Verizon to charge $30 upgrade fee starting April 22nd


Verizon will follow suit with the other major US carriers as it introduces a $30 upgrade fee beginning April 22nd. The fee will apply to existing customers purchasing a new mobile device when subsidized on a two-year contract. Verizon claims the fee “will help [the carrier] 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.”

The fee comes in below the $36 upgrade charge of Sprint and AT&T and above T-Mobile’s $18 tariff. Coupled with the rising cost of hardware and data, it’s an additional charge Verizon customers would be happy to do without.

[via BGR]

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  1. I’m not too stoked about this. Especially since mine is on the 30th.

  2. What a joke..

    I just had my gf and her daughter switch from the iphone to the sgs2 on at&t. We did it all online and got charged like $36 dollars to upgrade..

    It cost that much for me to open the box put new sim card in and call and activate? As if!

    I could understand if they charged me this in the store and someone there did this for me..Cover the cost for the rep etc but doing it all online and im the one doing the work?


    Just one of the many reasons Im on prepaid.

    1. Even if the rep did it, it would still be unacceptable – it’s their job to transfer your sim card and activate the phone for you, their salary is enough to do such a simple task

      1. and in order for the “salary to be enough” you gotta pay the $36.

        1. Yeah, like it’s that hard to sit on your ass in a store all day and answer customer’s dumb questions about phones, and occasionally go in the back to swap out a sim card.  If they were paid $8.00 an hr, it would still be enough for what they do.  No need to tack on an extra $30, or even $5

          1. Verizon isn’t McDonald’s. If the customer doesn’t make the most of the reps time who’s fault is that? Dumb questions come from dumb people so if they have to stand there and listen to them, they might as well get paid whatever they’re getting paid

          2. Its a lot more involved than youre making it out to be.  You have to deal with other people’s problems all day.  And when it comes to people’s phones they take it very seriously because for some people its their main form of communication.  So they want things done yesterday.  Takes a special kind of person.  But i also dont work at a corporate store…they are mostly a bunch of bums lol.  

  3. I had no idea the other carriers were doing this.  CRAZY!  We want to charge you more for your new phone, but we don’t want to advertise it.  And we care more about stealing new customers from our competitors than keeping our existing customers happy.  I can’t really blame Verizon, considering everyone else is equally being jerks, but they should all get rid of this.

  4. What about BestBuy? Does the fee transfer over to them?

    1. The fee is charged by the carrier, no matter where you upgrade you will be charged the fee.

  5. It is easier being on T-mo and AT&T to avoid the charge by purchasing the phones yourself and swapping just the SIM cards. If you are on a contract they got you!!
    That is why I like T-mo’s no contract plans. Over the 2 years you save more than the cost of the subsidized phone you get. 

    1.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      The part I don’t get is how they are basically charging an activation fee for existing customers…shouldn’t their costs be covered by the monthly service fees?  If not, they are either selling their phones too cheap, or not charging enough for service.  People are smart enough to figure it out, it’s just a matter of how lazy they are once you have them in the store and excited about a new device.  If all the carriers stopped these silly financial games…and just be honest with their customers, that could go a long way.

  6. Damn, my upgrade is tomorrow, but I’m gonna hold off for the S3.  Guess I’ll jsut call customer service and try to get it wavied

    1. You really believe Verizon will get a variant of the S3? I hope the do, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      1. Some perspective is helpful on occasion:

        Verizon skipped *one* device….there is no pattern here from which to conclude they would skip the S3.

      2. I don’t think so. Verizon already has a strong smartphone portfolio, so I don’t think it’s likely that they’ll have an SGS3. They passed on the SGS2, and several others. They’re still trying to move a lot of stock of the RAZRs, since the RAZR MAXX was released, very few people are going to pay the same for a phone with a battery (non-replaceable at that) inferior to the MAXX’s battery.

  7. I am getting to be so “done” with Verizon. First they take away “New Every Two” program that was an incentive to retain their customers, and now, instead, they are going to start charging their customers. They say the fee is to provide a better experience to their customers, then why are they only charging existing customers. A bunch of BS is what it is.

    1. Who else are you going to use?  Doesn’t this blog post say the other major carriers are already doing this?

      1. @bigdav1178:disqus Seriously though. Where are you going to go? T-Mobile or Sprint which charge the same prices and could have spottier coverage?

        AT&T with its $20 or nothing texting plan?

        This is exactly why the government blocked the T-Mobile/AT&T merger. You would think as the years go by, cellphone service would get cheaper but not so. It’s like the price of food, it only goes up. =/

        1.  I’ll go with a regional carrier like US Cellular. They also have LTE in my area so the evil empire is not the only one.

    2. They already charge new customers $30 for activating the new phone which is the the same fee that they are going to start charging existing customers. Another $30 would have new customers scrabling to the door to avoid paying $60 for getting a new phone on VZW. Not to mention the $299 that a brand new high end device cost at VWZ. This fee is really ridiculous, they might as well call it “activation fee” since that’s exactly what it is. Instead of lowering the cost to retain existing customers they’re scaring them away with a new fees. I wonder if they would hit you with this fee when you buy a device from a 3rd party?

      1.  The Activation fee is $35/$25. This new fee mentions $30 for upgrading, not adding a line where the activation is used for. Get the facts straight before complaining…

        1. The point is that they’ll be charging a new fee….End of story…

  8. Apparently the cost is part of some government fee the carriers get charged for activating a new mobile device. At least that was the excuse Sprint gave me. Not sure how much the fee actually is, but it seems like Uncle Sam strikes again.

  9. So…wait.  $30 if I’m eligible for an upgrade, or $30 if I have to pay full-price for a device, but they let me pay the upgrade price instead (and tack on said $30 fee)?  If it’s the former, that’s garbage!

  10. I just created a petition please sign it and pass it along!

    1.  Done!  Thanks for creating!

    2. Done! Thanks for creating.

    3. LOL good luck. This is isn’t like the $2 pay your bill fee. So long as people are entering the stores and upgrading their devices, it’ll continue.

    4. It can’t hurt to try

    5.  Done, and I’m not even a customer.

    6. Did it hope it works

    7. Signed it also. Can you believe they wanna charge me a $400 security deposit plus the fee of the phone, then the service, blah, blah. Screw you VZW! I took my business to USCC.

    8. Signed. Oh and the phone I was upgrading to for my mom, was a basic flip phone that used to be free and now with a discount is $79.00. Go figure.

  11. Where’s that Incredible 4G?  Coming soon?

    1. They’re going to release it right AFTER this new fee takes effect and rake in the money when everyone flocks to buy it. Probably wait to launch the Droid Fighter until then too. Money grubbers. 

      1.  You’re wrong. You need to look at the actual PLIC and you will see…

  12. Ok, how about I promise not to use their “Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts” and I keep my $30!

    1. no thanks, just hand it over.

  13. Next up, 50 cent convenience fee every time you listen to a voicemail ;)

    1. Some carriers actually DO charge you (taking away from your minutes) to get your voicemail.

      1. I think Verizon charges you per minute of voice mail usage. 

        1. Thats why i ues google voice

          1. One of MANY reasons. :)

          2.  They charge you minutes because it is a land line call, not a cell to cell call.

  14. Verizon and its customers…

  15. Sprints 36 fee is an activation fee that applies to upgrade and new activations. But the charges go away if you order online

  16. damn, that’s $30 extra when i switch from GN to iphone 5 >.< 

  17. I don’t really care that they’re doing it; I care that they’re doing it so they can still advertise the phone as costing $30 less.  Think about it.  The upgrade price is dependent on ACTIVATING the phone on a 2 year contract.  Then they charge an additional $30 to activate it.  So really it’s just part of the price of the phone, but they treat it as separate and only advertise it in microscopic text below the advertised price.


