Verizon is adding a $20 upgrade fee even if you buy your device full price


Let the good times roll. Verizon Wireless is adding even more fees. We don’t hear that often enough, right? A leaked internal memo suggests we’ll be seeing a change April 4th that tacks a $20 upgrade fee onto most of Verizon’s upgrade paths.

The upgrade options getting the free include buying your device outright and off-contract, buying your device with Verizon’s device payment plan, and even buying your device from a third-party promotion such as Apple’s iPhone upgrade program (and we imagine that would be the case with Samsung’s program should it ever become widespread). Don’t forget that those upgrading on a two-year contract still have to put up with a whopping $40 to upgrade.


And for what? To essentially flip a switch that says “you can use phone service.” It costs $20 to do that, Verizon? Seriously? Here’s how they justify it in their own words:

We are implementing an upgrade fee to help cover our increasing support costs associated with customers switching their devices.

Wait, what? Isn’t that what you pay your workers for? Aren’t those workers paid by the hefty subscription fees your customers are already paying? What on Earth could cost an extra $20 to help activate a SIM card? Don’t even get me started on the facade of you struggling to pay for any increased costs when you’re breaking profit and revenue records on a near-quarterly basis. That’s harder to believe than anything we’ll see for April Fools today.

The only way to avoid an upgrade fee with Verizon is if you bring your own device and SIM to go with it. Of course, Verizon was quick to point out that all other major carriers except T-Mobile charge similar fees.

And this is why the American wireless industry sucks. Instead of following T-Mobile’s model and trying to match wits to provide customers more value, the big juggernauts are more interested in justifying every new nickel and dime charge they can throw at us.

The reason it sucks so much? They can get away with it. Verizon and AT&T’s rock solid networks are very important bargaining chips in this race. History has proven that people care more about a reliable network than value. Otherwise, why would Verizon and AT&T be the top 2 carriers in the country?

It’s stuff like this why the FTC doesn’t want situations like what we almost suffered with AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile. These guys are too big as it is, and even through all their anti-consumer ways they still have a very vicious chokehold on the market.

[Mac Rumors]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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