A Setup Fee - Thanks Verizon

Recently, we made the switch from T-Mobile to Verizon. Many times in my life I have been excited about new phones, getting something new to play with etc, but this time around, even the iPhone 13 was just another phone.

I like the phone, it is fine, even if I will never need cinematic camera mode - my life is not that interesting. Getting a new phone on the same carrier is often something that requires a certain amount of patience and “just look dumb” naiveté to keep yourself from going berserker in the store. Changing carriers is on a whole new level.


A 20 or 25 dollar setup fee to run the Apple device transfer wizard is bullshit on a whole new level. Thank Verizon.

T-Mobile Just Didn’t

We inherited T-Mobile, which was not spectacular - but damn if the map wasn’t the brightest neon pink ever. Coming from Sprint (which worked fine and had no deal-breaker issues over the last 20 years) we were forced to get a T-Mobile sim because we needed another line of service on our account. It was awful. Wifi calling was fine - not being on the carrier’s network and making calls tends to work without issue. Then you leave the house and have probably 1 bar of service.

Calls started dropping regularly and the need to reboot the phone or maneuver some weird rain dance to get service to work was happening all the time.

Time For a Change

Since the previous service was pretty much a dumpster fire, we thought maybe Verizon might be a good choice. The only issue really is the cost of the service, but back in the day Sprint used to feel like more money than one should spend - so that is a wash right?


We got new iPhones. Always fun, especially since the promo is trade your phone get one on us (after you pay for it of course). That sounds good, even if it is a monthly credit for the device and cannot be paid off early - so in 30 months, yep, we got phones on them. Not great.

Then there is the activation fee - yep, everyone charges them. Remember when the activation fee was the bargaining chip - the ‘you are an existing customer, so we hate you, but we will waive the activation fee’ cost that during a phone upgrade used to go away. For new lines, I get it - we need to turn on the phones etc and clicking a button or six should be something worth $35.

The last fee - and the one that inspired this little rant is a 20 dollar 25 dollar fee to setup your device. This is not explained well - just a mirror copy of your phone so you won’t lose anything. Really, for iPhone, it is the standard Apple device transfer - the one that happens in iOS devices.

What have I learned?

I will be buying my phone from Apple directly and moving my own data any time I upgrade in the future. Then I will handle the activation online (likely starting it with some weirdo trip to the store needed for no reason). This was ridiculous and expensive for sure.

Thanks Verizon (and/or Verizon Retail Partners) for a 25$ completely useless fee. The fact that there is no opt out is complete trash. Charge an activation fee, fine, but that’s it - please do not add fees to rip off your brand new customers, after the promo of free devices. Not cool.

Written on January 29, 2022