Verizon Succumbs to Peer Pressure, Starts Charging $30 Phone Upgrade Fee

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copterguy

I have been with Verizon for many years..tried ATT, Sprint, and maybe a few others through the years, but I've always had such fantastic servie with Verizon. I do feel I pay a premium for it...you know you get what you pay for..unless it's Government run.
I do wish there were even more companies out there to improve competition, nothing beats competition..if I could just find a better competitor to Verizon and their service area that offers better selection of phones (like ATT first gets iphone, and Samsung note)I'd jumpt to them.
As far as this smart phone talk of folks being slave to them...when the cell phone came and I didn't have to find a disgusting pay phone to use when I was out and about, to now, that I have a smart phone with GPS that does far better than the EXPENSIVE one I have in my car, I'm not slave to it. I welcome it's convenience. Oh, I have 4 kids that may only respond to a text on Facebook..forget about trying to call them on the phone...it's gonna be ignored.

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RtDK

So ... antagonizing CURRENT customers is okay?

"We're not worried about losing a bunch of our old loyalists!--but let's go ahead and see how many NEW suckers we can nab and screw!"

I tell you--I'm REALLY considering just ditching the big companies altogether and going to grab a basic monthly plan. No more Big Red after this....

I hope all these customers decide, "No," and just walk away.

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Kinetic

This is the first time I've ever heard of this and I've been on ATT since it was cingular wireless back in 06. I plan on switching to Sprint when my contract is up, but I've had.... six upgrades so far, and other than paying the "upgrade price" on the phone (say $99 for one year upgrade or free for new contract) there haven't been any other fees. Although I always upgrade through a store like best buy and not ATT to avoid all the stupid rebates and what not too.

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schmag

this is starting to get ridiculous
vzw wants 300.00 for the phone. as a new customer i could get it for 149.99. now they are adding a $30.00 upgrade charge, for what? for what benefit? where I live I have a choice between vzw and AT&T, luckily I am grandfathered for unlimited data. the worst part is, am I the only person that is noticing a trend of almost every company a person deals with is adding fees for this or that, AND THERE IS NO VALUE ASSOCIATED WITH IT.
forward and onward with my htc inc I guess.

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bling581

I think many people know what's going on, it's just that there's little we can do. When all the carriers jump on board the choices are go along with it or go without. I hate paying $30 a month for data when I barely use any of it, but it's either pay up or go back to a regular phone. It's the same story with internet and cable companies, but even more so. They have their own territories and collaborate with each other not to compete so they can charge what they want.

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kevjohn

Fees can be waived! Make sure to negotiate with these rat buzzards when getting a phone. You think they're going to risk losing 2 years worth of payments over a one time $30 fee?

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reimermatt

Let me see, 30 dollars more for a new phone for the best providers service. Yep still on board.

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CaptainFabulous

Um, you guys all realize that no one is forcing you to upgrade your phone, right? If you don't want to pay the fee simply buy your phone outright or keep the phone you have.

Or switch to another carrier that doesn't charge such fees. Or go pre-paid or pay-as-you-go. There are a number of options. No one is forced into this.

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pastorbob

I don't get it. This illusion (or is it a delusion?) of having to carry a smartphone that does all, is all and dominates all of a person's time and attention is ridiculous. My brother-in-law was so impressed with himself when were out eating lunch. He whipped out his iPhone to check availability of a laptop I wanted for my wife on the internet at a store that was 30 miles away (the local branch was out of them). Guess what? I could have accomplished the same thing with a phone call to the store and in less time than it took him to access their website and check stock.

The sad fact of the matter is that 90% of the stuff I see people doing on their smartphones is not even important. Usually not business related. More often than not done at a time when they should be paying attention to driving the vehicle they are in instead of talking/texting/browsing on their cool $400 waste of money and resources.

My wife and I have both have basic phones that give us 700 shared minutes of service and 100 text messages each per month without a contract. They cost us $37.81 per month for both. We have had them for nine months and I think we have sent a total of 20 texts in that nine months. They work great for what we want them to do. But if I want to browse the web I use my desktop. If I want to watch TV I sit in my living room and kick back in the recliner. If I want to send my wife a message I --wait for it--look at her and speak to her giving her all of my undivided attention. Wow! What a novel concept.

I'm just sayin'.

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bling581

What you're saying is true for some people. I personally know people that have a smart phone that don't need it, but they got it because it's the new thing. There are a substantial portion of smart phone users that do have uses for them. I think it's a bit ignorant to assume that everyone who has a smart phone is just following the crowd and has zero sense in their head.

