Verizon Wireless announced that it will soon be imposing a $30 fee on existing customers when they upgrade their mobile device with a discounted handset under a two-year contract. Other carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, already have similar fees.
Verizon claims this fee is necessary so they can continue to provide service and support to customers picking out new hardware. Customers access Wireless Workshops, online tools, and Verizon employees when looking for advice in choosing a new handset.
The upgrade fee may be somewhat offset by the Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program. Trading in old devices can earn credit that can be applied to the upgrade fee or any other Verizon charge.
We should note that a rare downgrade was issued on Apple’s stock on Monday based on the idea that carriers would begin pulling back on aggressive subsidy plans. The analyst believes this could result in the sale of fewer iPhones. Imposing a new $30 fee is an example of just such a change. It remains to be seen if this sort of fee has the effect predicted by the analyst.
This fee takes effect on April 22.