Verizon tacking on $20 fee to upgrade phones

FILE - This June 4, 2014, file photo shows signage at a Verizon Wireless retail store at Downtown Crossing in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(WCMH)–CNN Money reports Verizon will charge customers $20 to upgrade their phones starting April 4.

The fee will reportedly apply almost any time a customer upgrades, whether customers buy the phone outright, sign up for the carrier’s device payment plans or even buy the phone through Apple Upgrade.

Previously, Verizon had only charged upgrade fees to customers still under a two-year contract (a $40 fee, which remains in place).

Customers can get around the fee if they buy the phone elsewhere, such as on Amazon, at Best Buy, or at an Apple Store and then go to a Verizon store to activate the phone.

“People are switching devices more frequently,” a Verizon spokeswoman told CNNMoney. As a result, the company needs to cover the costs of processing higher device turnover, she said.

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