Share this Story

Additional $30 Upgrade Fee Details – When and Who Pays It, Can It Be Refunded, and Why It’s Here

verizon upgrade fee

The hot topic of the morning is hands-down Verizon’s new $30 upgrade fee for existing customers. Many of you have questions about it along with some colorful comments, so we thought we would share some additional details about it. Business customers are probably wondering if this affects them, others might want to know when they have to pay the fee, and what about refunds for returned devices? All covered below. 

Cheers ___!

  • bulls***t for the fee

  • Crackmonkeys4hire

    Let’s look at their financials. They had a big hit in June 04 down to $25.43 they have maintained a solid $37.change with a few dips to the $36.+change range. They have a 2011 Revenue of $110.88 Billion dollars with a Net growth of -5.69% Ok that’s why they are raising the rent. What they could do is trim back internally but given the problems they have had with the unions it makes it tough. I guess as painful as it seems we really can not blame them if they are losing money on a regular basis. Their 5 year trend has been in the red with improvement.

    • MangoBreath

      My initial response to this was that they were just trying to get more money out of us but after looking at the financials I can say yes they are but not out of greed. They are losing money on a continual basis and I no that much of that is due to union overhead and the unwillingness of the unions to budge in rough economomic times.

  • Njsites

    WTF? These pinheads wanted to be paid a fee for credit cards and recognized that was a mistake, they inven all kinds of fake fees anget away with it……..but this might be the end for us.
    Now that Sprint and Tmobile are built out, It might just be time to take my “do re mi” elsewhere. If the time comes that I need instruction….I will go to youtube©. If I need app help….Amazon……..backup…..pish/posh, I’ll do it myself.
    Wow…..I really Don’t needVzw…….:-)

    • Wmsco51

      sprint will give you charges out the wazoo and if your a heavy user more charges buddy of mine got a 600.00 dollar phone bill on his unlimited plan…………i’d think twice before i’d make that move

  • Dmzman

    When my next upgrade is due a year from now, I’m gonna make Verizon an offer they can’t refuse.  Lose the $30 fee, or lose me.  How much you wanna bet they’ll follow through rather than lose a customer of 10 years.

  • ostensibly001

    Whatever. I hate it but tbh an extra $30 is probably not ever going to be a dealbreaker.

  • Here’s an idea (good?): If you already have a limited-data plan, let it run its full term,
    then port your number over to Google Voice (ending your contract with
    Verizon, but keeping your number). Then port it back to Verizon when you
    start a new limited-data plan.

    No upgrade. No upgrade fee. (this probably wouldn’t be possible if/when Google Voice gets integrated into Verizon)

    (does it cost to port your number to GV? I don’t think so)

    • Activation fee is $35

      • Oh, the activation fee, that’s tricky.

        So basically, they’re getting at least $30 over the advertised price of the phone regardless of how you arrive (and $35 even if you’re starting new service with your own phone? Or does activation only apply with a new contract? Does activation apply to month-to-month plans?).

        Really seems like they ought to just be raising the advertised price of the subsidized phones…

        • it’s a $35 fee to activate the device on their network.

        • teh_Jughead

           You also lose unlimited data. Personally I would fight it but $30 is worth keeping unlimited data.

          • Right — that’s why I was only suggesting that whole process if someone was already on a limited data plan. People with grandfathered unlimited plans are Verizon’s bitch…

  • sprg5

    The problem with Verizon is that when they are hiring, they are more concerned if you have sales experience; not what you know about the phones. The associates at my store get pissed at me when I come in and end up taking over and basically making a sale for them because they have no idea what the difference is between the GNex and the Razr. Start by teaching your sales people about phones not just about making a sale.

    • weaponx

      That’s funny, I do the exact same thing…Most..not all, but a lot of them don’t know a damn thing about the phones they offer. I say what good is sales experience if you don’t even know what it is you are selling. 

  • angermeans

    Yeah cause I’m sure a one time $30 charge for an upgrade when they make over $100 a month on average per phone. This charge is industry wide. I don’t agree with it, but comments like these make me shake my head. 