    1.  So really it’s just part of the price of the phone” please inform yourself before you start posting random facts. All mobility companies buy the phones, each one, at full retail price. They re-cooperate through the service provided. Congratulations you have been enlightened. 

      1. Not full retail – they buy the phones above cost, which, TBH, is probably close to full retail (last time I checked, top tier phones cost was around $500), but not quite there

  18. Just think I use to complain about T-Mobile charging me 18. 

  19. I’m already paying $190 a month for 3 phones and one has no text or data plan. On top of the $200 I had to pay for each phone. I’ve been with Verizon since 1998 and we don’t get any discount for being loyal to the company.  I noticed it said the $30 charge was existing customers.  Newbies don’t have to pay it.  WTF – When it comes time to get new phones again I’m going to Bitch and Moan to Verizon and threaten to leave if I don’t get this $30 fee waved.

    1. New activation get charged a $35 activation fee.

    2. They charge new customers $30 for activating the new phone which is the same fee with a different name….I’m not agreeing with the fee, I think its BS that existing customers will have to pay an extra $30 to stay with VZW….

    3.  It’s for existing customers because you are UPGRADING. New customers are adding new lines and would get an activation fee.

  20. So basically they are raising the price $30 on each phone.

    1. Yep… end of the world, right?

    2. Get a Google Voice number, and change carriers every two years.
      (Until Google charges for the number….)

  21. EVERYONE needs to share the petition link on Facebook and forward it through email if its going to catch on.

  22. My upgrade just came up but i has no dollars

  23. It was always nice being a Verizon customer that I did not have to pay a fee when upgrading to a new phone. Now they are like everyone else and have an upgrade fee. People complain but they will pay it.


  25. My upgrade date was 3/27, but I’m waiting for the Droid Incredible 4G and Droid Fighter to be launched. I don’t want to pay $300 (wait, $330) to get stuck with last year’s tech for the next two years. Such BS! Everybody sign the petition and blast this on whatever social networking you use!

  26. I think instead of them charging the
    customers an extra fee it should.come directly out of the executive’s
    pockets until their salary comes down to a reasonable amount and the
    greedy people leave and the people who care about what the wireless
    industry’s role in today’s world remain.

    1. you’re wrong. Your problem is that you think good service is cheap. If shitty service is what you want go to metro and quit crying.

      1. Actually you are wrong.

        The CEO salary has nothing to do with service. Lowell McAdams collects over 7 million dollars a year in compensations from Verizon. How does this figure into quality service? Are you saying that because he makes over 7 million a year we get better service? Could he not do the same job just as well for 1 million dollars a year in compensation? I think he could. 

        1. You want top talent, you need to pay for it.  VZW needs to pay it’s CEO’s comparable salaries to what others are paying, otherwise they don’t attract people with good track records.

          Blanket statements like yours just show a lack of understanding of how business operates and attracts human resources

          1. I know exactly how business works. Verizon has 100 million customers, and 1% upgrade their phones every year at the 30 dollar fee, that is around 30 million dollars a year more in profit. Lets see if service improves over the next 12 months. Following your logic I expect to see a substantial increase in service, at that cost and they should be bringing back unlimited data.

          2. @wastry:disqus wow when i read the first part of your reply i was thinking that you didnt understand what i said about “the people who care about what the wireless industry’s role in today’s world remain.”

            i think you do not understand the situation. just saying.

    2. “Until the greedy ppl leave”?  Stupid hippies.

      The only reason I get up and go to work in the morning is because I want more money; it’s the only reason I work harder than my co-workers and put in longer hrs is because I want a fatter pay check.  Am I greedy for wanting a better life for myself and my family?  For wanting a fatter pay check so I can buy nicer things?

      Only hippies think the world can run on communes.

      That said, this new fee is BS. Screwing customers in an already weak economy is a dumb idea on VZW’s part

      1. Once you get to a certain level, it flip-flops. You get paid more for the less you do.

      2. Your analogy doesn’t really work… you’re working extra hard/hrs for more money, while VZW isn’t doing anything extra/new for their customers while charging them more money.

