So I finally got a new mobile phone today after weeks of waiting (and relying on a handset with a damaged microphone), and I could barely get out of the Verizon store without them trying to sell me every little tangible and intangible bell and whistle imaginable. I was able to fend off their upselling and come away (in theory) having only paid tax on the new phone (about $5) -- that is, once I get my $50 rebate back.
See, if you hold out for 22 months on one phone, Verizon gives you a $100 credit toward a new one (as long as you commit to another two years with the can-you-hear-me-now people). But along the way they want to make it hard for you to leave without giving them more money.
Consider my options: I could have gotten a plan with more minutes (no need, since I never use more than my allotted 400 -- now 450 -- peak). I could have gotten a snazzier phone (this one seems snazzy enough). I could have had the accessories pack for another $50 (what do I need a car charger for?). I could have taken the monthly insurance (yeah, this is a gamble, but if this one goes kaput, I can just buy the cheapest model, and if it's fine through its lifetime, then I'll have saved a lot of money).
Of course, I'm still paying them $55 and change each month, after all the fees and taxes are added in, when I'd much rather be paying something closer to the original advertised rate of $39.99, but hey, this is the price of living with one phone in the modern world.