Verizon Credit Checks and Deposits
Just about every company runs a credit check on potential customers before signing them up for service – including cell phone companies. If you’re credit score isn’t tiptop or there is something else on your credit report that is indicative of higher risk, you may get a $125+ deposit tacked on to your initial Verizon cell phone bill (which will be refunded after a year).
But your credit score isn’t always the be all and end all that determines whether or not you have to pay a deposit on your Verizon cell phone contract. For example, a recent DroidForums.net poster reported that when they went to buy their HTC Droid Eris, LG enV Touch and LG enV3 for their family, they were told they’d need to fork over a $125 deposit per line (totaling $375). The poster and his wife had credit scores of 760 and 720, respectively, but they were still rebuffed. After much fussing and fighting, they finally got their Verizon phones without a deposit. What had happened was that Best Buy had somehow screwed up the application twice, which had placed a red flag on their account. So, when the couple called Verizon’s credit department directly, they had to go through all the motions of verifying her identity. Eventually, they got it all sorted out. But the discussion on the forum raised some interesting points about getting a phone from Verizon:
The Deals at Best Buy May not Be Worth It
You can get Verizon phones from two sources: authorized resellers and Verizon dealers or directly from the Verizon corporate store. This couple chose to go to Best Buy to attempt to buy their phones, and unfortunately, the apparently negligent employee made a mistake entering their information and then refused to tell them why they were denied a contract without a deposit. According to a Verizon employee who replied to the posters, a credit score in the 700s wouldn’t normally require a deposit. So something was up. Since they were at a Best Buy, rather than a Verizon store, there was no one they could escalate the matter to and they went home empty handed instead.
(Quick note: We sell cell phones here at Cell-Phone-Plans.net, but because you enter all the pertinent information yourself, you don’t have to worry about some bumbling employee flubbing your application.)
It’s Not Just About Your Credit Score
The forum poster was currently on AT&T, but they had previously been on Verizon about six years ago. Other forum posters brought up the point that they may have had outstanding payments or an unpaid balance leftover from Verizon which was giving them trouble in the application process. This turned out not to be the case, but it’s something to think about if you defected from VZW for the iPhone and are now re-defecting for the HTC Droid Eris or Motorola Droid.
It Pays to Check Your Credit Report
You get three free credit reports each year from AnnualCreditReport.com, so it won’t hurt to take a gander before you apply for a cell phone plan. The forum poster’s wife actually failed the identity verification process (where they ask you basic information from your credit file, like where you live and who holds your mortgage). This was most likely because there was inaccurate information on her credit report, which, in the grand scheme of things, is just as bad or worse than negative items. In fact, that might possibly be why the couple had so much trouble trying to get their phones from Best Buy – faulty information on their credit report. Luckily, rectifying inaccurate information such as outdated addresses and typos is a relatively easy process – you just have to check first.
Have any other horror stories about applying for cell phone plans and getting dinged with a deposit? Tell us about it in the comments.
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