Yep, you read that right. Starting on April 22, Verizon Wireless will start charging a $30 “upgrade fee” to those who purchase a new phone at a discounted rate on contract. So if you are up for an upgrade and want to grab one of the latest and greatest smartphones you can plan on tacking an extra thirty bucks to the listed discounted price. Verizon’s reasoning behind this is as follows:
On April 22, Verizon Wireless is implementing a $30 upgrade fee for existing customers purchasing new mobile equipment at a discounted price with a two-year contract. 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.
Below is an internal memo on the new fee:
They’re basically claiming that the fee is to cover the cost of teaching customers how to use their phones. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced user who is well versed at using your phone and transferring your data to a new phone – you’ll be paying the fee to help cover those who need the help.
Their closest competitors, Sprint and AT&T, apparently charge even more for an upgrade fee (something like $36) – But both also charge less overall for their services. Verizon is also notorious for charging $100+ more than their competitors for comparable top tier phones, they now want even more money from your pocket book.
The whole thing smells like a money grab, to me… Why can’t they just charge this fee to the customers who actually want to partake in the workshops and data transfer services?
Oh, and in case you have your objections all ready in order to have the fee waived, check out the image below to see what your rep’s robo-responses will be:
Image Source: Droid-Life
About the Author (Author Profile)
Co-owner and PR guy for GizmoNinja.com. I’m happily married and a father to a wonderful (most of the time) son. I work in the E9-1-1 software/data industry by day and am a tech loving geek in my spare time. I’m interested in all things tech, but am big into Android especially. I dabble in a little of everything – Android development, PC development, web development, etc – but am a master of none (not even close)… But I have fun doing it anyway! =P