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Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Member

I recently found out that Verizon has started charging a $30 upgrade fee any time you want to change your phone.  I think this is outrageous and a money making scheme.  How dare they charge $30 to upgrade your phone?  It really makes me not want to be a verizon customer.  They nickel and dime you to death.  They promote you with a $50 credit, but in reality after you pay their $30 upgrade fee, its only $20.  Then, to add insult to injury, they don't credit your account the money....instead they make you send in a rebate form and they will mail you a $50 Visa card.  This is such a scam. 

If you are in their store to upgrade your phone, you are going to be paying them more money and chances are you will be adding more services to your existing plan.  But that is not enough for the greedy Verizon.  They now charge you $30 to STAY WITH THEM!!!!  What crap.

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Sr. Leader

You are not charged this fee anytime you want to change your phone, only when you purchase a subsidized phone in exchange for signing a new contract. You can change between phones as often as you would like with no charge. I have been switching between a Droid Razr Maxx HD and a Galaxy SIII every 10 days or so for the last 2 months without being charged.

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Not applicable

Actually they only charge you if you take an upgrade discount. Also if you don't want to be a Verizon customer exactly were are you going to go? At&t? Sorry they charge $36 to upgrade. Sprint? They also charge $36 to upgrade. T-mobile? Well no upgrade fee but no $600 phones for $200 either. You have to pay the full $600.

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Sr. Member

Profit, and because they can

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Novice

They are just following the rest of the cell carriers trends..

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Member

what i find funny is that they want you to want to pay for the pleasure of paying them for a new phone... really...

I wonder with all the problems that they are not telling the public about that, well that they have the audacity to charge you for buying new equipment from them..

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Customer Support

Good afternoon LibbyRoxy. I am sorry that the $30 upgrade fee is causing you such distress. I want to assure you this isn't just a random fee that we threw out there. There is a reason behind it and I would be more than happy to discuss that with you today.

The $30 upgrade fee was introduced on April 22nd 2012. The main reason for this fee is because the devices we offer are becoming more advanced and therefore more expensive. We purchase the devices at full retail, which ranges from $300-$700 dollars. For example the iPhone 5 is $649.99. We sell it to our customers who are upgrade eligible at $199.99. That is a huge discount that we can offer you and the $30 upgrade fee allows us to continue to do so. It is a fee that is a wireless industry standard and we held off as long as we could, but I am happy to say that ours is lower compared to our competition.

The upgrade fee also supports some of our other services such as the wireless workshops offered in our stores, back up assistant plus, our around the clock customer service, and the upkeep of our industry leading network.

You will not be billed a $30 upgrade fee if you purchase the device at full retail. I understand that purchasing a device at full retail could cause financial stress so I do have another option. You can trade in your current device via our trade in program. Whatever your phone is valued at, you can apply that towards the upgrade fee. Sometimes it covers the cost completely.

For devices purchased in the store or over the phone you do have to send in a rebate form to get the $50 rebate. If you order the device online the discount is instant and I would suggest purchasing your device online to get the best deals.

I hope that now that I provided you with an option to take the pressure of the upgrade fee off that you do choose to upgrade your device. We have quite the extensive line up and I know we have the right phone for you. Let me know if you need additional assistance.

NickB_VZW
VZW Support
Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Member

That sounds all good for the iphone & 4g devices but for the person just using a basic phone (trying to be smart to save money- gets the shaft!-  I'm sure the basic phones will be taking away from all the carriers soon- Smiley Sad 

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Not applicable

People that just want basic phones are better off going with something like Staight Talk or Net10.

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Re: Why would Verizon start charging an upgrade fee?

Member

While I appreciate your explanation, NickB, I think that it is a load of bull hockey.  The entire purpose of offering free upgrades is customer retention (it is a well known business model, so do not insult us by denying it).  You and your competition have been engaging in this behavior for years.  Your offer of a new phone every two years has seen me upgrade from a basic flip phone to a phone with a keyboard to a Blackberry Storm and then to a Droid X.  There are now three phones on my plan, two Droids and a basic phone.  We share 1400 minutes and friends and family between us.  Each of the Droids have unlimited data.  This plan costs us $4500 during the course of our contract.  To "upgrade" our phones with the same setup (2 smartphones and one basic phone) will cost us $90 in upgrade fees and an additional $20+ per month.  Yes, we will be sharing unlimited voice and texts, but we will be paying more per month for less data (right now we pay $30 per line for unlimited data, but under your new plan that will be $35 per line for 4Gb each month).  Basic Service under your new "Share Everything" plan will start at $180 a month for us, before taxes while my service now runs between $155 and $162.

You state in your post that: "The upgrade fee also supports some of our other services such as the wireless workshops offered in our stores, back up assistant plus, our around the clock customer service, and the upkeep of our industry leading network."  I would buy that, but for the following:  1.  I have never seen a workshop offered.  I might not be looking in the right place.  Truth be told, if they are anything like your online workshops, they are completely useless.  2.  Back-up assistant plus is really not useful, at least not in my opinion.  The one time I have had to use it (switching from the Blackberry Storm to the Dorid X), it was not compatible.  Not only is it not useful, it is not needed, as all android contacts are shared with your g-mail account and automatically imported to your new device.  After a bit of research, I have found that Apple does the same thing (albeit in a different way). 3.  Verizon Wireless, like all major corporations, has a strategic plan for capital improvements (i. e. new 4G antenna or new towers) that is built into the service fees: 24 hour customer service is also built into the service fee.  The claim from Verizon Wireless that they are not able to keep up with the advances in cellular technology are, at least in my opinion, bogus, as Verizon Wireless in supposed to be an innovator in the field.  Your contention that Verizon Wireless pays full retail for the phones you offer for free or at a discount is also a bit of a sticking point for me...I would bet that you are, in fact, paying a substantially discounted wholesale price.

Verizon Wireless should just stick to giving us a free or discounted phone, with no upgrade fee, in return for us continuing to spend thousands of dollars a year on your service.