Are you thinking of ditching your old smartphone for the new Samsung Galaxy S7? If you’re a Verizon customer, you might have to pay just for the privilege of upgrading.
The $20 fee will be charged to those with smartphones on a Device Payment financing plan or those buying a device at full retail price, according to a report from MacRumors, which was then confirmed by Verizon in a report by ZDNet. It will also be charged for those on the Apple iPhone upgrade plan.
So why the fee? Well, according to Verizon, customer support costs are going up for device upgrading.
“The upgrade fee helps cover our increased support costs associated with customers switching devices,” said a spokesperson for Verizon in the ZDNet report. “Customers can pay the charge when they upgrade, bill it to their account, or trade in an old device to offset the cost. The fee for upgrading on device payment is still half of the two-year contract upgrade fee.”
According to reports the program will start on April 4, so if you’re planning on upgrading, you might want to think about doing it before then. Of course, Verizon isn’t the first to do something like this. In fact, it’s just following the lead of AT&T, which charges $15 per device. Sprint also charges $36 per smartphone. T-Mobile, in classic Un-carrier fashion, does not charge an “upgrade fee” — it’s just kind enough to not create new reasons to take our money.
The new program certainly comes at a good time for Verizon. A number of high-profile new devices have recently been announced, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPhone SE, so it’s likely that many will be looking to upgrade in the near future.
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