San Diego

Linda Vista Woman Falls Into Bungled Verizon Buyout

Melody Kraus contacted NBC 7 Responds after having issues with a Verizon offer to buyout another carrier’s contract.

Melody Kraus said reception on her cell phone provider Sprint was spotty for her and her family in their new Linda Vista home.

She searched for deals with competing carriers to see which one made sense and could get her out of her and her husband’s contract with Sprint.

After searching, Melody said she found the perfect program through Verizon. She would switch to Verizon and the company would give her two new iPhones as well as pay to cancel her policy with Sprint.

“If you went to them and you traded in your phone, they would then give you a new phone and buy you out of your contract with your last provider,” Melody told NBC 7 Responds in April.

A few days later, Melody went to a Verizon store in San Diego to sign up for the program.

A sales representative told Melody that she would receive gift cards in approximately eight weeks that she could use to pay off the $913 dollars she owed to Sprint on their plan.

The eight weeks turned to five months. During that time Melody said she was asked to re-submit paperwork to finalize the deal. In February 2018 Melody received two gift cards in the mail.

“We got one gift card for $104 and one gift card for $114 dollars,” Melody said. “In no way shape or form was that two-hundred dollars going to pay off the $900 [bill with Sprint].”

Melody said she called Verizon to find out what could be done. She said a Verizon representative told her that the company’s records showed that Melody’s account had been credited on the day of the purchase. Melody said she was then offered a one-hundred dollar credit for her troubles.

“She offered me one-hundred dollars. I said, ‘absolutely not. I don’t accept your hundred-dollars. You need to put me on the phone with someone that can help me if you can’t help me,’” Melody said.

Melody said that was when she decided to contact NBC 7 Responds for help.

“I had been doing this for seven months,” Melody told NBC 7 Responds. “I had been on the phone for hours, there’s nothing else I could do. And, then I thought, you know, I’m going to write to NBC 7. I’m going to write Consumer Bob and I’m going to see if this does anything.”

Melody wrote to NBC 7 Responds and explained the issue. She also attached copies of her receipt as well as correspondence between her and representatives from Verizon.

Two days later Melody received a response from Verizon.

“The next day, [Verizon refunded] my account. So, it took two days for what I had been doing for seven months was finished in two days,” Melody told NBC 7 Responds. “If I would have written that email, we would still be owed money and just nothing would be done.”

A spokesperson for Verizon confirmed that Melody’s issue was resolved and said, “We strive to deliver the world class experience our customers expect and deserve. In this case, we failed to deliver on that promise. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused, and we are grateful to Ms. Kraus for giving us the opportunity to continue earning her loyalty."

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