I have been looking into switching my cellphone services providers from Sprint to Verizon because 1) Sprint has really slow data service in my area, and 2) Verizon has 4G LTE coverage. Anyways, as I started looking around for options I noticed that Amazon Wireless had pretty good prices for phones with 2-year contracts (who can beat $0.01 for Galaxy Nexus ?). I knew there had to be a catch, but I wasn’t able to find much about the differences online.
Some posts say that if you buy from Amazon then you can’t take your phones to the Verizon corporate store if something goes wrong with the devices, while others report that you can. So, after a few back and forth emails with Amazon’s customer service folks here is what I have determined. I thought I would share this, but please note that this information is current as of today (August 18th) and might be specific to Verizon so please confirm before you proceed.
- These phones are are new, and not refurbished. They also issue free replacements and free shipping.
- Orders shipped to destinations in the states of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas, or Washington are subject to tax, but if you are outside of these states then you get to save the tax that you might pay when going through Verizon directly.
- Items purchased on AmazonWireless can be returned or replaced within 30 days. After that Verizon handles any warranty coverage your phone may have. If you have an issue with your phone you may visit a Verizon Corporate store or contact Verizon’s Customer Care Center and they will be able to assist you with troubleshooting your device.
- For the first 181 days of service you won’t be able to switch your phone between different lines even on the same Share Everything plan. While Verizon may offer this option when ordering directly through their stores, this service isn’t available on our website. If you move your device to an alternate line within the first 181 days, you’ll be subject to additional charges by AmazonWireless of up to $250 per phone, plus applicable taxes.
So, if you know that you will keep the service (and phone on the same line) for at least 181 days then it seems to make sense to go with Amazon Wireless.