Within the past week, Verizon has officially rolled out handset replacement over-the-phone. Previously, both Sprint and Verizon required customers to take their phones into a store, have them diagnosed, and then wait for a replacement phone to arrive (provided the store didn’t have one on-hand).
Verizon’s new over-the-phone replacement method matches T-Mobile and Cingular. A customer calls defective phone technical support (866-406-5154), and if the phone is determined to be defective, a replacement phone is sent to the customer. The customer then ships the defective phone back in a prepaid mailer.
Sprint now stands alone as the only national wireless carrier requiring customers to fend for themselves. Customers must trek to a Sprint Store, where if they do not have the required replacement coverage on their account (a $3 to $7 monthly fee), they are required to pay diagnostic fees. If the customer does not want pay diagnostic fees, they must send the phone to the manufacturer, and wait for the phone to be repaired or replaced… phoneless in the interim.
Verizon stresses that this new replacement process is only in addition to in-store technicians and replacements. Customers can continue to take problematic phones to a local Verizon Wireless store for repair and replacement under warranty, at no additional charge.
Read more for the new phone replacement brochure from Verizon.