    • Are you not counting? THATS AN EXTRA 30$ STARTUP! ONTOP of what we already pay a CRAPLOAD for every month! Hkklife is totally correct, this time last year they were PUMPING out phones and now that everyone is wanting to upgrade lets pump another 30$ out of EVERYONE not just the people that need it/want it. This FEE is uncalled for! I know for a Fact that not only Verizon but other Carriers push their Customers out the door after they have purchased their phones and im the one ending up teaching half the people that own these phones what to do with them. “whats long Pressing” “widgets?” “you can talk to your phone?”. Every time I’ve walked into a Verizon store and wasn’t tackled by a Girl Scout because their paycheck is gonna go up, They push me to the best thing ever that has the Highest rating to get more money in their pocket when it’s not the phone I want. 30$ from MILLIONS of Customers is going to make a Difference in their wallets come new phones Season and NOT a one time fee, It’s EVERY TIME you upgrade to a New phone. I SMH at you, Stop attacking people you Angry Troll.

      • Mike15bryan

        Wow my friend its not just about a fees to teach about phones but it a fee to help improve Verizons Network, Vzw continue to provide us with the most reliable service that is available. Vzw has the largest 4g network available and they still are gradually improving their network so they need all the revenue, to provide you with excel service. Think about like this vzw is the Mercedes or Cadillac of the cell phone business, we don’t complain when we have the best. Appreciate because the other companies already have the fees and they have been having them for year.

  • weaponx

    This is nothing more than a flagrant lack of consideration to the loyal consumer. Most if not all peeps here are with Big Red aka “the Empire”  because when the OG Droid came out, it was the greatest android phone available.. (all hail the OG). But now things have changed…other carriers have come on board with Android and are offering some really nice options. What is Verizon really have to offer us? Unlimited data?! It’s days are numbered.  4G? Att, Sprint and Tmobile have it.  Droids?  They are not what that name used to represent….the best of the best.. I say screw the petition.. I say we all pick a day and ditch Verizon..make them feel it where it hurts..Wouldn’t it be awesome if all of us in one day just said, FU, Verizon , just like you are saying to us.     I say..we bring down this RED BITCH

  • lye

    Yeah, I was thinking they probably aren’t getting enough money. I want to make sure their business at least stays vaguely profitable.

  • Amandav_2468

    Do you still have to pay this if you buy your phone else where for example walmart or amazon

  • Rp780

    Guess I’ll be getting a Maxx & stop waiting for the Fighter. Because I’ll be damned if I’m paying $30 additional dollars. 

  • razzles

    Thank god I have the Galaxy Nexus now because at the rate Verizon’s going I’m NEVER going to upgrade my phone ever again.

  • Scottyb112

    yea on release morning for the gnex, I was the first one the sales girl sold the gnex to, and I had to take it from her and set it up myself because she was having trouble. All of us here can do it on our own, don’t use workshops or tutorials.
    So 100,000,000 customers at $30 each, that’s a lot of money for Verizon to show some people how to enter in their Gmail account to get their contacts…

    • Noyfb

      Why Don’t The People Who Need These Services Pay For It When They Request It? Forcing People To Pay For Things They Do Not Need Is Price Gouging!
      Now We Are Basically Paying For The Bloatware They Install In Our Phones.

      • Mikes

        You could use some training on how to use the shift key.

        • Eagle1967

          no.. droid life now charges 15 dollars for use of shift key on their blogs.

  • I love all these people that are bitching, yet they are the ones that signed the contract, that they didn’t read, which allows Verizon to change these things and add fees. Get over yourselves. Just be glad it’s cheaper than the other carriers.


    I hope most people realize that this fee has nothing to do with services, and smartphone programs, but everything to do with how do the cover the iPhone losses.  Verizon took on the iPhone knowing full well AT&T never made a dime from it, and ever since their long standing profitable customers has been getting screwed.  New every two gone, unlimited data gone, now we have to pay them for the privilege of buying their product.  The world will be a better place when Apple is in bankruptcy court. 

    • LOL

       I hate apple with a passion, a company who steals and cant innovate and sues the people it steals from.  I love they are losing their share in cell market.