"The sad fact of the matter is that 90% of the stuff I see people doing on their smartphones is not even important."

Largely your opinion. I know what's important to me and it may not fit your definition, but that doesn't matter does it?

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pastorbob

I may have exaggerated as to the percentage and yes you are correct in that it is a matter of opinion as to what is or isn't important. And I never said that everyone who has a smart phone is just following the crowd and has zero sense in their heads. But golly gee Mr. Wizard! How did we ever manage to live life and do our jobs before smart phones?
:-)

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Pidoma

So when you want to change the channel on your TV you get out of your recliner and walk up to the TV and change it right? No wireless device is needed to change the channel so why have one and why use one...

I'm just sayin'.

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SPreston2001

Lol dude your obviously from a different era. You might prefer the old school way of doing things but this is the way its done now.

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CaptainFabulous

Oh Pastor Bob, you're so quaint. I bet you drive a '72 Dodge Dart and watch TV on a 13" B&W model with dials while lounging in your La-Z-Boy?

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pastorbob

Naw. It's a 1996 Ford Escort. But it gets 32 mpg and runs great. And I do have a 32" HDTV with surround sound and a blueray disc player. And I even watch Netflix streaming video. And for what it is worth I have custom built every computer I have owned since 1982 beginning with a 2 Mhz Z80 up to my latest build, an i5-2500K with 16 gig of RAM, 120 Gig SSD, and two 500 Gig hard drives all on an Asus P8Z68-V motherboard. Connected to it is two widescreen 22" monitors. I worked for 28 years as an electrical engineer before entering the ministry full-time eight years ago. So I am not a technophobe or out of touch with technology. I just am not addicted to it. And I prefer face to face, one on one conversation to texting. Or a phone call to catch up on things with my kids and grandkids. If that makes me quaint than so be it. But I firmly believe that Madison Avenue has done an excellent job convincing the general public that they can't live without the latest whizbang handheld technology and if they attempt to do so they are out of touch with reality.

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NoCtrl

What's wrong with a La-Z-Boy? I love mine... :-)

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acidic

i know exactly what you're saying but that is so 20th century for these people. you aren't going to win any points or arguments about smartphones around here. they run everyone's life and their faux sense of importance is determined by their choice of phone. i hate to say it but we are a dying species in this day and age.

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acidic

i guess my wife and i are in the 1%.we don't own any "smartphones." oh well, it saves us $60 or more per month and now these other ridiculous charges

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TechLarry

Screw the Mega-Telco's.

$199 LG Optimus Android Phone, $25 a month no contract, 300 minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data.

Virgin Mobile.

However they too are starting down the "Screw thy customer" road. They recently introduced throttling after 2GB.

Still, at $25 a month I think it's the best plan out there. I'm sure they will find a way to fark it up, but for now...

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aarcane

Um.. If they Throttle your connection, it's no longer Unlimited. They can no longer make the claim that they provide Unlimited Data, and if they sold you under that claim, and especially if they continue to make that claim, you should file a lawsuit.

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SPreston2001

So how wouldnt it be unlimited just because theyve slowed the connection yet still allow them to consume as much data as they want?

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Wareagle

When are these companies going to be investigated for collusion?

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bling581

"Apparently 24 months of data fees is no longer good enough."

I switched to Verizon this fall and they told me the cheapest data package that I could get was the 2GB plan for $30? I find that a bit ridiculous. I have wireless at home and that's where I do all my downloading so I never get close to even 1GB. They said the only way to get it lower is to modify your contract when they have a special promotion going on, but I have to call them or stop in to find out if they're running one. They recently had a promotion but it was for 4G phones only and unfortunately the 4S is still 3G.

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Nachjager

That's why I have an Iphone....

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Ilander

If only I could link a Fry from Futurama picture, it'd have the text:

Not sure if Trolling or doesn't know Iphone is a smartphone also.

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schmag

just sayin :)

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aarcane

I think you mean "Not sure if trolling or really this stupid"

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Zoandar

All the more reason to consider using Amazon Wireless to upgrade and renew your 2 year contract. Their prices for the very same brand new phones that you would get directly from Verizon are lower. For example, if a budget conscious buyer were looking at the $69 current Verizon price for a Samsung Stratosphere, Amazon Wireless will sell it to your for a penny, and handle the paperwork for the 2 year contract extension through Verizon. My sister got her new Droid 3 that way (before the Droid 4 came out) and saved some money. It wasn't a penny back then, but I think she told me she saved like $30 or more going that route. And she still has the exact same Verizon contract. They also have discounts on the current top tier phones like the Razr and Razr Maxx.

