Verizon Tells Us ‘Upgrade Fee’ Is To Pay For iPhone Instruction Classes, Store Kiosks

Yes, mobile phone companies charge fees that seem kind of arbitrary, but Dan and his wife were under the impression that customer service representatives weren’t left to just make up the reasons why. Then they dealt with Verizon, which claimed that the $30 upgrade fee they were going to charge his wife to upgrade to an iPhone 5 not only couldn’t be waived as usual, but that the fee was to cover a sort of “how to use your new phone” class for iPhone users and in-store kiosk repair. Perhaps, in a global sense, this is why the company needs the $30, but the explanation sounded wacky to Dan and Mrs. Dan. They tried to find someone reasonable higher up the corporate food chain, but there was no such reasonable person.

My wife recently purchased an iphone 5 from Verizon. She has been a corporate customer for many years. During the process of placing the order online we had to pay $30 as an upgrade fee. Based on past experiences we have had with Verizon they have either waived this fee or refunded the amount. I assumed, wrongly, that if I contact Verizon after the purchase my $30 would be refunded.

When I contacted customer service and inquired as to the $30 fee I was told by [E.] that the fee covered a one-hour class my wife could take at a Verizon store teaching her about her new phone. I was also told that the fee covered the maintenance of the in-store kiosks. I said that this explanation sounded ridiculous. I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was on hold for 20 minutes, gave up and called their corporate headquarters.

When corporate answered I assured them that I tried to go through proper channels. I told my story once again and was transferred to [W.]. I explained my situation for the third time. [W] seemed to understand and agree with me. He explained that he could only pass along my contact information to yet another person at the corporate level.

Within an hour I received a call from [Y.]. She was rude and defensive from the start. It was as if I was trying to take $30 right from her pocket. She repeated multiple times that since I paid the fee online I must have been okay with it. Telling her about past experiences with Verizon and how they have taken care of my wife and myself made no difference. When I suggested that I may be recording the call she became indignant. The irony was that she was recording our call without ever having asked my permission.

If you have any suggestions as what my next move should be or to whom I should send this story I would be very appreciative.

When the regular channels at Verizon don’t work, we recommend zeroing in on the office of your region president.