For or against Shocking Verizon upgrade charges?
We have some news today that will shock some Verizon customers. It was bad enough when the giant carrier decided it wanted to charge a $2 fee for paying bills online although that idea was soon scuppered. Now though, Verizon has decided to introduce a new ‘upgrade fee’ and we reckon a lot of the Big Red’s customers are going to be pretty unhappy.
It all kicks off on April 22 when Verizon is to charge a fee of $30 if you are an existing customer and purchase a new phone at discounted rate on the usual two-year contract. To put it simply, if you pay out for a Droid Razr costing $199 on-contract you’ll also have to cough up another $30. Verizon say the upgrade fee will be used to “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 news was brought to us from Droid-Life and Verizon points out that the fee is “not unique to Verizon Wireless” and also points to its green friendly trade-in program (details here) as a way to offset some or all of the upgrade fee. Verizon also likens the upgrade fee to an activation fee and says the charge covers the costs involved with the transaction. The upgrade fee applies to consumer customers but not business customers or prepay customers. You can read more of the full details here.
It does seem pretty unfair that this upgrade fee is supposed to provide customer support of the level that many just don’t need or use and even if some do need extra guidance we would have thought that Verizon was earning enough profit to support this financially itself. Also the words ‘provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect’ is the complete opposite of making those existing customers pay more, that’s not a level of service they expect.
We’d like to hear from readers about what they think of this $30 upgrade fee and ask that you send us your comments. Are you for or against the new upgrade charge?