That's crazy. I wonder if they're using it to get out of YMYL and ranking poorly but unpenalized is better than being penalized. I can't imagine having no nav bar would allow you to rank well on Google.
What you're really talking about I think is pretty much building out a Yext type service. I would probably take all those man hours, save that money, and leverage other services instead. Depending on how many locations you have would depend on the route you take. How many locations do you guys...
Are you saying you haven't gotten it before but you expect to?
The reason I ask is I've never thought about creating an unverified listing and waiting until a few weeks to see if they give the phone option. That would be very interesting.
Chandler has the authority because of the age, interaction with the listing, and the reviews.
I imagine this will be resolved soon on its own. Google normally puts GMB listings on a filter for 1 - 1.5 years. Not that they don't rank, they do, just not as well as they could.