Of course once Verizon figures this out, they'll change it from an "upgrade" to a "contract renewal" fee instead, so there is no loophole. But for now I would definitely go with Amazon's offering, especially to beat VZW out of their new cash cow.

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Augray

No...it...it can't be...they can't do this to us...the extra $30 was all i had. The time is now my friends. We must rise up. They can take our lives, but they'll never take...our free upgrades!

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stradric

This is dirty business. They're basically killing off the trade-in program by taking back the money, and negatively-incentivizing you to trade your phone in at the same time. Now you essentially have to pay to keep your old phone. They probably scrape the unwiped personal info and sell it too. Scumbags.

This just adds to the long list of anti-consumer practices these mega-corporations engage in. Soon they'll be monitoring and policing our internet traffic too. And that's not a tin-foil hat statement. It's actually happening in July (see six strikes).

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Ilander

I'm done with the lot of 'em. I will do my best to help Republic Wireless become profitable in the US, because they're the only game in town that seems to be respectful of their customers with regards to price.

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unsunghero225

Annoying.... Unfortunately I'll be ponying up the dough later on this year for whatever rendition of the motorola droid is out (probably still the droid 4)

I love my bionic, but I NEED to switch back to a qwerty keyboard, my texting/typing has gone to crap on the touchscreen

after that though I dont see any reason for me to really replace it

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Captain_Steve

Have you tried custom keyboards? I use one called Thumb Keyboard on my X2 and I find it's much better than the default keyboard.

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Victek

Since the current cost for a subsidized high end smartphone from Verizon is $300 I have to wonder if an additional $30 fee is really necessary - and by that I mean is Verizon really not able to maintain profitability? Verizon was already charging customers $20 in their corporate stores for upgrade + two year contract extensions. If the extra charge is for "education" why not charge a nominal fee to customers who wish to use those services?

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someuid

This kind of fee is right out of the economics text books. Once a company has reached market dominance, they can no longer increase their profit statements by adding new customers. The only solution is to (1) cut services while keeping prices the same and (2) adding new fees.

If anything, this should be more than enough reason to have these behemoths broken up. But, they have to abuse their monopoly status first (because being a monopoly isn't illegal, just abusing the status is).

Once Verizon has this fee in place, someone somewhere is going to say "gee we need to increase our revenue to increase our share price to keep our investors happy - and since we can't really add boatloads of new customers with a new campaign, a new fee is needed." Then it will get copied by all the other behemoths, etc.

Eventually these prices are going to get too high and people will jump off the bandwagon and give up their phones, just as people are doing with cable TV. That, of course, will lead to these companies abusing their monopoly to keep you from leaving or joining the competition, and then we'll have a decade of legal proceedings and they'll be broken up. See: The original AT&T.

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germanogre

Because the top executives want even bigger paychecks, and there is nothing we can do about it. It's not considered price fixing as long as they all don't jack up prices in the same week. Spread it out over six months to a year and the FCC looks the other way.

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Captain_Steve

With the power most phones have, upgrading every two years seems almost pointless anyway. I don't do much on my Droid X2 that I couldn't have done on my old Droid (all beit, it does it slightly faster).

I'll just buy year old used phones from now on when I upgrade. They'll cost less than the $230 Verizon would make me pay for a new phone, and all the kinks on rooting a new device will already be figured out.

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Supall

I'm contemplating getting a 4G Hotspot, grab a tablet, and use Google Voice to make phone calls. There shouldn't be any reason for this charge. Its just another penny-pincher. Why should I offset the costs of education materials for a company that is pushing for the adoption of these more expensive phones (hardware and service) to people who don't know how to use it? That's not my problem and it shouldn't be my problem.

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chipmunkofdoom2

+1. There is no reason that I, who take absolutely no time of Verizon's support asking stupid questions like "How do I make phone calls with the darn thing?!" should have to subsidize support for inept users that do.

I would say that a majority of Americans already expect horrible customer support from large corporations.. that's just the way it goes, and I've accepted that, although I'm not happy with it. Having to pay extra for the privilege? No way. Now you're just nickel-and-diming.

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theplustwo

It's probably naive to believe that the extra revenue is actually going to be used for anything other than lining the pockets of their executives and shareholders.

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