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Dumb phone/data charge

We were looking to add a line for my elderly father on our plan.  He just needs a regular old dumb flip phone. I was told that it would be $30 a month for that line, minus the costs of the phone.  When I questioned why, Verizon told me that was just the way it way.  They said the device just has to have verizon service being on the account.  Honestly, this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard before.  I asked two different times and both times was told that there would be a $30 a month data charge on our plan for a new dumb phone line.  Anyone else dealt with this?