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Upgrade Fee
mikes7324
Member

Hello Verizon,

I just signed up for a new 2 year contract. I have been a customer for many, many years and have always paid my bills in a timely manor. I have given plenty of feedback to each and every customer representative I have spoken to over the past month on your "Upgrade" fee of 30 dollars for purchasing a new phone as well as a new Two year contract.

Over the course of a two year contract, I am paying you 2800.00 dollars, plus additional fees at times for extra usage, so close to 3000.00 dollars in total fees.

The fact that you charge returning customers an upgrade fee is a slap in the face. A "new" customer coming from another carrier does not get an upgrade fee and can purchase a new phone for the same price, with a two year contract, as an existing customer. But existing customers get an "extra" 30 dollar fee for what?

I have zero reception at my home, so I had to purchase a 250 dollar cell tower booster to get reception from your network. The only reason I didn't switch companies is because of the cost of this tower. But the cost of this tower is just another example of a fee on my end that I need to pay to have good service. And is another reason I get ticked off about additional fees, like an upgrade fee.

Can you please tell me why you penalize a returning customer with this fee but not a new customer? Can you also tell me what this fee is for?

Mike

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Re: Upgrade Fee
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

Hello mikes7324.

I appreciate your concerns about the upgrade fee. I assure you, this is something Verizon Wireless put off as long as possible. For a long time we were able to subsidize these costs and not have to charge additional fees, but with the rising costs of devices we've had no choice. Although Verizon Wireless had to implement a fee, I'm happy to say we kept the fee low. It's one of the lowest out there.

The wireless industry is changing so fast and with the boom in technology Verizon has had to expand the services it offers. We offer many services that add value and minimize costs for our customers. Our upgrades come with many benefits, including: Free Wireless Workshops, Device setup at the Point of Sale, and Express Self  Serve options including My Verizon.

Another major contributing factor for the Upgrade Fee is the rising costs of phones themselves. As they become more advanced and can do more things, they are rising significantly in price. You're able to take advantage of two year discounted pricing because part of the Upgrade Fee is allowing us to continue to subsidize the devices for our customers. For example, a new Apple iPhone 5S 16 GB is currently $199.99 to upgrade with a new 2 year agreement. For that same phone, Verizon Wireless paid $649.99.

I understand not wanting to be charged an additional $30.00. As other members have mentioned, there are ways to avoid it altogether. We offer a Trade-In program in which you may trade in a previous device for a giftcard which you can use towards your new phone. For more information about our Trade-In program, you may visit the following link: http://bit.ly/GGnDDC

Another great option to avoid the Upgrade Fee, would be the Verizon Edge program. Edge allows you to upgrade every 6 months with at least 50% of the device's balance paid off. For additional information, you may refer to this link: http://vz.to/18XswI4

AndreaS_VZW
Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Upgrade Fee
Ann154
Expert
Expert

New customers have a $35 activation fee on their first bill.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Upgrade Fee
Ann154
Expert
Expert

This is the official statement of why they are adding the upgrade fee. http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/2012/04/bl2012-04-11.html

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Upgrade Fee
mikes7324
Member

So basically, the upgrade fee is the same as the activation fee, and there is zero benefit for a returning customer.

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Re: Upgrade Fee
21stNow
Sr. Member

You can avoid the $30 upgrade fee by paying full price (~$600) for your device or acquiring your device outside of Verizon Wireless' contract system.  You are essentially paying to receive a discount on the device's price, much like people pay to become members of "wholesale" clubs to be able to buy items at discounts for bulk purchases.

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Re: Upgrade Fee
mikes7324
Member

So basically - "Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever," are not part of the Verizon service. We must now pay for the service that should be automatically included in a contract.

If you buy anything in this world, help with that product is included.

I am a consultant, so I should then tell my customers that I will provide you a game plan, but if you want to speak to me, Ill need to add an additional charge for that - But I would never do this because its my job.

If no one ever speaks up about additional fees, then there will always be additional fees. What is next, a support tower fee to help pay for the guys who work on your local towers? Or a fee to go into the store and talk to a person, or an additional fee for anything else.

If Verizon wants to pay for its workers, then it should just charge a plain fee for the service. So instead of 120 dollars a month, charge 121 dollars a month. Additional fees like this make the service look a little cheaper but its really not.

Additional fees for returning customers is also a bad idea, because as soon as it makes sense for me to not be with Verizon, that is the next thing that will happen.



 






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Re: Upgrade Fee
mikes7324
Member

21st now, no you are paying for this - "Wireless  Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who  provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than  ever,"

http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/2012/04/bl2012-04-11.html

Makes a lot of sense.


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Re: Upgrade Fee
Ann154
Expert
Expert

The upgrade fee at other carriers is higher than the amount charged by Verizon Wireless.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Upgrade Fee
21stNow
Sr. Member

This is why I used the word "essentially" in my response.  If a customer walks in and buys a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at full price, that customer still has access to wireless workshops, online educational tools and consultations with experts.  However, that customer never paid the $30 upgrade fee.  At best, the reason that VZW put for the upgrade fee in the press release is just public relations.  At worst, it's a lie.

Logic points back to the upgrade fee being charged to offset the subsidy on the device since the only people who pay the upgrade fee are the ones who take the subsidy, but the same services are offered to all customers regardless of whether or not they paid an upgrade fee.

Upgrade Fee
mikes7324
Member

21st now - Your just twisting the words to make sense of yourself. And your not getting the original point. If the company - Verizon - puts out a press release telling everyone they are charging a fee for common every day practice - http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/2012/04/bl2012-04-11.html  Then that's what they are charging a fee for.

They should have put out a release telling people they were off setting the cost of the phone, period. Or better yet, just charge more for the phone.

Retail cost for an Iphone is 600 dollars approx, but the cost Verizon gets it at is between 300-400 dollars. Lets just say 400 dollars for the 16gig 5c. I pay 100 of that out of pocket, so now Verizons cost is 300 dollars. I then pay Verizon 3000 dollars over two years, so they make 2700 dollars or more to distribute around.

So when you are talking about hundreds and thousands of dollars for contracts, and phones, etc, then to charge a 30 dollar fee is pointless and just leads to this - ticked off customers as obvious with the forums and messages Verizon gets.

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