A Quick Death & Return Hack
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It was a valiant attempt at resuscitation.
Despite several recent attempts of being successfully brought back from the brink of death, I knew this time it was different.
The time had finally come to pull the plug, no matter how inconvenient it was.
This untimely death was incredibly aggravating for me because it happened during a conference I had looked forward to for months, FinCon 19.
In fact this tragic event happened just moments after I arrived to the hotel room and unpacked.
At least it was quick this time.
I am not a fan of prolonging the inevitable and I made my peace with it.
The time had come to put down my Samsung Galaxy Note Edge permanently.
I had this phone since January 2015 and held on to it despite clever marketing ads urging me to upgrade it on an annual basis.
This phone survived many close calls but had always previously pulled through, the most recent of which was outlined in my “Going Cold Turkey” post when I clumsily fell into a creek while hiking with my daughter.
But sadly there was no “phone in jar of rice” hack this time.
The phone refused to boot up despite multiple rituals I performed that may or may not have worked in the past:
- Taking the battery out and blowing on it and the internal components.
- Shaking it vigorously.
- Yelling at it.
- Saying I’m sorry for yelling and then pleading for it to turn on.
- Spending some “time apart.”
To make matters worse, the majority of the contacts I had for the conference were on that phone along with all the planning for the various presentations I wanted to attend on the handy FinCon App.
[Fortunately I had the foresight to print out all the dining reservations I had made for the week which served as a great backup to the digital data that was lost.]
I later found out that several attendees had tried contacting me via the app to meet up but were not able to get through to me because of my phone picking this inopportune time to die.
My fiancee had a working smartphone with her and had also previously downloaded the FinCon App so I was able to at least keep current with the daily schedule.
Any individuals that we happened to run into and make plans with were then given her contact details so that we could stay in touch during the conference.
It was definitely an inconvenient solution (as my fiancee and I did not want to be joined at the hip during the entire conference) but the disaster that could have been was averted.
Calling for Reinforcements.
Having not upgraded in years, I knew that it would not be an issue to get a new phone.
Using the free internet the hotel provided, I was able to go online and order the flagship Samsung (at the time), the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.
I had it shipped free to the hotel and received it a couple of days later, already at the tail end of the conference.
The Missed Verizon Promotion.
When I purchased the Samsung Galaxy phone, it was just days after it was first introduced to the public
[I was therefore quite thankful my old Samsung at least had the courtesy to wait until the latest model was available before it croaked.]
At this point there were no promotions to take advantage from Verizon.
Because they had me between a rock and a hard place, I really did not have a choice.
I was quite fortunate that soon after I returned home, I came across a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 promotion by Verizon that was perfect for me.
My old phone was on the 4G LTE network but my new phone was capable of 5G.
The Verizon promotion stated that the $10/mo 5G access fee would be waived for the lifetime of my line (and not just the life of the phone).
Although 5G was not available in my area (both at the time of the promotion as well as at the time of writing this post a year later), I knew it eventually would be something I would use.
To further sweeten the pot, Verizon offered a free phone with the addition of another line, a Samsung S10e (valued at $749).
These 2 bonuses were incredible and I definitely wanted in.
I went to the local Verizon store and asked to have the promotions applied.
I was promptly told that since I already bought the phone a couple days prior to the eligible promotion period I was not entitled to these freebie bonuses.
So did I become dejected and give up?
Of course not!
You may remember from my “When A Company Can’t Think Outside Of The Box: Amazon” article that I am quite adept at finding and exploiting loopholes.
The Verizon Return Hack.
After talking to the customer service agent at the counter, who would not budge on company policy to give me these promotions, I quickly thought on my feet and asked what the return policy was on my brand new phone.
It turns out that Verizon allows you to return any phone you purchase within 14 days.
The caveat to this was that you would then be subjected to a $35 restocking fee (which the agent reminded me of immediately when I told him my plan B of attack.)
Let me see….
I get penalized $35 but in return I get free lifetime 5G access on my phone line (@$10/mo) AND a $750 phone?
I would take that option 100 times out of 100.
I then told the agent my plan of “returning” my phone within this 14 day window and then turning around and ordering it right away during the promotion period.
I asked the agent that since the net effect would be me having the same phone, can I just pay the $35, skip returning the phone and keep the one I had.
I explained that I did not want to be without a phone while I wait for the new one to arrive (1-2 days).
In an exact replay of the Amazon situation (actually, since this event actually preceded the Amazon fiasco, foreshadowing would be more appropriate), the agent would not budge.
So instead of handing over my phone to start the return process, I ended up buying a completely new phone which then qualified for the promotions I wanted.
Once I came back to pick up my new phone, I would simply return the non-eligible phone, pay the $35 restocking fee and then wait for my credit card to have a full refund.
The net effect gave me everything I wanted without having to go dark for a couple of days.
But wait!!!! Aren’t you forced to start another line that you didn’t need for the free Samsung phone?
That is a great question!
Yes, it would not make financial sense for me to start paying $50/mo or so for an unnecessary extra phone line just to get a $750 free phone.
Well being an expert outside-of-the-box thinker, I quickly formulated a way to game the system to my advantage yet again.
Whenever you sign up for a new line, you typically enter a 2 year commitment with the phone carrier.
Terminate the contract prior to that 2 year requirement and you get hit with hefty penalties.
I had (and still have) 3 phone lines at the time for my mother, daughter, and myself.
All three lines were in place for over 2 years.
I asked the Verizon agent if I could add a new line, get the offer of the free Samsung phone, and cancel one of the existing lines.
It turns out I could do this very thing without any fees accrued.
It actually worked out perfect because my mom wanted to get a new number as she was getting a lot of unwanted calls on her former line.
It was definitely a win-win situation.
After purchasing any new product, inquire about the return policy and what charges, if any, would apply.
Scour the internet during this return window for any potential deals/bonuses for the product that may have arisen to see if you can do a similar return hack to take advantage of them.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN