Verizon Wireless on Wednesday confirmed that it will soon begin charging subscribers a $30 upgrade fee when they purchase new wireless equipment on contract. Verizon is currently the only major carrier that does not charge customers a fee when upgrading their devices on a new two-year contract — AT&T and Sprint each charge customers $36 to upgrade to a new device on contract, and T-Mobile charges an $18 upgrade fee. “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,” the carrier said in a statement. “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.”
AT&T is increasing the fee charged when subscribers upgrade to new handsets on contract beginning this Sunday. BGR has been informed by multiple readers via email that AT&T has sent them notices regarding the increased fee, which had previously been $18. “Because the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased, effective Sunday, February 12, 2012, AT&T will change its upgrade fee from $18 to $36,” AT&T said in a note to dealers obtained by BGR. An AT&T spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A portion of the memo follows below.
UPDATE: AT&T has confirmed the change. “Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee,” an AT&T spokesperson told BGR via email. “This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years.” More →