  • Ahku Droid

    My VZW rep said to call into Customer Service and bitch.  Especially point out that Verizon’s phones are already higher than their competitors by $100-$200.

  • Jlmcc

    how about this, they pay you 200 bucks for selling you a crappy phone ( nexus )

  • Jlmcc

    just dont upgrade untill your contract is over, then if the try and make you pay it,just say ill go elsewhere or discount the phone another 30 bucks,,, trust me that will work

    • LOL

       Nope.  Its only if it affects your current contract.  This is a fee to upgrade, so nope.

  • Stephen

    You know this is soo ridiculous. They lock us in for 2 years AND on top of that they want to charge us to do so. So that 50.00 upgrade credit I would get after 18 months is REALLY 20.00!!! This is a COMPLETE JOKE! They have us all by the “You know whats” and they just keep adding more charges. With the exception of the NFL app I have no need/nor want of the other bloatware they added to my new phone. 

  • Chris Hollenbeck

     Food for thought:

    2011 year
    “During the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, Verizon’s profit rose
    to $1.38 billion, or 49 cents a share, up from $659 million, or 23
    cents a share, in the third quarter of last year. Adjusted earnings for
    the quarter, excluding certain items, were 56 cents a share, compared
    with 55 cents a share in the previous quarter. Analysts surveyed by
    Thomson Reuters expected that the company would report 55 cents a share
    for adjusted earnings.”

    • Crackmonkeys4hire

      Look at the whole picture. In 2011 they had income of $110.88 Billion Dollars but total liabilities of over $144 Billion Dollars. So their net growth was -5.69 %. It doesn’t matter what your earnings per share are if those earnings can’t even cover your expenses. I’m not a shill for Verizon. I’m not happy with the fee but now I can understand the reason.

      It’s simple economics if you can’t make a profit you must increase your income. Their income is well below their liabilities. Should they fine somebody to help reduce their expenses? Maybe but the unions contribute anything so they have to find other ways of raising income. And remember some of those earnings per share are liabilities that get paid to share holders in the form of dividends.

  • rals
  • How is this fair if you AREN’T upgrading at a VZW store?

    I have personally gotten my last few phones (including my wife’s) from Best Buy, because of their buyback program, and reward points, etc. I never let Verizon set up stuff on my phones before (and I’m a former employee), but especially now when I or my wife goes into Best Buy, the guys there handle stuff.

    So, shouldn’t VZW have to fork over a portion of this fee to companies like BB, when you get a phone from them? Or, just return a portion of the fee back to me?

    I know this will never happen, but this whole thing just stinks …


    It’s insulting to me the excuse they came up with- If they want to charge us $30 more then they should just say that. We will now be charging you an additional fee of $30. The fact that they insult our intelligence by trying to justify it by saying theyre providing us with a service that deserves this money is a shady and very bold-faced lie. fu big red

  • MKader17

    Add in VoIP and then you eliminate texts and minutes. Just a flat fee for X data and you are done.

  • MKader17

    I really wish you could subscribe to “Verzizon Wireless – The Dumb Data Pipe”. No subsidizing, no Verizon store support, nothing. You buy your own phone, deal with the manufacturer if you have a problem and Verizon provides data as long as you pay for it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • hkklife

      I would gladly pay $70 or 75/month for that.  Unlimited data, unlimited tethering, leave me TOTALLY on my own. 

  • ATT LTE is starting to look pretty nice

    • wastry

      Enjoy your 12 LTE markets and $36 upgrade fee, dumbass

    • Because thats logical

  • What a crock, what if I order my device online and have it shipped to me then none of this crap applies there are no workshops no person holding my hand and trying to upsell me crap.  Especially since I can change the phone ESN online and activate and never once have to deal with a real person when doing an upgrade.

  • Lgb400

    If they do this I am going to act like the stupidest customer ever and have them show me each feature…like how to take a picture…how to dial the phone…I will back up their lines and just act dumb

  • Mallahet

    So if every carrier has this, then why not buy a phone from a different carrier every 2 years? I realize this won’t work for everyone, but since I have coverage from all 4 major US carriers in my city, I might be thinking of that next time. Way to cement carrier loyalty, Verizon!!1

  • zachjen

    I guess they figured out how to supplement their $2 fee they wanted to charge for paying your bill online after that backfired on them. They always get their money.

