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Verizon to 'compete' with AT&T by adding $30 upgrade fee

updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed April 11, 2012

Verizon upgrade fee arrives April 22

Verizon underscored competitive problems in the US cellular marketplace on Wednesday by instituting a $30 device upgrade fee. Starting April 22, customers will have to pay the premium as existing subscribers if they want to get a device subsidized on a two-year plan. Spokeswoman Brenda Raney claimed the fee was needed to keep providing "level of service and support they have come to expect."

Already anticipating a hostile reaction, Raney added that the fee was "not unique" to Verizon and offered a device trade-in program as potential compensation.

The hike follows just two months after AT&T doubled upgrade fees and puts Verizon's new fee just $6 lower than that of its main challenger. In February, AT&T argued that the emphasis on smartphones meant device prices were going up and that it needed the higher fees to compensate. Verizon's own internal reasoning may be similar.

Its practice nonetheless has illustrated mounting concerns of carriers often raising prices or reducing features in closely timed patterns while rarely if ever lowering prices. AT&T and Verizon instituted caps on cellular data within several months of each other last year, with T-Mobile incorporating 'soft' caps soon after.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. exca1ibur

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 2000

    +7

    bull

    aka we are gonna rip you off too, because your options are shrinking.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +13

    fixed that for ya, Brenda

    Spokeswoman Brenda Raney claimed the fee was needed to keep providing "level of profits our shareholders have come to expect, as well as the fat bonuses our top executives have come to expect."

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +5

    what happens with true 4G?

    can someone tell me what happens when true 4G - where voice is not differentiatied from data - is implemented? Will the carriers finally stop charging different rates for voice and data? I doubt that it means our bills will go down, but it does provide more room for a competitor to compete on price based solely on data rather than data/voice/SMS rates.

  1. TylerDurden

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001

    +6

    Yep.

    "level of service and support they have come to expect."

    Well, she's got that part right. The level of service and support I've come to expect from all of the phone companies, is for them to keep raising prices, fees, etc... without providing any extra, or lowering existing services.

  1. AlohaMacintosh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2012

    -7

    Government Regulation Time

    People have to have phones. I believe it is time for this "industry" to be strictly regulated by our Obamunist Government.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +4

    take your stupid political comments

    back to Fox World or wherever, loser.

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010

    +2

    Umm

    Usually competition makes policies and prices better, not worse.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +2

    Douchey move

    What Brenda said: "...level of service and support they have come to expect."

    What Brenda meant: "...level of douchebagginess they have come to expect."

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