Think you’re getting a deal when you upgrade your cell phone? There are hidden fees you may be paying without knowing it. The Red Tape Chronicles did some investigating and discovered cell phone retail salespeople mocking their customers, describing how they mislead the unsuspecting:
* “If someone asks me why upgrade fees are charged, I simply tell them that it is so I can get a paycheck. Most people just laugh and end up signing up.”
* “(I) wait until it pops up on their bill. Never when selling the phone.”
The biggest offender according to the article is Cingular, while my phone company, Verizon Wireless, seems to be absolved. Verizon has a long-standing “New Every Two” promotion in which customers on two-year contracts are automatically given a $100 discount on a phone every two years. If the chosen phone is less than $100, it is free. It certainly helps with keeping customers loyal year after year, but we must be paying for it somewhere else.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 7, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.