BRIEF: State official blasts mobile phone companies over upgrade fees
Apr 13, 2012 (Boston Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
State Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony lashed out at four primary cell phone carriers today that are all charging upgrade fees ranging in price from $18 to $36, in addition to the cost of a new phone.
"Consumers need to closely examine the fine print when buying a phone, upgrading to a smartphone and entering into a cellular phone contract," Anthony said. "Lower upfront costs may have hidden fees down the road in regard to data plans, directory service or other costs."
AT&T and Sprint are charging $36 in upgrade fees, while Verizon is charging $30 and T-Mobile is charging $18, which are separate from both the cost of a new phone and the cell phone contract.
Anthony said in some instances consumers can negotiate with cell phone carriers to waive upgrade costs, but there are "pluses and minuses" to agreeing to longer term contracts that often accompany such a purchase.
Anthony also offered several tips when buying a cell phone, including asking for all information in writing up front, and not signing any documents without fully reading all the material.
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