It appears Verizon has altered the terms of its "Certified Like New Program" ("CLNP") (pray they don't alter them further) to be a lot more demanding regarding the condition of exchanged devices.

Namely, if you send in your destroyed DROID, don't expect to get a shiny new replacement without a serious penalty - all phones sent in on warranty exchange must now meet the following requirements:

CLNR Cosmetics Standards

CLNR Cosmetic Standard Summary:

  • No blemishes are permitted on front surfaces such as the touch screen, keyboard
  • No more than two flaws, which must be less than 5mm in length, are permitted on other surfaces
  • No flaws or defects on lens
  • No dust, dirt, or fibers under lens
  • Ports must be free of foreign material and corrosion, be in operating condition, and have the plugs in place if applicable

This means even if your Android device suffers from a warrantied defect and fails, you may be out of luck trying to get it exchanged if you haven't kept it in tip-top condition.

That said, this was probably a long time in the making - Verizon's current policy on exchanging devices is apparently quite lax, we've heard of DROIDs with defects like "fell in the sink" and "was run over" qualifying for exchanges under warranty. Not exactly a discerning business model, as Verizon has probably come to realize given the high replacement cost of its increasingly popular line of Android smartphones.


Verizon will still automatically provide you a replacement before you send your device in, but you're still out on a limb at that point - if Verizon receives your smartphone and they decide it isn't up to par, you'll be assessed a $299 fee on your next phone bill. That's quite a risk, and clearly discourages customers from taking advantage of their device warranties.

Oh, and you can no longer take your phone in for a live exchange at your local Verizon store - that'll be phased out in the next 2 weeks, all CLNR devices will be shipped directly by Verizon from here on out. And now you have 5 days to return your dead phone after receiving the replacement, instead of 10. Great. And now it's $13 for what was standard next-day shipping. 5-day ground shipping is the new base option (you can get a temporary "emergency" device in the interim - an old DROID or Eris.)


These wonderful restrictions will all lead customers to a singular, logical conclusion: "Gee, I should pay for the Verizon Total Equipment Protection Plan, it's a lot better!" And pay they will, I imagine - because this new exchange policy is pretty awful.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Scott

    And this, friends, is why the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is bad for consumers. It's these customer-hostile policies that go unchecked if there is not sufficient competition.

  • jballz0682

    ...April Fools?

  • Apthirdeye14

    This is insane. Way to back up your sh*t verizon. If I had better sprint coverage I would go to them tomorrow and pay the termination fees.

  • L boogie

    Should be something to consider when one has to renew their contract, right?

  • commentguy2010

    so they are actually enforcing the warranty? what the heck I can't beat the crap out of my phone and make them replace it for free when it brakes, whats this world coming to evil company making ME actually be responsible for my phone.

    • Michael

      Hmmm, do you, by chance, work for a cell carrier? Idiot.

    • http://mitchs.posterous.com Mitch Samuels

      You are an idiot.

      Those people will obviously be mad, but people who will be more mad are the people who have two tiny scratches from putting it in a pocket with keys, and can't get a replacement.

  • Michael

    I'm SO over Verizon! They've really gone to shit! I hate when companies get so big they just don't care what their customers think. I'm spending WAY too much time on my phone anyway. I'm gonna send my phone (after I fuck it up) back to those selfish pricks and get a cheap feature phone from some little carrier and go back to having a life.

  • commentguy2010

    I have Sprint, but that's the way sprint handles phone warranties too if I bring in a phone that has not been beat up if its less than a year old they cover it. If I broke my phone or had too many scratches or marks from being dropped they wont cover it. It cracks me up how drama queen you guys are. Just be responsible for you own stuff and if you don't take care of it you honestly should not expect it to be covered. why should cell phones warranty be different than any other product

    • http://mitchs.posterous.com Mitch Samuels

      We aren't talking about totally beating up and destroying a phone...

      I get more than that from putting it in my pocket with my keys.

  • vzcrap

    The issue with these companies is they want make more money selling you worthless accessories. They spend anywhere from 1-2 dollars to buy them and sell them for 30 dollars, what a nice mark up. What I do not understand why these phones now need so much protection. By the time you add the cover it looks like a nice 1980s moto phone. I guess they can not make them like they use to.

  • annoynamous

    Geez I wish somebody would sue this damn carrier, first they won't give us fascinate users froyo now this f**king sh*t, I'm done with Verizon & there bullsh*t... I hope everybody else feels the same way I do

    • DroidLover

      I love Verizon, and I'm wandering why it has taken them this long to go here with this policy. ALL of the other carriers have this same policy. Unless you're dealing with an indirect. Which is not the carrier itself just merely a franchise store owner.

  • Lorenzo in a Benzo

    Ummm thats why you buy insurance people. $6 a month and your $500 phone is replaced no matter what happens to it after you pay your deductible. Why would damage ever be covered under warranty? If you smash your TV screen does Sony or Samsung exchange it for a fresh one? You drive your car off the lot and slam into a tree can you bring it right back and exchange it? I have Verizon and this doesn't upset me at all, warranties are to cover manufacturer defects not your carelessness.

  • Katie

    The problem isn't Verizon enforcing the new warranty on user damaged phones - its that its so strict it seems like they'll be able to nitpick and enforce it even when a hardware or software problem exists to force the customer to pay.

    And the fact that they can charge you after you've sent in your phone if they deem it "damaged" is just wrong. The phone is out of your hands at that point. It becomes a game of their word against yours - which no customer will win.

  • RockinEvo

    Good work verizon now we know where yall stand, hey make sure if you have verizon every phone should be kept in bubble wrap.

