I was looking to upgrade my iPhone. I had owned the 3gs model for 2.5 years and, even when I purchased it, it already was considered an old phone as the 4 came out, problems and all. When I saw that BestBuy was having a sale on iPhones for Boxing Day, I was intrigued as a new iPhone under a new plan/hardware upgrade would cost a lot of money. BestBuy claimed to have the iPhone 5 16GB for $0, 32GB for $99, and 64GB for $199.
My Initial Travel to BestBuy
I went in yesterday to the Wilson and Dufferin location (695 Wilson Avenue) in Toronto, fighting traffic and parking, and was informed by a BestBuy mobile salesgirl that the sale worked as follows. You pay full price for the phone and then Rogers gives you what’s known as a “Billing Credit” for $180 to upgrade your phone. This Billing credit would be used as a credit for future bills. So, the credit would be applied to the future phone bills, while you would pay for the regular cost of the phone.
There also was a $50 mail in rebate. So for example, a 32GB iPhone 5 for $329, minus the $50 online mail-in rebate and minus the $180 Billing Credit would make it come out to $99. However, she explained, that only worked out with new plans. To do a hardware upgrade, though, this only applied to 16GB phones and not 32/64GB. Also, this deal would only be for Boxing day and Dec. 27th. I went home and called Rogers to see what they could do. The Rogers rep. explained that she could halve my $91 early upgrade fee to $45.50, but that was it.
My Initial Decision to Get the 16GB iPhone 5 Through Best Buy/Rogers
I went back and mulled over the space issue as my 3GS model was a 32GB one. I later on rationalized that, while the higher resolution pictures would be a problem with storage, I could offset that by taking out most of my music and apps, most of which I wasn’t using anyway. I therefore spoke with another rep, S. K*****a (sk*****a1 on the contract agreement), who was dubbed the mobile center manager. I told him that I was interested in upgrading my phone to the iPhone 5, and that it’s my understanding that the only upgrade with the Billing credit was the 16GB phone. He told me that, no, it should apply to the 32GB and 64GB phones as well. He then supposedly called a Rogers rep (“Alex”) who supposedly confirmed this. I then replied that, if the deal applies to all, I’d might as well get a higher one since the deal ends today! He told me that this was correct, and had one of his assistants process the order.
When I saw my bill I saw that it was for $0 as billing would be transferred over to Rogers. I looked at the contract and saw that there was no reference to a “Bill Credit,” but would call later on to make sure.
Having gotten the phone and having transferred my data over, I was ecstatic as I thought I had gotten a great deal on a great phone. The phone was able to work well and I was able to pass my old phone over to my wife, who accepted it eagerly. However, imagine my surprise when I called up Rogers to confirm that what went on at Best Buy was the case. I spoke with 2 Rogers reps from 2 different departments tonight and found that neither one knew what on earth I was talking about! They saw the $45 and thought that was the hardware upgrade credit, but nothing else. There was no way for them to confirm that a Billing Credit of $180 would be applied to my account, and that indeed, it was only for the 16GB phone! The only option, they explained, was to return my new phone to BestBuy and exchange it for a 16GB one. However, I had just transferred a significant amount of data over and have no time to redo the process.
How Best Buy Essentially Cheated Me on Behalf of Rogers Communications
Talk about being had. Since I already downloaded all my data onto the new phone I am reluctant to return it right away and start from scratch – my time is too valuable to play these kinds of games. But to pay full price for the phone is not what I call a deal on Boxing Day. Thanks for lying to me, BestBuy. This was not the first time I’ve been deceived.
Unless this issue is satisfactorily resolved and I indeed receive a $180 Bill Credit through Rogers, I have half a mind to boycott BestBuy in the future. There are other places, and sometimes, to really get a good deal, you need to go to the source (not RadioShack) and eliminate the middleman (that is, BestBuy).
Think about it: if a hardware upgrade is akin to a new plan, shouldn’t the $180 Bill Credit go across all phones? Why to one type but not the others? That doesn’t make sense.
Now that having been said, even if BestBuy was in the wrong here, I would hope that Rogers makes right and at least offer a “one time courtesy” credit of $180, at least in the merit of my having been loyal to their service over the past few years and have for the most part paid my bills on time. At least on that merit alone.
Then again, perhaps, it’s time to resign to the reality that many times (as in this case), when something like this seems too good to be true, it usually is.