Mar 31st, 2011

Verizon looks to be cracking down on subscribers who expect to exchange cosmetically-damaged phones for replacements that are in better shape. Long story short: if your device breaks – even due to a manufacturer defect within the hardware or software – you’ll have to pay a premium if the device has blatant cosmetic flaws. All of this is set to go down April 1st. (And yes, we too are hoping it’s nothing but an April Fool’s joke.)

Blemish on the back cover? You’ve gotta pay. Scratch on the display or dust beneath the camera lens? Yup, that’ll be cause for money out of your pockets too. Sit down while you read this next bit: those damages may cost you $300 per incident. Other notable changes have been made, as well. For one, you can no longer take your device into a Verizon store for an on-the-spot exchange – all of that will be taken care of via today’s standard premium shipping methods.

And overnight service is no longer free as you’ll soon have to pay $13 to get your device to Verizon in a jiffy. Optionally, you can pay $7 for 2-day service. That sucks because they’re reportedly reducing the return window from 10 days to 5 – economy shipping is free but takes 5 days to make it to Verizon. Choosing the standard service instead of overnight might be trouble for you in that regard. (You can still get free overnight service if you pay monthly for Verizon’s total equipment coverage program. [GadgetU via AP]

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