Upgrade fees, device dollars and improper sales tax

I just purchased a "Certified-Pre-Owned" iPhone XS from Verizon. I was able to use $150 in saved up device dollars against the cost of the phone. However, I am not happy about being charged an "Upgrade Fee". How is this legitimate? If I just put my existing SIM in any BYOD phone and notify them, I wouldn't have to pay this. As well, I am being charged sales tax on the FULL regular price of the phone, not the ACTUAL price, which is $150 less. Device dollars are in effect a retailer discount, and the original price of the used phone is an arbitrary one, based by Verizon on their appraisal of the estimated phone value, that they paid 70% less for on someone else's trade in.

I spoke to NYS, and they said that the sales tax should be on what I paid for the phone after discount and not what VZ "thinks" it's worth.

Overjacked sales tax and an "upgrade fee" have raised the price of my USED phone considerably.

What is my recourse? 

Re: Upgrade fees, device dollars and improper sales tax
Enthusiast - Level 1

No recourse on an locked/verizon phone.


They all do it, the only way I know of to avoid it is to buy an unlocked phone and activate manually when you get it.


It's a garbage fee and the excuse that it goes to 5g and networkstuff is the same excuses they've given since they broke data into tiers and changed the meaning of "unlimited" to mean limited.


If it were true, 5g would be a real thing everywhere by now instead of the much slower, relabeled 4G network that is falsely advertised as 5g (change your 5g phone setting to LTE and marvel at the massive speed increase). I hate it Verizon but you guys know it's true.


It's greed plain and simple by the powers that be (not the poor souls that work here) and we have no choice but to bow before the almighty greenback.


I'm sorry Verizon, I've been with you guys 20 years now (and you will pry my grandfathered unlimited plan from back in the day out of my cold dead hands before I buy into these new "unlimited but really limited" plans) but the upgrade fee has set me off a bit, especially paying full price through Samsung but making the mistake of choosing the Verizon phone and see my bill go up $40 for what amounts to a free donation to you guys for the honor of not having to physically put the sim in myself.


I'll pay it and have to stay but I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.

Re: Upgrade fees, device dollars and improper sales tax
Specialist - Level 2

Get in writing what NYS is telling you so you are armed when you go up against verizon.  Is there a link on some NYS website that shows this info?   Upgrade fees are nor new to any carrier, been around several years.

Re: Upgrade fees, device dollars and improper sales tax
Specialist - Level 1

I completely agree. Last month I bought an iPhone 12 Pro Max directly from Apple. The two reasons I buy from Apple are they deliver to me the next day, and they are straight up on trade-ins. No nonsense. They quote me the trade price, send me a box, I send it to them and a week later they credit my credit card the price they quoted me. No games!

Sorry, I got off topic here. Anyway, Apple listed Verizon's upgrade fee of $20 on my receipt. It was $20 rather than $40 because I was upgrading online. Guess what??? Verizon charged me $40. Of course I had to take the time to call them ("reach out" to them and it's now called) and tell them it should be $20. The rep corrected it. But it's a shame that they tried to overcharge me.

Yes, this upgrade fee is pure profit for Verizon. I have two accounts and they have the highest price for service. The excuse of "building and maintaining" their system is nonsense.


Re: Upgrade fees, device dollars and improper sales tax
Enthusiast - Level 2

NYS Tax Bulletin TB-ST-140