Verizon employees and family members being asked not to buy Verizon iPhone

Verizon employees and family members being asked not to buy Verizon iPhone

Verizon is once again reminding their employees and family members to put the customers first and refrain from buying a Verizon iPhone themselves, at least for the time being. An email sent out today to all employees says:

Focus on Customer Is Key to Verizon iPhone Launch

To help ensure we meet customer demand for iPhones, Verizon is urging employees and their families to postpone purchases of the popular smartphone, whether online or in retail stores, for the time being.

“Customers and non-customers alike have waited for years to see this product on America’s most reliable wireless network,” notes Verizon Wireless Chief Operating Officer John Stratton. “Demand will be unprecedented.

“Now it’s here. This is our chance to show those millions of people what it means to be a Verizon customer -- providing them the best network, joined by the very best customer service and support, all adding up to a world-class customer experience.

“Part of that experience is ensuring we’re able to meet our customers’ needs in the midst of what will surely be unprecedented customer demand.

“I know customers aren’t the only ones who are excited – employees are, too. While I share your excitement, over the coming weeks we all need to do our part to meet our customers’ needs -- this means putting our customers first.

“After all, that’s the way we do business. That’s the Verizon Credo in action.

“This is an historic moment in time to rally together and show our loyal customers and new ones what our culture is all about.”

Are you happy Verizon brass is putting your Verizon iPhone first, or are you just wondering how many Verizon employees or family members will sneak off to Apple Retail Stores on February 10 to snag a Verizon iPhone on the sly?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Verizon employees and family members being asked not to buy Verizon iPhone


I was going to say the same thing. Being trained on the device is one thing, but actually owning it is something else entirely.

I have a friend who is a VZW customer service rep and he told me that if a VZW employee even activates an iPhone on their employee account their service will be disconnected and they will no longer recieve the employee discount on their service. He says that VZW employees won't be able to get an iPhone until at least October, according to an email they recieved right after the iPhone announcement.

I think this is a crazy idea. So verizon employees arent customers? If they are a paying customer, they have as much rights as everyone else to buy one when it releases

James is correct, if a VZW employee (who usually carries around a business line AND a personal line) activates an iPhone 4 on their business line (the one VZW pretty much pays for), it gets turned into a personal line and they have to pay for it.
Now, if you're a VZW employee with just a personal line (no company paid for me.) than you'll be staying up until 3 AM to order the iPhone tomorrow.
The idea is good, and VZW employees wont have to wait till October. It's usually a 30-60 day hold, just depends on the demand. If they see Droid Incredible levels of back order (i somehow DOUBT it...) than it might get pushed back. If they see Droid X levels of back order (more phesable, I still dont see any back order at all though.) than it will be sooner.
The idea is that they want to put the customers first. Which is admirable. Of course it IS a catch 22, because you want your front line associates (ie: Me.) pimping the "latest and greatest" device. Unfortuantly, in the end-the customer is the end focus, so they win out.

How much does Verizon need to "pimp" the iPhone, though? Doesn't everyone pretty much know what it is? According to AT&T, the iPhone pretty much sells itself. AT&T has even removed most iPhone promotional displays from their stores. They're unnecessary.

Ok, you've waited this long, be glad they're making you wait for iPhone 5. That being said, your EE should actually be treated as your internal guests, not 2nd class citizens. I'd say they might have trouble selling something they're not using but we all know they won't have enough viPhones for quite some time. It'll be more uni-corny than EVOs when they came out.

This is stupid. Employees and families are customers of verizon too, so they should be able to purchase an iPhone just like anyone else.

If what John Olesen is correct, that employees can purchase iPhones, as long as they're paid for by the employee, then I have no problem with it.

I'm a huge Apple fan and a Verizon customer, but I'm not so sure the demand will be "unprecedented." I'm guessing that some people have timed their upgrades for about now, some will switch to VZW from AT&T, but it is still a phone that has been out for 6-7 months already on AT&T and had antenna problems. Although I will be tempted, I'd have to pay full price and I don't think it is that much better than my rooted Incredible. I do believe that it will be successful and I will end up with an iPhone 5

I agree....I have an incredible and I have timed my annual upgrade for July, just in time for iPhone 5. woohoo!

well I think alot of people will wait if they are going to jump ship from at&t unless their contract is about up. Why pay all the ETF's for the same phone(except the antenna) IF i was on at&t I would wait until the iphone 5 came out for verizon I wouldnt waste my time with this. Now verizon customers are a different story I dont think there will be as record breaking demand as there was when at&t first announced it

This is great and all but how come everything is so secretive? its out we know, shouldn't we be able to know details??? Will there be one year pricing tonight?

