Verizon Wants Its Pound Of Flesh From Your Full Price Smartphone Purchase, Will Charge $20 Upgrade Fee

It seems as though the era of nickel and diming customers has no end in sight, and the folks at Verizon are taking this practice to a new level. We’ve all become accustomed to paying an upgrade fee (usually begrudgingly so) when buying a new device through our wireless carrier, either through a new two-year contract or through one of the many popular installment plans.

Now Verizon will not only charge a fee to customers upgrading to new smartphones with two-year contracts ($40) or installments plans ($20), but also to those who purchase a new smartphone outright ($20). That’s right, you pay the full cost of the device upfront to Verizon and you still get the shaft.

verizon upgrade

To add insult to injury, Verizon will also tack on the $20 upgrade fee to customers that use Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program. This last point is an especially tough pill to swallow as you’re not even purchasing the phone directly from Verizon, but instead from Apple. The only difference is that the $20 fee will be added to your next bill when buying through Apple (indirect channel) versus at the time of the smartphone purchase at a Verizon store (direct channel).

So how does Verizon justify this expanded fee schedule? According to the internal memo that was leaked by Mac Rumors, Verizon explains, “We are implementing an upgrade fee to help cover our increasing support costs associated with customers switching their devices.” And here we thought that our monthly bills were more than enough to help offset Verizon’s operating expenses…

The new, expanded fees don’t go into effect until April 4th, so if you’re looking to buy a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 at full MSRP from Verizon or an iPhone 6s Plus using Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program on Verizon, you had better do so this weekend to avoid pay $20 too much.