  • Elvis

    So the insurance is still the same right about? Pay $50 and get a new one if you have it? That's all im worried about :O

  • Brian J Sheehan

    Obviously commentguy2010 is a shill. I agree, Verizon needed to tighten things a bit to keep people from sending in beat up phones before they sell them on EBay but these new restrictions are far from a bit. I take pretty good care of my equipment but you find anyone out here with a three month old phone that doesn't have a scratch or a wear mark or a Nick on the front, the very place place that has to be pristine or be subject to these obscene charges and I will show you a person who has no life. I have better things to do with my time than constantly worry about and overpriced toy. And explain to me what lint under a camera lens which is obviously a defect has to do with abuse. What do they think? People are removing the camera lens. All this is, is blatent profiteering and a way to kept people from sending in devices for warranty work. Most people who ain't techies take their phone to a store. You know the Guy behind the counter is going to tell the customer, ya know, there's a chip on the front. You don't wanna send that in but have I got a deal for you on this newer shinier model. If you don't think that's what this is about, your just plain old retarded. The only thing that benefits from this is Verizon when they sucker another customer and Sprint when VZW so alienates their customers that they do some research, find out how much they would save and move. As for guys who think they will use the insurance for a warranty repair, unless you where smart and bought something aftermarket say Squaretrade, they won't cover it. The insurance is for loss and damage. It explicitly excludes warranty issues. Total equipment coverage is actually two products bundled. One is and extended warranty covered by Verizon that is subject to the same rules as the standard warranty. The other part is insurance for everything else and the deductable is not $50. Its $90 on smartphones and $119 on tablets. It went up with the rate increase. They get you coming and going.

  • InsomniacRed

    My case for my Droid actually caused blemishes to my phone... NOW WHAT... lol

  • rich

    This is bull. There some sort of blemish on my droid x, looks like the screen is leaking and the rep is telling me its going to be a gamble sending it in becasue i may be charged. They don't tell you if they are going to charge until you send your phone off. Why can't the in store Verizon reps tell you if your phone qualifies for a replacement or not, instead of leaving you wondering what their decision is going to be. At that point when they do decide to charge you its to late, your getting a bill wether you like it or not. You don't get the option to get your old phone back. Now verzion or motorolla gets my old phone which works perfectly fine and keeps it and I get to buy a new phone at full retail. This is bs.

    • John McNamara

      And what is the justification for not returning the phone to the customer?

  • Brian Sheehan

    Okay, so talked to Verizon Executive retention. They wanted to set the story straight. According to them the standards above are what they consider acceptable to give back to a customer in and exchange under the program. It is not the criteria they will use to assess any fees. Fees will only be assessed in cases of obvious abuse such as water damage or broken screens. If it has damage like that but also a warranty claim they can do the exchange under the terms or you can choose not to and go to the manufacturer for a repair of the warranty item so if the radio doesn't work and you broke the screen and it doesn't bother you, they'd have you send it into say Motorola to get the warranty on the radio and you could pay to fix the screen or leave it broken. If you have the premium insurance on your device things don't change at all. That includes the new shipping fees.

  • jillian

    I just replaced a phone under warranty with more than two scratches no problemo I really dont thibk the people in the warehouse are trying to screw us.

  • Adriana swantz

    I have a blemish on the back of my android, then I didn't want my phone any more, I just wanted a new phone , not because of the blemish and I took it in for a exchange and they said no because the phone was to damaged! That just crap

  • Pissed of Verizon customer

    I bought my wife an I Phone from Verizon December 12th and a month later it stopped charging so I took it back to the store, they looked it over and said something seemed to be wrong with the phone (no shit shurlock) so they had another one sent to my home. Meanwhile the phone started charging again. I sent it back only to find a $299.00 charge on my bill two weeks later.My wife's phone had no blemishes.I had insurance on the phone but because the warehouse deemed it to be damaged and the store claimed it on warranty I could not use my insurance. Oh and by the way Verizon's deductable on the I Phone is $179.00, they forgot to tell me that when I bought the phone. So this prompted me to do some digging and Best Buy's warranty is much better than Verizon's, on the Androids it is $9.99 a month with no deductible and no limits on exchanges, the I Phone is thru Apple care at about $20 somthing a month with no deductible, so I think I am going to purchase my phone thru Best Buy.

    • Also Enraged with Verizon

      The EXACT same thing happened to us with my daughter's APPLE phone...and of course once they "assess" that is is "damaged" (water damage to port)they REFUSE to send the phone back so we can file a "damaged" claim with the insurance company we had placed on the phone. (She remembers no water incident but turned it in because she had the same charging issues with the same phone you mentioned...I think a claim with BBB is in order here.

    • Top Gun

      Not anymore, best buy is charging deductibles now!
      Maybe it's because a dumb ass like you keeps taking advantage of the system.

  • Gabe bond

    so now they ship you a new phone and keep your ol dphone despite your wishes. i wa stold by a call center rep, that its"their property like it or not, if they wanna keep it they can" so they can steal your phone and charge you for a new phone like it or not. if you dont pay the bill you get your service removed, and billed for the rest of your contract. so essentially you can get charged 500$ for a new phone, keep your old one and bill you another thousand if you cannot pay. WAY TO RAPE YOUR CUSTOMERS. IM cancelling service as soon as my contract is up. FUCK VERIZON!!!!!!

  • bill

    It Is All About Your Money These Phones Are Made Of Plastic ... A Blemish.... ???

    Most People Do Not Understand The Fignegalin Until They Have A Claim And Then You Meet The People At Ver WitH White Gloves On. Thanks Ver.

  • geoff white

    Think about it, if your phone is broken due to you not taking care of it, why should the company replace it for free? Go total your car and try to get the dealership to take it back and get you a new car for no cost. See how that works