I think their argument is verizon customers will have an unfair advantage in "waiting in line"

actually from what I have been told, no. Everyone all the way up to corp level are told to hold out until October, I also meet a Verizon exec today at an event and he stated he will be using the HTC ThunderBolt.

Seems silly they want employees to try and control family members. If employees can't purchase, fine... Family members seems a bit of a reach to me

I agree with you on that! If I worked for Verizon this memo would make me have my family get several of them to sell them and keep the ones I need.

They mean family members who are on an employee's account. As with all things the account holder is responsible for all consumer-driven activity that transpires on their account.

They are just saying you cant use your company discount and line(which vzw pays for) to get an iphone you can get one on your own personal line

"This is our chance to show those millions of people what it means to be a Verizon customer"
Well if you have "millions" then why are you hating on your own employees?

Obviously this is reverse psychology to make sure those sales numbers go up because people hate being told what not to do and do it anyway out of spite.

My next-door neighbor worked for Verizon for 18 years, commuting from Boston to Albany for many of them. Two years ago, Verizon let her go, one week before Christmas. Like ATT, Verizon cares only about money, not their employees or customers.

Im waiting up till 3:00am to pre-order tonight. Im going to be so pissed if i dont get my pre-order in!

Okay if verizon actually expects to be backordered until October then I think they are overestimating it a bit. Sure demand will be big but not THAT big. My guess is that in a month or two verizon employees will be able to get an iPhone on thier business lines.

This is no different than what the AT&T employees had to endure with the "1st launch" of the iPhone 4. They were told the exact same thing.

I would rather have one of their Android devices anyways...but I do understand why they would do this. They should have set aside a set number for employees though. This at least some Verizon representatives could be walking around with the device and showing it off to customers instead of the current situation. Even better, they should have them a week or two in advance, so that they might be fully able to educated their customers when the time comes.

Screw that. I'd order anyway. If you have their service, you ARE a customer. Employee or not. I'd let them cancel my employee pricing before i'd wait months to get the iPhone.

wow, what a polite way to be such an hypocrite, pretending to care about customers while not being grateful with you truly loyal customers its just plain stupid, the only reason for this: be able to reach new clients faster, nothing else...

No different than AT&T customers who also had to wait. And Apple employees had to wait in line just like everyone else. This is so not a big deal.

True... But with original iPhone, apple gave every employee one once demand settled and waiting customers got one.

If I worked at Verizon, I don't know that I'd be all that excited about getting an iPhone. Especially if I spent the last 4 years talking it down to customers who wanted to switch to ATT for it. I think I'd be more interested in the bionic or thunderbolt.

Yea, I'd say if I was a Verizon employee I'd be looking more at the 4G devices and just keep with whatever current top of the line Android device(s) I and my family were already using.

If they wanted the employees to wait, they should offer them further discounts on the device (ie. If they wait until October they can get it for $50).

I like how the COO sends a letter out asking Verizon employees and their families to not purchase the iPhone, when he has probably been using one for a few weeks now....

Wow, It is amazing how many people who are are not a CIO, CFO, CEO seem to be prepared to run a billion dollar business. at the end of the day, you run a business to be able to pay your employees and stockholders. You could always give your employees a free phone. Or you could make your customers happy and be able to pay your employees next week so they can feed their family.
Hmmm, what a choice? Employees first? Sure. Absolutely

Now how a bout not treating your exisiting customers like something on the bottom of your shoe and letting us have the $200 deal new customers are getting? $699? Really? Like Verizon won't make the price of the phone back within a couple of months off my existing plan. I may never upgrade now due to this kind of treatment. You really don't give a crap about your existing customers.

It's a no win situation, if they let everyone upgrade just cause they are already customers and really really want to, then they would be treating the people who saved their upgrade unfairly. Besides everyone knows the risk of getting into a contract. As soon as I get my iPhone 4, the 4g iPhone 5 will come out and ill be stuck with the cavemen beating rocks together to appeal to the 3g gods.

You can get the iphone if you are upgrade eligible. How is this treating you like you're something on a bottom of a shoe? If you just upgraded your phone you got a pretty good deal on it probably 300 dollars off retail price. You signed a contract stating that you would have service for two years because they gave you a subsidized price on a new phone. Why should they feel obligated to give you another heavy discount on equipment three, four, twelve or even twenty months into a contract that you signed for two years. Oh and just so you know they allow you to upgrade twenty months into a twenty four month contract.