Verizon jacks phone upgrade fees from $20 up to $30

Verizon is charging you more for the right to buy a new phone.

If there’s one thing Verizon loves to do, it’s bouncing around the cost of its smartphone upgrade fee. After Verizon introducing a $20 upgrade fee in April 2016, it's now raising the cost even further.

Whenever you swap out your existing phone—whether through a straight-up purchase or a monthly payment plan with the carrier—Verizon adds $30 to your bill. Verizon will refund the charge to anyone who returns their new device within 14 days after purchasing it.

When asked about the reason for the price increase Verizon didn’t have much to say beyond a boilerplate statement. “These fees help cover increased cost to provide customers with America’s largest and fastest 4G LTE network,” Verizon told Ars Technica.

The story behind the story: The change to $30 actually brings the upgrade fee back to its original cost when it was first introduced in 2012. At the time, Verizon was the last of the major carriers to introduce an upgrade fee. Three years later, by early 2015, Verizon’s upgrade fee was raised to $40. Then it disappeared entirely later that year in the wake of Verizon’s restructuring of how you pay for wireless service. By spring 2016, the upgrade fee was back at $20, and now we’ve come full circle to $30 right where the fee started nearly five years ago.

Verizon’s upgrade fee increase comes just as the company is getting out of the two-year contract business completely. The carrier stopped offering two-year contracts to new customers in 2015, but until recently allowed existing customers to continue to renew two-year contracts and receive subsidized devices.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags verizon

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?