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?


13 thoughts on “For or against Shocking Verizon upgrade charges?”

  1. keenan hansen says:

     lets not look over the fact that this now totally voids any upgrade credit you may have earned by having your phone for a full year. my once handy 30$ credit is now totally useless.

    why is it we allow phone companies to rape us each month?
    i’d like to see a chart of the revenue and profits VS the cost of these workshops and supports. also how often are these things actually used??

  2. Anonymous says:

    If there LTE. was fast then maybe they could say ” since we have the fastest 4G we spent a lot of money building speed for our customers”. However the fastest download I got at my place was 10mb. Then the next time the tower was so over sold I could not even get a download reading. It would just time out. Got new Sammy on AT@T an hit almost 50mb download speed and on a bad day drop a to 11mb. So Verizon advertises how hot they are? WEIRD THAT VERIZON TOWER IS CLOSER TO ME. THAT CAN ONLY MEAN THEY ARE OVER SOLD. Live in rural Florida, no hills to block signal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The $30.00 upgrade fee stinks. I have the HTC Thunderbolt  running on Verizon’s LTE 4G and I only get 4G coverage half the time and not everywhere. So until they can guarantee 4G all the time and everywhere, they should not charge the extra $30. No way, now how.

  4. Isrvjesus98 says:

    I have been with Verizon since it bought GTE which was many years ago.  Everyone in my family has Verizon, but it is a good coverage company, but also has the most greed.  If they do that I will not upgrade and just buy a phone from someone.  Now to think they will not charge business phones or prepaid.  We the loyal customers are being treated like outcast and non important.  So I would say once again they are so stupid and will shoot themselves in the foot as they have many times before.  There are to many phones out there to buy than pay their fee, and cut into my discount.  If one of the other carriers ever gets the same coverage, Verizon can look for a great exodus.

  5. Youngij says:

    The new upgrade fee is a RIP OFF!!!  We have been a Verizon customer since they took over the wireless company we were with back in the early ’90’s. We don’t have 4G where I live & work, but I love having the coolest smartpohone.  This may make me swithch to AT&T. 

  6. ccgabe says:

    Verizon is just like all stinking big corporations. They are not doing this because it is necessary but because they can. Ultimate greed pure and simple. I am using a used Inc 2 that is a good phone and I will buy another used phone before I will buy from Verizon.

  7. bj says:

    what do they deem as a new phone?   how about if you “upgrade” to an older phone?  the cost for the new stuff is unreal enough without the added fees…

  8. Sunshaden says:

    I have AT&T and if I want to “upgrade” to a new phone it will cost me $32.
    So I have stuck with my iPhone 3G for 3 years now. If I get a new phone I will
    switch to a different carrier , who won’t charge me an “upgrade” fee.
    Why do these companies treat their existing customers this way?

  9. They justify the fee by stating that all other carriers are charging a fee also. The fact of the matter is that i stayed with Verizon because they didn’t pull the same shennanigans as the other carriers. Unlimited data, GONE. Free upgrade, GONE. There is nothing that distinguishes Verizon from the rest of the pack anymore. It’s a shame loyal customers are not rewarded for their loyalty anymore. I am done with Verizon at the end of my contract.

  10. Taos says:

    Just got ripped off at verizon 199 for iphone and 30 upgrade fee. This is probably the last time I am going with verizon. I have 4 phones and My bill runs over 200 a mouth. I guess they don’t like the 2400.00 + I am paying them per year?

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