Verizon appears to be incentivizing consumers to make purchases online rather than at one of its brick-and-mortar retail stores, as CNET reports that the mobile carrier is lowering activation and upgrade fees on its site and in its My Verizon app from $30 to $20 starting this Thursday. Alternatively, if you prefer a “full-service experience” at a Verizon store, you’ll now have to pay $40 to activate a line or upgrade to a new device.
CNET’s report doesn’t include many details about this new policy, and as The Verge points out, Verizon’s fees often go up or down depending on a variety of factors, such as if you’re on a prepaid or monthly plan, or if you’re activating a new line or just upgrading to a new phone. Unless Verizon sends out a news release ahead of this purported price change, we’ll have to wait until later this week to see how it will be implemented.
Provided that you are willing to go through with the process of activating a line or upgrading to a new device on the Verizon website or on the My Verizon app, the price is actually lower at Verizon than at its competitors. AT&T charges $25 to bring a new phone over to its network (or $45 for a two-year plan, which only applies to certain phones), Sprint charges $30, and T-Mobile claims that it doesn’t have an activation fee at all, but will still make you pay $25 for a SIM starter kit (which you will need to activate your phone on their network).
So, while charging an addition $10 for a “full-service experience” at a brick-and-mortar store might be ludicrous, the price cut of the activation and upgrade fee for online customers is a welcome one.