April 12, 2012
Verizon Wireless Announces $30 Upgrade Fee For Existing Customers
Verizon Wireless announced on Wednesday that it will begin charging a $30 upgrade fee to customers who trade in their mobile phones for a newer model.
The fee will apply to existing customers who signs up for a new two-year plan and receive a discounted mobile phone. Early upgraders who pay the full price of a new mobile phone will not be affected.The new policy, which goes into effect April 22, is a change from Verizon´s previous practice of offering customers a $30 credit to upgrade their phones.
"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," said Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney.
Verizon was the last U.S. wireless carrier to implement an upgrade fee. T-Mobile currently charges $18 for upgrades, while Sprint and AT&T recently raised their fees to $36.
Verizon´s move comes at a time when wireless carriers are seeing their profit margins squeezed by generous smartphone subsidies, particularly for the iPhone.
Most smartphones are offered at discounted prices for those who agree to a contract, although unlocked devices can cost as much as $500.
Verizon said that customers looking to save money, or potentially offset the new upgrade fee, can trade in their old devices via verizonwireless.com/tradein, which offers cash for older cell phones that are still in working condition.