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Verizon's iPhone 6 trade-in deal...wasn't such a great deal after all

Verizon said they'd give you $300 for your iPhone 5s. Great deal, right?! Or maybe not.

Verizon said they'd give you $300 for your iPhone 5s. Great deal, right?! Or maybe not.

Remember that sweet iPhone 6 trade-in deal Verizon was offering last month? I'll jog your memory -- Verizon said that if you traded in an old iPhone 4, 4s, or 5c, they would give you a $200 gift card. If you traded in a 5s, you'd get an extra $100. All of this was contingent, of course, on your purchasing a new iPhone 6 and signing a new 2-year-contract.

Not a bad offer, especially if you were hanging onto a dying iPhone 4 (the market value of a Verizon iPhone 4 is around $30 -- if that). But if you were rockin' an iPhone 5s 32GB or higher, it turns out that deal wasn't so sweet, after all.

Because now Verizon is offering more money -- a 5s 32GB will net you $325, while a 5s 64GB will get $350. And it looks like you don't even have to purchase a new iPhone 6 to get this (better) deal.

My husband called Verizon Thursday to get a status update on his new phone -- an iPhone 6 Plus -- which was supposedly set to ship out Friday. The Verizon rep informed him that, two weeks ago, the company had tried to charge his card (which had been stolen and subsequently canceled), and the payment hadn't gone through. Because the payment hadn't gone through, Verizon had canceled the order.

Just like that. Two weeks ago. With absolutely no notice -- not a phone call, not an email, heck the order status still read as "processing" when we checked it online.

So thanks for that, Verizon.

Anyway, the Verizon rep told Ron that he could place a new order today, with a new credit card. Ron was understandably concerned -- the trade-in deal stated that he had to purchase the new iPhone 6 within the trade-in dates (by October 15), and so he was worried that putting in a new order would invalidate his promotional trade-in value of $300 for his iPhone 5s.

Ron and the Verizon rep stayed on the phone for a while, discussing how they could backdate a new order so as not to invalidate the promotion.

Meanwhile, I called Verizon about my new iPhone 6, which I ordered from a Verizon store in Santa Monica on October 3. My rep had a southern accent -- my phone has a South Carolina area code -- and assured me that all looked fine with my order. I mentioned that I was concerned because Ron's order had been canceled with no warning, and my rep said it shouldn't be a problem because the trade-in value for the iPhone 5s was still $300.

I immediately headed over to the Verizon trade-in website to confirm this for myself. Imagine my surprise when I inputted the stats of Ron's device -- Verizon iPhone 5s, 32GB -- and discovered that the trade-in value was actually $325.

Wait -- what? Plus, there was no longer a red-text caveat telling me that this trade-in value was only valid if I purchased a new iPhone 6 (although there is a banner on the first page that says you'll get up to $350 if you trade-in an old iPhone for a new iPhone). In other words, if you traded in your iPhone 5s 32GB or 64GB to get a new iPhone 6 -- you kind of got screwed.

Thanks, Verizon!

(As for how we fixed our issue -- it's not yet fixed. Ron placed a new order for an iPhone 6 Plus, as well as a new order for a new receipt for his 5s, now valued at $325 rather than $300, but the Verizon rep ended up accidentally placing an order for a new line rather than an upgrade. So we have to call them back and get that sorted out. How's AT&T looking, these days?)