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Verizon Quietly Increases Activation Fees to $40

Verizon does a lot of bragging when talking about the size of its network, but when it comes to activation fees, the company seemingly sneaks increased costs through the back door.

According to, on Feb. 5, Verizon will raise the cost of its activation fees from $35 to $40, and the price of its upgrade fee from $30 to $40. Verizon has somewhat mimicked AT&T, which has been charging $40 for activation fees since it raised prices back in June. Currently, Sprint activation fees cost $36, while T-Mobile’s role as the “Un-carrier” leaves them in the unique position of being the only major carrier without an activation fee.

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The catch is that these activation and upgrade fees only apply to traditional two-year contracts. Carriers have switched to pushing no-contract plans, such as Verizon Edge and AT&T Next, which offer phones for a zero or low up-front cost in favor of monthly payments for the phone and cellular plan.

Carriers like no-contract plans, as they encourage users to spend more by upgrading more often. Verizon’s Edge program allows users upgrade to a new device after paying off 75 percent of their current phone or tablet, so there’s some benefit to the customer as well.

Sam Rutherford is a staff writer for Tom's Guide. Follow him on Twitter. Follow Tom's Guide on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Sam is a senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.