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Verizon Raises Device Upgrade Fee And Is Threatening Customers Over Unlimited Data

Verizon.Mike Mozart/Flickr

Verizon used to charge its customers $20 in order to upgrade to another phone via straight payments or via the carrier’s device plan. Now, that fee is $30, an increase that the company justifies as a means to cover higher costs. As it turns out, however, Verizon didn’t tell the whole truth since its costs reportedly declined. Phone upgrade clients aren’t the only targets of the carrier’s new programs since unlimited data hogs are now receiving threats as well.

The fee took effect back on January 5th, Ars Technica reports. At about the same time, the contract renewal for customers after two years has also been removed, along with device subsidy programs. When the publication asked Verizon why the company decided to have a price hike on its upgrade fees, the carrier responded that it was to help cover the increase in costs.

"These fees help cover increased cost to provide customers with America’s largest and fastest 4G LTE network," the carrier’s spokesperson told Ars Technica.

According to its own report, however, Verizon’s expenditures actually went down. In Q3 of 2015, costs were at $2.92 billion. In the same period in 2016, that number went down to $2.77 billion. This is a 5.1 percent reduction in expenses, with the first three quarters of 2016 seeing particularly huge decreases in costs for the company.

Once the article was published, Verizon tried to clear up the situation by saying that the spokesperson was actually referring to ongoing costs, not past ones. No other details were provided, though.

Another source of irritation for the company is the unlimited data hogs that Verizon wants to either switch to another plan or risk losing their connection, Ubergizmo reports. Customers who exceed 200GB of data per month by tethering to other devices and downloading massive files have been a thorn in the carrier’s side for a long time. Those customers only have until February 16th to make their choice.

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