Verizon planning $20 smartphone upgrade fee

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Verizon is planning to charge a $20 flat fee for customers to upgrade their smartphone, the company has confirmed to ZDNet.

“The upgrade fee helps cover our increased support costs associated with customers switching devices,” a spokesperson said. “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.”

The pricing has been leaked in an informational flier from MacRumors.

The new program is said to start on Monday, April 4 and will cover any smartphone on a Device Payment financing plan, Apple’s new iPhone upgrade plan, or at full retail price.

Verizon is simply following its competition. AT&T, the second-largest carrier in the US and Verizon’s biggest competitor, charges $15 per smartphone added or upgraded, while Sprint charge up to $36 per smartphone.

Up and coming carrier, T-Mobile, does not have an upgrade fee.

Verizon’s new upgrade fee comes after several high-profile phone announcements, including Apple’s iPhone SE and Samsung’s Galaxy S7.

We have reached out to Verizon for more info.