Verizon Wireless is giving users yet another fee. This fee forces customers to pay to upgrade their phones. Verizon customers will soon have to pay a $30 upgrade fee whenever they upgrade to a new phone with a two-year contract with the carrier.
This new fee will apply to all Verizon customers that are eligible for an upgrade from the carrier. Verizon will start charging the fee on April 22, so customers that are eligible for upgrades between then and now can avoid the fee by upgrading soon.
After April 22 there is no way to avoid the fee that we can see. The fee will likely apply to all users no matter how they choose to upgrade their phone. It’s not clear if users can escape the charge by upgrading on Amazon Wireless. We’ve reached out to Amazon for confirmation.
Verizon claims that this new 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.”
Part of the fee is no doubt to help with the build out of Verizon’s 4G LTE network as well, which isn’t cheap.
Upgrade fees aren’t new to mobile carriers, however. The rest of the big four: AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile also require upgrade fees. AT&T and Sprint charge more with $36 fees, while T-Mobile charges $18 for the privilege of upgrading phones. Verizon is the last of the big carriers to charge the fee.
Just because all the carriers charge an upgrade fee doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s another reason to despise US carriers. Sadly, if we want the latest and greatest smartphones we have to deal with annoying fees and two-year contracts.