Following in the footsteps of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon has announced that starting April 22 they will charge you a $30 fee to have the privilege to sign a new two-year contract and upgrade your phone with a new, subsidized, one. It's just another way that cell carriers are trying to recoup their margins that have been undermined by subsidies for the iPhone and similar.
Verizon tries to claim the fee is for some other uses, but in my opinion, it's strictly for profit margins: "This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever."
There is a way to mitigate the cost of upgrade. Verizon notes that if you make use of its "green trade-in program" that the fee can be mitigated or completely offset. The program is available here. If you are due for an upgrade and are on Verizon, I highly suggest that you do your upgrade before April 22.