      3.  I dont work hard at all and I get paid the same or more than others that go the extra mile. Union bud, So your work logic is BS.

  27. “Thank you for your continued support. We would like to thank you for renewing your contract with us by giving you this bill for 30$ for no reason. Thanks again for your support.”

    I could understand if this were an early upgrade fee, but to charge someone for upgrading their phone and renewing their contract when they’re supposed to? F-ing retarded for all the carriers……..

  28. Blame the precious iPhone for this;  (Reuters) – Verizon Communications may miss analyst expectations for 2012 earnings after posting disappointing fourth quarter results as it was hurt by hefty subsidies for the Apple Inc iPhone.

  29. Guess more people will be buying from ebay then.

  30. And you guys says that AT&T is expensive

  31. “…will help [the carrier] 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.” *cough bullshit*.
     No one actually believed that horribly transparent spin, did they?

  32. It’s a activation fee. Purchase any new phone from anywhere you want. If it runs on VZ/Sprint’s Network they have to provision it for you to use it. Cough up 30$. If you are on AT&T or T-Mobile and purchase it in store, their “provisioning” is swapping out the sim card. Of course they can still catch you if they want. Simply look for your IMEI number and compare it against their *Gasp* new database against stolen phones which i’m quite sure will have another field for “previously activated?” and they’ll catch you at that pass as well.

    Carriers will just nickle and dime you to a slow slow death. Skip the BS, go prepaid. Been rockin my iPhone on walmarts straight talk plan and  I get the same quality of service for 45$ a month unlimited everything. AT&T would have me bleeding out at almost 100$ for the same service.

    Carriers ream us cause we let them.

  33. Verizon claims the fee “will help [the carrier] 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.”

    Basically for shit nobody uses… well at least I don’t.  If I need to learn how to use my phone I can go to YouTube and watch a review for free.  My $115 should be enough for them already.

  34. If you’re an existing customer then you don’t matter any more to the carriers. All you are is a grandfathered rate when prices are ever rising/limits lowering. New customers already often received higher subsidies (could often find $300 phones for $199), now you just end up paying $130 more for your continued loyalty.

  35. Or you just don’t upgrade. Verizon doesn’t do much to inspire continued loyalty. If your phone uses a SIM card, there’s nothing for them to do-unbox, put the card in the new phone, wait for it to self provision and you’re off. 

  36. I call BS on this.  There are enough fees already.  What about the price we already pay for the phone?!?  Seems that should cover this crap they’re trying to pull now.  I will refuse to pay this fee and if they insist, then guess what?  I have a choice.  I can spend my money elsewhere.  I’ve been a verizon customer for about 10 years now, but I have no allegiance to them.  It’s obvious they have no allegiance to me.

  37. I pay 130 a month for my xperia play not happy bout that but whatever I think if they want me to stay loyal then give us the software updates for our handsets they could do that much for us customers or when my contract is up ill go to sprint that’s that

  38. Hey VZ,
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…………. _.·´

  39. Lol bend over more people. Verizon is a fucking joke

  40. Thank you Craigslist & Ebay.
    you’ve now won my upgrade dollars.
    i’m good waiting a few months for the phones to go down in price.

  41. And seriously, no kidding here, I am due for an upgrade on 4/23 0.o…..  did I tell you once that I bought a duck and it drowned?  

  42. It’s all for advertising. This way they can still advertise subsidized phones for $200 although you will actually be paying $230. Whatever, by the time my contract is up, at&t’s lte network will be more widespread and I will just take my number with me and switch.

  43. upgrade fees are for ppl 2 lazy 2 call and complain at&t has refunded the 18$ for the past 10 years my family has been w/ them

  44. great…more money for Verizon fees.

  45. “…..consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.”

    nevermind a fee….I think I deserve a refund.

  46. Hey guys just dont upgrade! Buy the phone off ebay if you want and say flip the fee. Otherwise by preapaid service and unlocked phones to really save money. Third choice come hear batch and moan and then turn over and take it like the little girl you are.

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