Verizon Customers: Here's Why Your Phone Bill's About to Increase

The carrier says that the new fee for consumers isn't because of inflation.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
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Verizon is adjusting some of its fees for consumers and business users. On May 16 the nation's largest carrier announced that it will be raising the administrative fees for consumer accounts by $1.35 per voice line to $3.30 per line, per month starting on its users' June billing cycle.

After earlier telling CNET that it isn't adjusting the fees for tablets and smartwatches, Verizon said that it will be raising those rates as well to $3.30 per line. Hotspots will remain unchanged.  

"From time to time, we review and make adjustments to fees to defray some of Verizon's administrative and telco expenses and costs of complying with regulatory requirements," a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNET. "To that end, Verizon will be implementing some changes beginning in June." 

For businesses, Verizon is adding a new Economic Adjustment Charge of $2.20 per line, per month for smartphones or data lines on plans that have recently activated or upgraded a line, completed a "contract-based line term" or have 12 months or less remaining on a device payment plan. 

Tablets and phones that aren't smartphones will be charged 98 cents per month, with both changes for business accounts going into effect on June 16.

The carrier says that the consumer fee change isn't a result of the recent rise in inflation, as Verizon last adjusted these fees in 2020. The new fees for business users, however, are a result of the changing economy. 

"We work every day to maintain competitive prices for our business customers -- often by absorbing increases that we incur," the Verizon spokesperson said. "The current economic conditions impacting businesses worldwide continue to mount and despite our best efforts to mitigate further impact, we intend to offset a portion of these costs by implementing an Economic Adjustment Charge." 

Verizon is the latest wireless provider to adjust costs this month. Rival AT&T announced on May 3 that it would be hiking the prices for some of its older plans. AT&T did not directly blame inflation for its price increases, though it did note that higher business costs were a factor in its decision and encouraged users to switch to its recent unlimited plans.

Update, 1:06 p.m. PT, May 16: Adds Verizon's change about fees for tablets and smartwatches.