• Report: #1103752
Complaint Review:

Verizon Wireless

  • Submitted: Mon, December 02, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, December 03, 2013

  • Reported By: G32768 — Scottsdale Arizona
Verizon Wireless
Scottsdale, Arizona USA

Verizon Wireless Upgrade fees are unfair and deceptive Scottsdale Arizona

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I've been a Verizon customer for the past few years, and no longer have a contractual obligation to Verizon.  I decided to agree to a new two-year contract and purchase new phones.

I went to a store and selected new phones and a family-share plan.  I spent about an hour and a half waiting for the rep to complete paperwork.  Once it was done, he asked me to initial a number of different parts of the contract, and sign it.  It was at that point that he called my attention to the fact that I was agreeing to a $30.00 per-line "upgrade fee." 

This so-called upgrade fee is deceptive.  It is a way for Verizon to advertise a phone for $X, and then, after making you invest an hour and a half of your time into the transaction, jack up the price by $30.00 per phone.  It is a form of corporate highway robbery.  They figure that they can get away with it because people pay it.  It’s not quite enough to drive people away, and just enough to enrich their pockets by more than what they are advertising you will have to pay.  It is a carefully engineered scheme to allow them to put their hands into your pockets and extract $30.00 extra, per line, just before you walk out the door.  It is the same sort of tactic that slimy car dealerships use.  Unfortunately, many people begrudgingly pay it. 

The guy in the store told me that if I called customer service, they would waive it.  I believed him.  The next day (which is today), I phoned customer service.  They informed me that the “upgrade fee is non-negotiable; everyone pays it.”  They went on to claim that the fee is needed to cover the cost of some software they have built to assist customers with transferring data from their old phone to their new, and to cover the cost of workshops.  I did not ask for their assistance in transferring data to my new phone, nor am I interested in their workshops.  If they wanted to sell me software, and I wanted to buy it, then they might be justified in making this claim.  If I wanted to spend my time hanging out in some Verizon workshop with the understanding that I had to pay for it, then they might be justified.  These are just nonsense excuses to rip-off $30.00.

Adding insult to injury, Verizon is charging $0.00 in activation fees for new lines of service through this weekend.  If I wanted to, I could terminate my existing lines, return the phones, buy-back the phones, and establish new service.  This way, I would not have to pay any rip-off upgrade fee nor an activation fee.  Unfortunately (and as customer service was all too happy to point out), I would lose my phone numbers.

So, I have decided to return the phones and terminate service with Verizon, once and for all.  I can purchase the same phones for a few $ less from another provider (no need to get into who that is here), plus I can get 2 additional GB of data for the same amount that Verizon was going to charge me.

On top of that, since today is Cyber Monday, the new provider is not charging any activation fees.  In a back-handed way, I should thank Verizon.  If it weren’t for their little scam then I wouldn’t have realized that I can get the identical equipment from a large competitor (their name begins with an “A”) at a fairly substantial savings over what they were charging me, plus a plan that includes 2 extra GB per month at no additional cost over Verizon’s “plan.” 

So much for Verizon valuing customer loyalty.  It’s clear where their heads are.  It’s all about optimizing their bottom-line, and they incorrectly calculated that I would just stay with them and pay them their “upgrade fee” because it wouldn’t be worth my time to leave them.

Verizon is literally losing several $1000.00 per year in my business, all because of their insistence on collecting a $30.00 rip-off fee. 

I realize that other carriers also charge an “upgrade fee.”  If more people would either purchase their phones from elsewhere or do what I am doing and terminate service altogether while making it clear to the carrier why they are doing it, then the industry would stop charging this rip-off fee. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2013 05:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/verizon-wireless/scottsdale-arizona/verizon-wireless-upgrade-fees-are-unfair-and-deceptive-scottsdale-arizona-1103752. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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