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Verizon Wireless Introducing $30 Upgrade Fee

If Verizon is your service provider, upgrading your phone is about to get a little less exciting. Starting April 22nd, Verizon Wireless is implementing a $30 upgrade fee to cut your new-gadget joy with a little “aw man” sadness. Up until now, Verizon had been the only big four provider not to have an upgrade fee, but Verizon customers’ day in the sun — in that respect at least — is now over. Granted, it’s only 30 bucks, but on the other hand, it used to be zero bucks.

The fee applies to any “existing customers purchasing new mobile equipment at a discounted price with a two-year contract” and is ostensibly for funding things like “Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts.” Of course, these are all things they had before, so it’s not like you can get any buzz from new support features, not that anyone can really get excited about new support features anyway.

To take the edge off a little, Verizon is letting upgraders trade in their old phones to reduce the fee a bit, but how much that helps will depend very heavily on what kind of user you are. If you’re like me and have only managed to successfully retire one phone out of many and retired it pretty heavily battered, you’ll probably be looking at a few bucks at best versus the benefit of having a heavily battered, but still working backup phone. Which is worth more is a judgement call. Bummer or not — wait, no, just “bummer” — fees like this are the reality of cellphone ownership nowadays. If you don’t like it, you can find another less fee-happy service provider or go back to telegraphs or something. I’d recommend the former, if either.

Verizon’s full announcement:

On April 22, Verizon Wireless is implementing a $30 upgrade fee for existing customers purchasing new mobile equipment at a discounted price with a two-year contract. This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.While the upgrade fee is not unique to Verizon Wireless, most devices can be traded in with our green friendly trade-in program atwww.verizonwireless.com/tradein as a way to save money or potentially offset the fee completely.

(via TechCrunch)

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