UPDATE: Verizon has confirmed both of these changes and revealed that they officially went into effect on January 5.
AT&T isn’t the only major US carrier making some quiet policy changes this week.
It’s been discovered that Verizon is raising the price of its upgrade fee. Last year, Verizon began charging a $20 upgrade fee to upgrade your device, but Verizon’s Upgrade Fee FAQ says that that fee is now $30. You’ll encounter the upgrade fee if you purchase a new device at retail price or on a device payment plan.
That’s not the only change that Verizon has made. The big red carrier has also eliminated the two-year contract option for existing customers. Verizon got rid of two-year contracts for new customers last year, but continued to let existing on-contract customers get subsidies. Now those customers must either buy a phone at full retail price or on a device payment plan.
Verizon hasn’t made an official announcement about the end of two-year contracts for existing customers, but Droid-Life, MacRumors, and sources on Reddit have all gotten word of the change. I've also checked my account and found that the contract upgrade option is missing.
The end of two-year contracts for existing customers is kind of a bummer because it’s one less upgrade option, but it’s also not terribly shocking that it happened since Verizon hasn’t offered contracts to new customers for awhile now. The higher upgrade fee is disappointing, too, especially since it’s a pretty sizable increase. So if you’re a Verizon customer, prepare to pay a bit more the next time that you get a new phone.