No topic brings out the Luddite in me more than cellphones. Not using them… Buying them.
Part of it is just that I have yet to understand how companies can charge $500 or more for a phone. (A phone!) And the other part is figuring out the various pricing schemes between the manufacturers and the service providers.
Today I got an email from Ebates with an offer to take $100 off select smartphones at Verizon with a promo code. I’m not actually looking for a phone for myself right now, but I thought this would be something good to pass along to T4L readers. There are a number of iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and other models available. The deal excludes upgrades, applies while supplies last, and expires Friday, September 30th.
NOTE: The Ebates program gives you cash back for purchasing at hundreds of popular online retailers, including Verizon. (The program is free to join.) In addition to the special deal I’m writing about in this post, Ebates regularly gives cash back (up to $75) for signing up for a Verizon service plan. You can learn more about how the Ebates program works in this T4L post. Since I made my first purchase two years ago, I’ve earned $650 from it, so needless to say, I’m a pretty big fan. 🙂
Between the $100 off the phones and the potential $75 cash back, this does seem like a pretty sweet deal. But before sharing info like this with my readers, I do like to double-check it myself, so I clicked through to the Verizon page from the Ebates link. And thus began the confusion.
First of all, there’s a different promo code listed on the email and Verizon web page (EBATES) than what’s listed on the Ebates site for the same deal (VZWDEAL). That’s not really a biggie, since a lot of promotions have multiple codes to help them track the success of their marketing activities. But when I tried to apply the codes, I got an error message that it wouldn’t work with the “other promotion” already being applied. The problem is, I have no idea what promotion that supposedly was since it said the discount would be applied after checking out. (!) Eventually, I clicked something that did work and the price was reduced by $100; unfortunately, I’m not sure exactly what that was. 🙁
On top of all that, the other pricing info Verizon is showing isn’t clear at all. In addition to the $100 off code, some of the phones on the page indicate there are more discounts being applied to them. For example, the iPhone 6S has a note that you can save up to $200 (depending on the storage capacity) and it also says the prices shown already include the discount.
For the 16 GB model, the price is shown as $529.99 (before the $100 Ebates code) but there’s no indication of what the non-sale price is. So I decided to check on the Apple website, which doesn’t list a 16GB model at all, but shows the price of a 64GB model as $549.00, which is only $20 more than the one on with much less storage on the Verizon page.
So the whole thing is a bit of a mess and it looks like most of the confusion is on the Verizon end. However, if you’ve been wanting one of the phones they have on sale and are an existing customer wanting to add a new line or a new customer altogether, the Ebates offers could make this a really great option for you.
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