Verizon Fees

by Mark Chen | Updated 1/1/24

Verizon has a wide variety of fees to punish you for not following their instructions and to keep you from leaving to another carrier.

In this article, we’ll teach you how much these fees are and what you can do to avoid them or get them refunded.

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Verizon Activation Fees

Verizon charges a one-time $35 activation/upgrade fee per device that you add to their network.

This applies to both upgrades of existing lines and for new customers.  So, if you move to Verizon with 4 lines, there’s going to be a $140 activation fee to start.

It’s crazy that you can’t avoid this fee even if you bring your own device.

One of the few ways you can get this Verizon fee refunded is to return your device within 30 days.

This is more of a money-back guarantee than an actual fee waiver.

Verizon has activation fees because it claims to “give access to a range of services, tools and personalized support to help ensure your device is set up for a seamless experience on America’s most awarded network”.

That’s bullshit.  The main feature provided is “personalized “tech support.  We called the number – it’s just regular Verizon tech support.

How To Waive These Fees

If your phone and data aren’t working, Verizon knows you’ll cancel and go to a new carrier.

Longtime customers however have a shot of getting these Verizon upgrade fees waived.  Once you upgrade your phone and get charged for this fee, call up Verizon customer support.

For long-time customers, they’re usually willing to give you one-time loyalty credits to even recurring discounts to keep you as a customer.

Note that if you ask during the activation process, they’ll refuse to cut you a break.

They’ll give you a discount if you call afterward though.

verizon late fee

Verizon Late Fees

Verizon charges a late fee of either $5 per month or up to 1.5% of the unpaid balance of your bill.

Their disclaimers in Verizon’s late fee description are terrifying.  The 1.5% late fee is capped at 18% interest (likely because Verizon was charging payday loan like APRs on past due bills).

The flat $5 per month charge depends on the laws of your state.  That’s probably because cities passed laws to prevent Verizon and other companies like them from hurting already financially vulnerable customers.

Unfortunately, setting up a payment arrangement doesn’t allow you to avoid or reduce the amount that you’ll have to pay on late fees.

Verizon Reconnection Fees

Verizon charges a $20 per line reconnection fee if your account gets shut off for nonpayment.

We’ve found that these reconnection fees as well as late fees will be waived by Verizon if you put in some effort.

However, in our experience, Verizon is more than willing to waive fixed amount late fees once you become current on your account.

If you’re seriously past due, they’re less generous with the discounts unless you can provide good reasons for your inability to pay your past balance such as serious health and financial issues.

This policy in general makes sense to us.  Verizon isn’t Blockbuster Movies – they’re not trying to make money on late fees, but they want to disincentivize you from paying Verizon late.

Fios Early Termination Fee

The maximum Verizon early termination fee is $350 for Fios with a $15 reduction every month.

This means that if you cancel your Fios bill after a year, your early termination fee would be $206.

However, many fios plans and most Verizon wireless plans no longer have contracts and thus don’t have early termination fees.

Even for your Fios plan, you can usually get out of your early termination fee if you have a good reason. Examples include moving out of the country or to a region where Fios is not available.

Verizon wants you to have a good experience with them and come back rather than to get your money one last time.

Also, if you want to save on fios, threatening to cancel is a great way to get the max discount available.

Verizon Wireless Early Termination Fee

Additionally, for Verizon wireless plans, the most common early termination fee is needing to surrender benefits (usually Verizon phone promotions) due to your not staying for the full amount of time that you contracted to.

So if you have a device that’s not fully paid off, your remaining balance will be charged to you on your next bill.

That could be a big hit – $500 or more!

Also, if you had a buy one, get one free promotion, you’ll need to pay the remaining balance for both devices.  In some cases, you’ll need to pay the full amount of the promotion because you didn’t stay long enough.

For all these things, make sure to figure out how much to pay before you fully cancel your Verizon account.

They’ve created these fees to get you to stay longer with them.

Honestly in our experience with device payments, you can often end up paying just half of the full balance. This is because your phone depreciates the longer you have it.

They just want you to pay the residual cost.

You’ll need to negotiate or have someone negotiate these fees away if you don’t want to pay.

Verizon Restocking Fee

Verizon charges a $50 restocking fee if you decide to return a phone or accessory you bought from them.

You have 30 days to exercise this option.  After that, no returns.

You won’t have to pay a restocking fee if the device was defective or if the box wasn’t opened.

These are good reasons to not charge you a restocking fee.  If the device is broken, you had a good reason to return it.

Once you open a box, the device becomes used and loses a lot of its value (like new/used cars).  If you don’t open the box, Verizon can still sell the device as new.

If you live in Hawaii, you don’t have to pay a restocking fee.  Thank your lawmakers.

Overall, it feels like the restocking fee is reasonable.  If you really don’t want to pay the restocking fee, negotiate with Verizon to see if you can get it waived.

They’re willing to do a lot for long-time customers.

Lower Your Verizon Bill With BillSmart!

Getting fees waived from Verizon is a good way to save money but you can save 10x more by getting a lower bill.

Save up to 30% monthly on your Verizon bill by signing to BillSmart.

We’ve saved our clients $1.5mm+ to date and we’re just getting started.

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BillSmart CEO

About the author

Mark Chen is the founder and CEO of BillSmart. As a 7-year veteran of the bill negotiation space, he's saved Americans $25mm+ on their phone and cable bills. In his free time, he enjoys watching shows on TV like Yellowstone and college football.