope a few of you reading this will learn to do the same.

  18. Weldon Kupiec says:

    Nicely I've been addicted to flashing, as a result of VZW not wanting us to possess access towards the GPS on our phones. So I observed the threads that tought me to flash my cell phone. Can even cook a little, but you'll find much better chefs available, so I'm satisfied to toast their function. I at present am running Lioryte's 23529 construct in the WinMo 6.five.one on the Samsung Omnia with VZW. So now I've won the Behold 2 from Samsung, been playing with it for a couple of months.We have it rooted, We have BusyBox on it and aHome UI. looks excellent, performs very good, but as well a great deal bloatware. (The Cube and additional) Tried the Galaxy trick, very fast and total of useable memory. It is Android 1.five pure. I would rather update the B2, not revert to Galaxy, and build from that. I will if that's the only way, I'll check new Odins for the B2 and do what ever enable I can to enable the B2 community advance the good quality of this phone.I'm hunting forward to helping make the B2 the best Android cellphone offered.

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