I had a very unexpected maybe weird experience with Verizon customer service regarding this issue. My family and I have been loyal customers of Verizon for more than 6 or 7 years. We have two accounts with a total of 7 phones (4 on one account and 3 on the other account). This afternoon (7/21/2013) my daughters upgraded their phones and renewed their contracts for another two years. I was surprised for the activation/upgrade fee, total of $60.00 for two phones. The phones were advertised FREE for another two years contract renewal. I thought about the upgrade fee while doing my afternoon 30 minute walk. I felt that I was getting charged for keeping my account and staying as a loyal customer of Verizon. It's like I am being penalized for staying with Verizon. I upgraded two phones and I have to pay them to keep me as a customer and for renewing my contract for another two years. I was so confused and I decided to call 611 for customer service. A representative spoke with me and my expectation was to get an answer, an explanation and to be served by customer service since I was confused. I asked, why am I paying activation fee for upgrading my phone. The representative corrected me and told me that it is not activation fee but upgrade fee. So I asked, since I am paying for it, "I wanted to know, what was the fee that I paid for?". As a customer, I think I have the right to know what I am being charged for. The representative told me that the upgrade fee is used by Verizon to help disaster relief to affected people if there is a disaster; it is used for workshops and training for employees; it is used to cover some cost for buying the phones; and to give excellent customer service.
I got more confused and asked, why am I paying for disaster relief, why do I have to be charged extra to pay for training and workshop; why do they advertised free phone but yet I am being charged a fee to cover some cost. So I asked for a manager hoping that a manager would be able to explain it better. I was referred to a manager expecting that this manager would have managerial skills to deal with customer. I asked the same questions and I relayed to him the representatives answers to me. I was told by the manager that I need to read my contract; that Verizon representatives can tell me whatever they want and that I am expected to understand whatever they say; that Verizon doesn't need to explain to me why they are charging me an upgrade fee. He was very assertive and I felt like he was treating me like his subordinate and that I should just listen to him and he repeated few time that I should read my contract. He also told me that Verizon doesn't need to tell me what the upgrade fee is for and what are they using it for. Once paid to them, it becomes their money and I don't have anymore business where it is used for. He also told me that: "Verizon doesn't asked you on where you spend your money, why are you asking Verizon on where Verizon spend their money." This was a manager talking to a customer. I reminded him that I am a customer seeking an explanation and I wanted to know what I am being charged for, I think that's my right as a customer, so I asked what should a customer do if he or she is confused and wanted some answers: He advised me to call customer service. He started raising his voice and I asked him, do you call yourself a manager acting like this, and he asked me, why do you think I am in this position if I am not good at it. I was expecting leadership from this manager, compassion, knowledge about the products and services and knowledge of customer service. I would score him zero in all aspects of management.
Well I think Verizon needs to address this issue with their managers on how to treat customers seeking answers or explanation and I think that upgrade fee is ridiculous and it is a scam. Can someone start a class action for this?
.... I think that upgrade fee is ridiculous and it is a scam. Can someone start a class action for this?
Regardless of what you think or feel, the "upgrade fee" charged by Verizon (and every other major carrier as well, and they charge more!) is part of the cost you will pay to upgrade your phone. It is not a "scam" - which implies trickery or fraud - the fee is publicized, and while you may not agree with the ways it is used, there is no fraud involved.
And a $500 + new phone for $70 (upgrade fee and sales tax) is still a heckuva deal, no matter how the "fees" are presented. It would make more sense to add the $30 to the cost of the phone, rather than say the phone is "free" and add the fee. Bottom line though, you get a phone for a very low price when you agree to a 2 yr contract.
so in order to avoid paying an upgrade fee, you would rather leave and go to a different carrier every two years and pay an activation fee, which in most cases is more then an upgrade fee. I fail to see the logic in that. Not to mention that would completely destroy any hopes you had of using tenure as leverage to get something from any carrier. I think it's hysterical that everybody is confusing customer service with give me a credit. Before all the accusations come out, no i don't work for verizon no i don't have a disposable income I just think its crazy that people think good customer service is giving away money because you feel slighted, and with your arguement, you will end up paying that anyway thru activation fees every two years! Come on now lets think this through just a tad.
If I buy my phones at Costco, they will make a cash reimbursement to me for all ACTIVATION fees. Yes, you read that correctly. They also offer their rebates at the register. No mail in coupon needed. So, it is more cost effective to change carriers every two years.
It is not well publicized. I almost made a purchase and had to ask about any fees. They should put this fee right up front.
It is right up front ... it's on every placard next to phones at a Corporate store and it's noted on the web site when you're purchasing phones