There have been reports that Verizon will begin charging a $20 activation fee for customers looking to take advantage of the company’s device payment plans. It seems Verizon is planning for these changes to take place on November 15th, so if you’re on the verge of upgrading or activating a new device on the nation’s largest carrier, it may be better to act sooner rather than later.
This may be the first time you’ve heard of Verizon’s activation fee, but the charge has existed long before today’s announcement. The activation fee has largely gone unnoticed thanks to the expense not being passed on to customers. Verizon has been, and is currently, waiving their activation fee for new device payment plans, meaning subscribers are not being charged. Verizon’s reasoning for only now incorporating the fee into device payment plans is unclear. As it stands now, the carrier’s device payment plans, which are paid in monthly installments, total the full retail price of a device. On or after November 15th, you can expect a $20 fee to be added to that sum for new purchases. Interestingly, an activation fee seems to be the charge for a carrier’s network to read your SIM card once installed on your new device. How much this actually costs the carrier is unknown. It is important to note that other carriers, such as AT&T, currently charge an activation fee.
November 15th not only marks the end of Verizon’s waivers but, as previously reported, the addition of a $20 price increase to the unlimited data plans Verizon still supplies. These plans were discontinued long ago, but the network allowed grandfathered plans to continue, albeit with restrictions. Very few Verizon unlimited data plans still exist, but those who own one should prepare to pay an adjusted $49.99 a month. However, Verizon has confirmed that it will not be throttling the data for these customers, which has become a common practice on other carriers that do offer unlimited data plans. Meanwhile, other carriers, most notably T-Mobile, have been offering aggressive discounts and promotions. Also on November 15th is the launch of T-Mobile’s new BingeOn service, which allows subscribers to view content from a variety of streaming video providers without using data from their plan. Verizon is currently having a promotion of its own, however. With new device activations, including those on device payment plans, Verizon is giving $300 in credit for old device trade-ins.