After catching my breath from my previous rant and digging a little deeper, I decided to wait a day and try speaking to another rep. This time I was told that the upgrade fee is applied if you want to purchase a new device, prior to serving the full 24 months of your present contract. This still doesn’t make sense, as they already make you pay the non subsidized price if you haven’t completed at least 20 of the required 24 months. And in case you didn’t know, Verizon Wireless posted another record profit earnings this quarter. I find it extremely hard to believe that Verizon needs this fee to do anything that they are claiming. Unfortunately, if you want Verizon services, there is nothing you can do and that is exactly what they are “banking on” literally!
ALERT-All Verizon Wireless customers, starting April 22, 2012, the company has decided to reward all of its loyal customers by charging you a $30 “upgrade” fee anytime you purchase a new device that is “on contract”. In an effort to get more information, I called Verizon Wireless customer service to inquire as to what the fee was for. After initially being unaware of the fee, the representative placed me on hold…she eventually came back and responded that the fees are to cover the costs of the “online educational tools”, the “wireless workshops”, and “consultation with experts”.
ME: “Being a techgeek, I do not use any of those services, so surely they can be waived, correct?”
REP: “Uhm, no, not that I am aware of.”
ME: “That doesn’t make sense, I have multiple lines on the account and none of us use or will ever use those services, but you are telling me that I have to pay $30 each time I want to purchase a new device, in addition to the device cost itself? And if I upgrade any phones to ‘smartphones’ that require the minimum $30 a month data plans for a paltry 2GB of data, I still have to pay the ‘upgrade’ fee?”
ME: “OK, thank you.” (May I have another?)
REP: “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?”
ME: “No thank you, you’ve been helpful enough.”
REP: “Well thank you for calling Verizon Wireless.”
I’m sure the company’s justification is, “Well, everyone else is doing it!” And they are correct, ATT, Sprint, and TMobile all charge “upgrade” fees, but that still doesn’t make it ok. Oh and by the way Verizon, your 4g LTE service still sucks on my Galaxy Nexus and is such a battery drain on the 3g/4g hand off, that I keep the 4g off. FIX IT!
Bottom line: Don’t renew your contract when it’s due and simply go month to month, and buy your device outright.
cgdconsulting4u is here to provide information, rumors, and advice as it relates to mobile technology. Follow me on Twitter @cgdconsulting4u