Verizon Wireless is making a policy change again. As confirmed by a Verizon Wireless spokesperson to Phone Scoop, the major wireless carrier will be hiking up its activation fees and its upgrade fees to $40. Previously, the activation fees were only $35 while the upgrade fees were $30.
Verizon Wireless reasoned that the increase in fees are needed in order to help offset the costs associated with the activation of new mobile devices and the process of upgrading subscribers to a newer smartphone. It may not be clear how and why, but Verizon stands by its argument that the price hike is standard and necessary the carrier to remain competitive, despite its status as the industry leader.
Both the activation fees and the upgrade fees will apply to subscribers who either buy a new handset or decide to upgrade to a new smartphone at a discounted price on a two-year service agreement. However, if a customer purchases a new mobile device at full retail price or via Verizon's Edge early upgrade plan, they will not need to pay for activation or upgrade.
Verizon Wireless has not increased its activation fees in more than ten years. As for upgrade fees. the carrier last adjusted it three years ago.
Verizon is far from being the only major wireless carrier that raised its activation fees. In June last year, rival AT&T also increased its activation fees to $40 for all subscribers who purchased handsets on a subsidized two-year contract. Similar to Verizon's, AT&T customers can avoid paying the activation fees by buying their smartphones via the AT&T Next early upgrade program for zero down.
For Sprint customers, they are made to pay a $36 whenever they activate a new phone or decide to upgrade to a new handset. And even if Sprint subscribers purchase their mobile devices through financing plans like Sprint Easy Pay or Sprint's smartphone leasing program, they still have to pay the activation fees or upgrade fees.
Even US Cellular charges its users with a $40 activation fee, and if you opt to hand back your device after buying it, you will be made to pay a restocking fee of $35.
So far, the only major wireless carrier that does not have activation fees or upgrade fees is T-Mobile. But it should be noted that on its Simple Choice plans, the carrier asks its users to pay a $15 SIM starter kit fee to activate a smartphone.
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