  • I don’t need wireless workshops advanced support or help with picking out a device so therefore the fee needs to go away. Start charging for backup assistant and workshops, but leave the rest of use who are intelligent enough to look up how to use the phone from other sources alone.

  • Aardvark99

    New release date for the Droid Fighter: April 23rd.

  • Guest

    Make sure all you people hit whatever social media verizon has with your disgust, facebook tweeter twitter google plus 4 square.  Get on their site and do a online chat, call in, make your complaints heard.  

    • Tim242

      That won’t change a thing. Every other carrier charges the fee…$36 vs $30.

  • SH

    Now I am really Glad I bought my nexus. Hopefully, I won’t be buying a new phone for a long time.

  • verizon + piggy + toilet paper = verizon is a theft stealing from customer’s

  • dylan84

    Oh man this makes me laugh.. So glad I’m no longer dealing with Verizon.

    • Tim242

      You make me laugh. Every other carrier charges the fee…$36 vs $30.

  • “Upgrades that do NOT extend the contract” — so that basically means unsubsidized upgrades are free, right? 

    So what is an “upgrade” fee really? It’s just a $30 addition to the price tag that’s disguised as something else. It’s a reduction of subsidy. This sort of crap should be illegal. If they want to add $30 to the price tag, they should just do that!

  • This is BS, I know how to operate ANY phone you give me!! I don’t need you to switch my contacts or set up my freaking voicemail, why charge ME because there are other idiots in the world? 

    this “fee” should be assigned on a case by case basis….

    A “class” to learn how to use your phone?!?!?!? I should teach that class!!

  • “The Upgrade Fee does NOT apply to the following: upgrades that do not extend the contract.”

    So, every two years could I just end my contract, then get a new two year contract? If I’m going to end up with the same contract anyway, why not?

    • Tim242

      1. Activation fee. 2. Upgrades come before the end of the contract.

    • and you might not end up with the same contract. if you have grandfathered Unlimited data, you can say bye bye to that.

  • Borderbob

    Perfect!  I was grandfathered into the NE2 and am eligible for my 20 month upgrade on APRIL 23!!  I just gave back $30.00 of my $50.00 incentive.   So instead of buying another DROID or some other 4G device, I think I will just buy that iPhone instead.  VZW is losing money on each sale of those, right???

    • Tim242

      That would hurt you much more than it would them.

  • sru571

    This will be changed or removed by the time my upgrade comes along in 2013 thanks to the GNex.  Fees are for those who don’t know how to work the system.

    • bakdroid

      Yep, $100 upgrade and enhancement fee in 2013.

  •  Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by
    those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to

    • bakdroid

      You can take it up with my butt, he is the only one who gives a crap. ~ Peter Griffin

  • J Dub

    I never knew it was so much work for ME to log into my Google account and have all my contacts, emails, and apps sync to the device I just signed in on. 

  • Wait… this is on top of the $35 activation fee?

    • Tim242

      Verizon does not currently have an upgrade fee. This is the upgrade fee.

  • bakdroid

    VZW is like an abusive girlfriend.  They kick your nuts in on a regular basis and try to stab you in your sleep.  But you keep going back because they’re a freak in bed…..

  • Joe Todisco

    Perfect…I was waiting for an excuse for it to be cheaper to switch providers and be a new customer than stick with Big Red.  Bunch of Dumb F&*()’s.

    • Tim242

      You are silly. All carriers have the upgrase fee, and they are all higher than $30.

  • Kyle Fullmer

    For anyone not using Swappa, I highly suggest it.  Trust it way more than CL.

  • MrSteve920

    $30 to have Verizon teach me how to use my phone, back up my contacts and apps, and transfer my media? Well, let’s see… Teaching me how to use my phone; I can say that I probably know more than a few of the sales reps in Verizon’s stores. Back up my contacts and apps; GOOGLE DOES THIS, they have since 2009 for me. And finally transferring media; insert old phone into computer, transfer photos, videos, etc. to deskop, get new phone, plug new phone into computer, transfer files to new phone.