How to lower Verizon bill and save hundreds of dollars annually
Verizon Wireless is an American telecommunications company headquartered in New York. Offering a wide variety of wireless products and services, Verizon is one of the two biggest telecommunications operators in the USA, standing shoulder to shoulder with AT&T Inc.
Here are some figures that put the sheer scope of Verizon Wireless into perspective:
- Verizon provides service to roughly 151 million subscribers across the U.S.
- The company generates around $130 billion in annual revenue
- It manages approximately 94.554 million retail wireless connections
While these stats are certainly jaw-dropping, there’s a more commonly known fact about Verizon an average American will tell you right off the bat—their services are among the priciest in the telecommunications industry. Between concealed expenses and unexpected fees, bills for Verizon services have developed a bit of a reputation for causing headaches.
On a more positive note, there’s a wide range of ways you can lower your Verizon bill and prevent it from making as big of a monthly dent in your finances. Even better, these ways won’t require much work on your end, making them an excellent opportunity to save some of your hard-earned money.
How DoNotPay can help you manage your Verizon bills
While everything you’ll find in this guide to lowering Verizon bills is presented in a do-it-yourself fashion, there’s no escaping the simple fact you’ll have to set some time aside to follow through on any of our advice.
If you decide to use DoNotPay, though, you can take all time-consuming processes out of the equation.
If you’re trying to manage your Verizon bills, you can use DoNotPay as a highly efficient middleman and save yourself bundles of time. Here’s a quick demonstration of how simple using DoNotPay is:
- Log in to DoNotPay either through your web browser or an iOS device
- Click on Corona Relief
- Select Verizon bills
- Choose what you’d like our app to do on your behalf (e.g., write an email draft for a waiver, contact the Verizon’s support team, extend the payment due date, etc.)
- Provide details and contact information needed to perform the requested service
Once you’ve given the go-ahead, our team will complete the task you assigned to us before getting back to you in a timely fashion. If you’ve asked us to write up a draft for an email you can send to Verizon, though, we’ll have that ready for you in a matter of seconds.
Understanding how your Verizon bills work
Before you start exploring how to lower Verizon bills, you should do your homework to truly understand how they are calculated. This is easier said than done—if there’s one bill that’s even more needlessly complex than pay-TV invoices, it’s the one for wireless services. Verizon bills come hand-in-hand with a long line of fees, taxes, and surcharges that share two traits—they’re all confusing and come out of your pocket.
Once you sign up for a mobile plan with Verizon, you agree to pay $40–75 per month for the service. You might be thinking how that’s a fair deal (which, indeed, it is), but when bills start piling on, you’ll see that the actual price is more than 50% on top of the agreed rate. In order to explain this, we’ll have to cut through the heap of confusing and hidden costs by breaking down Verizon bills and explaining what each of their sections mean.
The most straightforward pieces of information are usage charges:
- Voice—This is where charges for voice minutes used are listed. While most Verizon packages include unlimited minutes, some plans still meter minutes.
- Messaging—These are the charges for text messages you sent during the billing cycle. Most Verizon plans include unlimited texting.
- Data—This shows how much Internet data was used by each individual line on the account. This is where most overage fees spiral out of control, so use Wi-Fi whenever possible.
Let’s take a look at the more confusing aspects of Verizon bills:
- The Verizon plan—This is the quoted price you agreed to pay when you signed the contract, as well as a sad reminder of how good the initial offer looked like.
- Access discount—If you’ve negotiated a discount with Verizon Wireless (more on this later), it will pop up in this section of the bill. Keep in mind that discounts only apply to the base cost of the plan, so any additional charges for smartphones or data use are charged independently.
- Smartphone line access—Verizon charges you $20 each month (per each line on the account) for having a smartphone. If you live in a household of five, and all of you have smartphones, that’s $100 that come out of your pocket each month simply for enjoying the fruits of smartphone technology.
- Device payment agreement—If you bought a phone through Verizon and agreed to pay for it through regular bills, that fee will appear here.
- Fed Universal Service Charge—The FCC’s Universal Service Fund supplies programs that help expand phone/internet coverage to low-income Americans. While this tax should, in theory, be paid by telecom operators, Verizon prefers to recoup that cost from consumers. A sound business move that, in all fairness, is made by all telecommunications companies.
- Regulatory charges—These are annual fees FCC collects from telephone operators. Just like the USF charge above, it makes more sense for Verizon to take this fee out of your pocket than pay for it on its own.
- Administrative charges—This fee recoups the costs of Verizon’s all-around operations. Thanks to it, the company is able to pay property taxes, facility fees, and similar regulatory obligations.
As you can see, you do not only pay for the devices and the network but also for the Verozon’s taxes, the company’s legal obligations, customer service, local taxation, etc. Once everything adds up, the initial monthly fee you signed up for seems like a distant memory.
The most common errors with Verizon bills
The most clear-cut indicator that there’s an error on your Verizon bill is that something’s wrong with the amount of money they’re expecting from you.
If something seems off, you should inspect all the sections of the bill we listed above. Are there overcharges in your usage? Is there an uptick in your base cost? Are they charging you with a device fee by mistake?
No matter what you think went wrong, here’s the bottom line—as a user, you have the right to call Verizon’s support team and ask them to explain just about anything presented on your bill. If you think there’s something amiss or out of the ordinary, write to the support team or call them by dialing 800-922-0204.
If you’re not interested in spending most of your weekend in phone queues, you can sign up for DoNotPay, and we’ll get in touch with Verizon for you!
Save money by going with more affordable alternatives to Verizon that use the same cell towers
Like other industry giants, Verizon allows smaller cell providers to “buy space” and use their cell towers. These no-contract providers are fantastic alternatives to Verizon as they’re considerably cheaper and use the exact same equipment!
