Kevin, your experience mirrors our recent adventures at the Apple Store, except with Verizon. In our case, everything happened within the bustling confines of the Apple Store. The associate was friendly, competent, helpful, etc., and the purchase of a pair of iPhones took 3.5 hours -- entirely because of the comical ineptitude of Verizon customer service.
Verizon: There is no such account. OK, there is an account, but you can't add a line to that account. OK, you can add a line, but it's not an upgrade. OK, it's an upgrade, but you can't port the number. OK, we ported the number, except the customer hasn't paid for the phone yet, and completing the transaction will add yet another new line. Oh, now we can't complete the upgrade because the account has a "fraud alert" for "too much activity," and rep who posted the fraud alert has left for the day and we can't remove it.
The Apple store associate persevered through all of this without a single audible curse word. He finally made it work, and Apple gave us free phone cases to make up for our time -- which, again, wasn't Apple's fault.
The next day we found multiple bogus charges on our Verizon account for every time the phone was added, deleted, upgraded, etc., in Verizon's attempts to get it working properly. Well played, Verizon.