Verizon Wireless to add $30 upgrade fee for all existing customers

Verizon Wireless to add $30 upgrade fee for all existing customers

Summary: Joining its competitors, Verizon is adding at $30 upgrade fee for its existing customers.

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TOPICS: Verizon, Telcos
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Verizon Wireless subscribers looking to upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus or the iPhone 4S in the coming months might be in for a bit of a shock, and maybe heartbreak.

Starting April 22nd, Verizon Wireless will apply $30 upgrade fee to the phone purchases of existing customers. This, of course, is in addition to the price of a phone and the toil of a two-year contract.

Verizon has a little bit of semantic fun with the press release, using "discounted" instead of "subsidized" to refer to its carrying half of the new phone price burden. It's a transparent substitution, and not one likely to make customers any less unhappy.

There's also the company's explanation for the fee, which is amusing and interesting in its own right:

This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.

So, basically, Verizon is appealing to things like "education" and "consultations experts" to justify adding a new fee that basically punishes subscribers for remaining customers.

The company also notes, rightfully, that its new upgrade fee is "not unique to Verizon." That's an apparently jab at Sprint and AT&T, both of which enforce $36 upgrade fees. Not to be left out. T-Mobile also enforces an upgrade fee, though at $18, it's a bit less than its competitors' own.

Not that we can fault any of them, of course. The cost of subsiding cell phones and running LTE networks only goes one way, after all.

Topics: Verizon, Telcos

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12 comments
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  • This is just terrible

    As a 15 year Verizon customer, I am not happy with this. With 5 phones on my family plan, this is an extra $150 I will be forced to pay as the upgrades come available. Instead of forcing everyone to pay for the services they mention, which my family & I have never used, why not charge on a per use basis for people that use these services. Verizon already charges the highest overall rates in the industry. And I pay for Verizon service because of the great coverage, 4G speed & solid network, but this is going a bit too far in my opinion.
    tgschmidt
    • I agree. So...

      ...switch carriers. T-mobile's fee is less and unless you are married to an iPhone, many of the non-contract carriers offer some excellent smartphone alternatives!
      gary.lipkin
    • I squeaked by with my recent upgrade

      But I'll either stick with my current device or shop around when my contract is up... I have a feeling this is not so much having to pay for "education consultants" or "keeping the same level of customer service" as it is that other carriers are doing it and are getting away with it.
      NonFanboy
  • Shop Around when your contract ends

    I know I will.
    geoff.schardein
  • Options ...

    I feel sorry for folks who actually NEED all that power from their phone and their phone data plan and have to put up with the big carriers jerking them around like this all the time. It's shameful. They know how badly you want or need this stuff, and feel free to stick it to you.

    I honestly feel very lucky that I can get all the touch screen, voice and data, onboard-app goodness I need for less than $30 a month with no contract. I'm tickled to death that the phone I need cost me only $40 (and can be found for less, if you watch for sales).

    Back in the days when I needed the power for my job, I spent my time with the big carriers and their idea of customer service and vowed I'd never go back. It's a promise I'm very glad to have kept with myself.

    To those of you who NEED the power of the top of the line stuff, I feel for you. For those who don't need it, but want it any way ... you have a much higher threshold of pain than me. :)
    draku.zeos
    • Options...

      Who offers this bargain, and how is your service?
      ivanbb
  • Verizon raising phone prices

    Not a happy camper esp with every thing else rising how do they think we can all survive. Yes data plan is worth $30 still hight compared to ATT and others. Verizon cells phone not there for tech support we need to go to Apple for support with Iphone this is pretty bad when this happens. If they sell a phone should provide us tech support. Sure hope every one wakes up to stop this war pricing
    epri307
  • altell legacy

    I suspect the fee is also a way to get around those of us who have no charge data plans which came on board with our Altell contracts. I don't mind paying for one which my wife uses but I was already thinking about the Lumina 900 or a sprint Galaxy Nexus so they made it easier for me to change carriers.
    fierogt
  • Does it apply to Wirefly???

    I haven't been buying phones from Verizon, I have been buying them from other sources such as Wirefly, Does it still apply if I get the phone on my own, say from Ebay????
    grolson
  • Customers are wizing up...

    to these carriers and their 2 year plans. I use t-Mobile $30/mo and bought a smart phone for T-Mobile over ebay. 1500 minutes/month and 30MBdata. I am normally around wifi so the data is plenty for email, etc. and I even have my email set to send me the message as a text from family, etc. and junk everything else. If you aren't a teenage girl with the texting syndrome, this will suit most people and give you good service. t-Mo also has UMA VOIP that gives me connections where others fail (Northern California, Montana, etc) So consider $30 or even go unlimited for $50/mo.
    wahoobob
  • Iphone 4s is the best !

    Hmm i think Iphone 4s beat ant smartphone , i was very lucky i win a Iphone 4s here http://www.winforlife.tk i don't know if is still active but check out it don't cost anything just submit you'r emal and after 2 week's you will get it ;) . good Luck to everyone , if you think is just a spam or ads just pass out .
    ucozer123
  • Verizon RipOff

    I'm a long term Verizon Wireless customer and just went in to upgrade. I was surprised to learn of the $30 upgrade fee. I complained to the manager and asked for a waiver. He declined. In fact, they were downright rude and said they didn't care. While there, they tried to talk us out of the iphone 4S purchase and into a "more updated 4G model". I work in the communications industry and caught the salesman and the manager in a couple flagrant lies about the product. In my opinion, the practice to charge customers to upgrade a service is unconscienable and I am going to complain everywhere I can.
    NLKelly