Verizon just made it more expensive to activate or upgrade a phone in-store

Jacob Siegal

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.

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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.

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