Because your cell phone bill wasn’t outrageous enough already — Verizon’s Q3 revenue totaled $33.2 billion and net income rose nearly 10% to $4.2 billion — Verizon has decided to tack something else on and start charging its customers a $20 activation fee to add a new line to their service when signing up for a contract-free plan starting on November 15th.
Reports of this activation fee began to spread earlier this week, starting with an article on Droid Life, but CNN Money was able to confirm the news on Friday, noting that the fee will be a one-time charge, never to appear again once the customer has added the new line.
It’s also important to note that the fee only applies to the contract-free plans that Verizon introduced over the summer. Customers who held on to their contracts still have to pay a $40 activation fee to add a new line, Verizon spokeswoman Kelly Crummey tells CNN Money.
According to Crummey, the newly instated fee “covers the various costs of adding a line, including communicating with the telephone registry service that your SIM card should be associated with your phone number.” That might be true, but it’ll also add significantly to the company’s bottom line and confuse new customers who didn’t have to pay the fee a few months ago.
Verizon isn’t the only carrier to charge an activation fee — additional contract-free lines on AT&T’s Next service cost $15, T-Mobile charges $15 for a “SIM starter kit” and Sprint takes $36 for every new line — but it couldn’t be any more blatant of a cash grab from Verizon as consumers march forward into the holiday season.