Here’s an overview of affordable cell providers currently using Verizon’s cell towers:
|Best plan price|
$39.95 a month
$45 a month
$35 a month
$49.99 a month (the only plan in their offer)
$35 a month
While perhaps not household names, these companies will give you the same amount of quality for less money, so they’re well worth checking out.
Can you talk your way into a better deal? Here’s how to negotiate better prices for your Verizon bills
While it’s possible to negotiate a lower cell phone bill, it’s not necessarily easy. Not all of us are skilled negotiators, but there’s one important thing going your way. Customer loyalty in the telecom industry is waning at a steady pace, so companies need to be competitive to survive. This obviously gives you an upper hand as all providers, including Verizon, will rather say yes to a smaller fee than lose a customer.
In case you feel like negotiating a smaller cell bill is not worth your while, here’s a breakdown of how much money you can save by boxing out a better deal:
|Initial price||Price with a 35% discount||Monthly savings||Total annual savings|
Verizon (Start Unlimited)
T-Mobile (Unlimited Essentials)
|Sprint (Unlimited Basic)||$60||$39||$21|
|AT&T (Unlimited & More)||$65||$42.25||$22.75|
Of course, it’s far easier to say “go get a 35% discount” than it is to actually do it—luckily, you don’t have to do it on your own. DoNotPay is by far the easiest way to negotiate a better deal with Verizon as we don’t mind going back and forth with operators for as long as it takes to secure you the best deal possible.
If you decide to do it all on your own, though, here are some good practices that can tilt the scales in your favor:
- Have a clear picture of your carrier’s competitor rates
- Know exactly what you want
- Prepare a script to help keep you calm
- Always take notes during negotiations
- Don’t be afraid to jump ship
- Never lose your cool
- Negotiate during off-peak hours
- Be persistent
Have a clear picture of your carrier’s competitor rates
Before you start negotiating, you need to know all the cards in your hand. Once you find several better deals from competitors, call your customer service representative to talk about the specifics of other offers. They’ll have to match the offer or risk losing you to competitors.
Know exactly what you want
When you start negotiating with Verizon’s operators, don’t just ask for a discount—ask for a specific discount. This will require you to do a bit of homework and research realistic prices, but it will allow you to get the upper hand by setting a starting point for negotiations.
Prepare a script to help keep you calm
If you’re scared of getting nervous or being caught off guard with sudden questions, you should make a script of what you intend to say. Try to come up with a meaningful reply to what the operators have to say so that you never lose control over the conversation.
Always take notes during negotiations
Write down the names of the operators you speak with and note down everything you discuss with them. Log the time and date for every call, especially if you were promised some kind of a discount.
Don’t be afraid to jump ship
Operators deal with people on an everyday basis, so they’re very good at spotting empty threats. If you’re able to demonstrate that you’re actually willing to switch carriers, your position in the negotiation will greatly improve.
Never lose your cool
Remember—the worst thing they can say is no. That’s why there’s no need to stress out. Besides keeping your cool, also do your best to stay polite. Most customer service representatives spend their days talking to frustrated people, so the nicer you are with them, the bigger the likelihood of getting what you want.
Negotiate during off-peak hours
Try not to go after a better deal while the operators have their hands full. If they have six people on hold and you’re trying to get a discount, chances are you will be pushed aside. Call them in the morning as that’s usually when slow hours take place.
Chances are you’ll have to spend several hours on the phone while you speak with multiple representatives. It usually takes a few calls to get through to the person in charge of negotiating discounts, plus companies are banking on you giving up after a call of two. Don’t.
Use DoNotPay to get an extension date for your Verizon bills
If you need some time before you’re ready to pay your Verizon bill, asking for an extension date is a logical option. This is another grand opportunity to put the usefulness of DoNotPay to the test.
Instead of waiting in phone queues (or in lines, if you decide to talk to someone in person), you can use our app to quickly put together an email asking for an extension date. All you need to do is give us the necessary info (the dates, your name, etc.), and we’ll do the rest.
Ask for a waiver on late fees for your Verizon bills
DoNotPay can also send a waiver letter to Verizon asking for late fees to be waived. Like everything else with our app, this, too, entails an extremely simple process.
All you need to do is give us the essential info we need to put together a waiver letter for you, and that’s it—you can then kick back and wait for us to get the job done for you.
Bottom of the barrel solutions—use a loan or a credit card to pay off your Verizon bills
If you’re having a hard time keeping up with Verizon bills and you’ve exhausted all other options, you can always consider taking out a quick loan or putting it all on your credit card.
Be warned, though—there’s a reason why banks will welcome both of these moves with open arms.
While these solutions will help your situation in a pinch, you’ll end up losing more money than what you currently owe. You’re better off not paying the bill at all, at least for a little while—being in debt with Verizon is a much better option than owing money to banks, as the chapter below clearly illustrates.
What happens if you don’t pay your Verizon bills?
If you’ve been ignoring Verizon bills for a while, the first thing they’ll do is try to get a hold of you somehow. If they’re unable to reach you, your phone(s) will most likely be shut off for non-payment.
Keep in mind that shutting you off is the last resort, and Verizon does not want to lose a customer. At the end of the day, Verizon wants you to pay your bills. They’re aware that you’re more likely to do that if you are getting service, so you should always try to work something out rather than shut off Verizon’s operators. Call them and give an idea of how much you can pay if you can’t cover the entire bill.
If you decide to ignore the bill completely, anything you owe will likely be transferred to collections within 30-60 days.
What else can DoNotPay do for you?
Besides helping you get a handle on your Verizon bills, DoNotPay can also streamline other facets of your life. Take a look at everything we can help you with:
- Contesting parking tickets
- Fighting traffic tickets
- Scheduling appointments with the DMV
- Fighting speeding tickets