Verizon Fleeces New Customers With Irritating $20 Activation Fee

Trying to figure out the best wireless carrier and plan for your budget involves wading through a bunch of smoke and mirrors. All of the major carriers talk a big game with fancy sounding plans and special promotions, but you have to be on the lookout for hidden costs. One of the most annoying fees is the cost of activation. Verizon customers have been able to duck an activation fee when signing up with a device payment plan, but that might be changing..

New customers who sign up with Verizon on a device payment plan will have to pony up an additional $20 for a one-time activation fee. That's on top of the monthly fee Verizon customers pay for having a smartphone on a data plan, and don't confuse it with the $20 price hike for customers still rocking a grandfathered unlimited data plan.


It's not clear if Verizon will also hit its existing customers with an activation fee when they upgrade their phone or if they'll waive the fee like it's been doing. But for those affected by this, it's a $20 gut punch that feels arbitrary -- does it really cost Verizon $20 to activate your phone on its network?

To be fair, Verizon isn't the only one that does this. Sprint charges $36 to activate a new phone, and that includes iPhone Forever customers who can upgrade to a new iPhone each time a new one is introduced, while AT&T hits one- and two-year contracted customers with a $45 fee and Next subscribers with a $15 fee. And what about T-Mobile? This is the sort of the thing the un-carrier makes fun of its competitors for.