Following Verizon, AT&T raises its activation and upgrade fees to $20

Following Verizon, AT&T raises its activation and upgrade fees to $20
Following in Verizon's footsteps, AT&T has increased its activation and upgrade fees for customers who purchase a device through an installment plan or bring their own device on the carrier's network.

Back in July 2015, the nation's second-largest carrier by subscriber count instated a (heavily-criticized) $15 activation/upgrade fee for each smartphone purchased via the AT&T Next installment plan and a similar $15 activation fee for bring-your-own-device subscribers. As of now, AT&T has raised these fees to $20.

Yesterday, Verizon slapped subscribers who purchase a device through an installment plan or at full price with a new $20 activation fee. Furthermore, Verizon has also raised the update fee for those on a two-year contract to $45, up from $40, which is now on par with AT&T's activation/upgrade fee for customers on two-year contracts. At such, AT&T and Verizon have now aligned their activation and update fees.

Getting to terms with the fact that AT&T and Verizon customers are not very fond of these new activation and update fees doesn't require superhuman empathy levels. After all, the carriers are basically charging customers for purchasing devices in their stores. Out of the four major carriers in the US, T-Mobile is the only one that doesn't charge customers when they activate or update a new handset.

source: AT&T via Droid-Life

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23 Comments

1. Unordinary unregistered

Yup. Time for T Mobile.

4. bambamboogy02

Posts: 834; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Like I said on the Verizon article, "All will follow".

11. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I think he meant Time to switch to T-Mobile, not Time for T-Mobile to increase their fees.

19. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea this is ridiculous. One carrier does a crappy move then others are like hey we can too since they are...

22. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

T-Mobile charges $20 for a sim card at the time of activation. After that they do not charge to upgrade your phone. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

14. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

That would be fine if the coverage didn't suck. Where I live it socks big time.

23. Acdc1a

Posts: 473; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

If you are in a band 12 covered area the coverage is fantastic albeit slow while on band 12. Have you tried T-Mobile recently?

2. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1806; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I've never really understood this fee...Aren't you already giving them money to use their network??? Why charge a customer extra to get on a plan that is already costing them money???

3. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Lol you people should be thankful that yours is a fairly loose monopoly with decent competition now. Up in Canada the carriers don't even use lube.

5. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

I had to read your comment a few times, which is awesome by the way.

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

LMAO xD So true.

6. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

"Why not? ". Then follows the justifications.

8. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Because they can, and there's not a thing we can do about it. Especially when they all do it.

13. Gsmalltheway

Posts: 275; Member since: Aug 15, 2009

I work for ATT in a retail store. These fees basically pay our commission. Of course we don't get the whole amount. It's for the time it takes for us to process the upgrade and transfer everyone's stuff that can do on their own but don't want to

15. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I buy my phones online and have them delivered to my house. I switch the SIM card to the new phone, do all the setup myself, transfer all the pictures/contacts/music, etc...myself. What am I paying for?

16. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

No kidding. I wish they had a "you weren't a pain in the ass" rebate every year or something.

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

This is a good point in reference to the fee being their commission. I have a bank account that charges a fee if I have to go inside a branch for basic banking service: withdraw, deposit, etc. Do everything at the ATM machine and its no fee. There should be something similar for this upgrade fee.

17. kaintae

Posts: 98; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

then how did they pay your commission before? I'm willing to bet that you started there some time in the last 5 years. I used to work for a Verizon corporate retail store. My wife worked at a corporate AT&T store. Hers was in downtown houston, and they could afford to close on the weekends because of the kind of traffic they got. It was a great job, and we both made a lot of money. quite a few of us made a lot of money. but here's what happened: We produced so much, and our net adds kept going higher and higher each year with the addition of tablets, mobile hotspots, etc....activations were so easy to get. The companies figured out that they could start charging upgrade fees and stuff for "network improvements," and the customers wouldn't mind. then they figured out they could raise your quotas a little bit at a time so that guess what? they wouldn't have to pay their employees because they wouldn't be hitting multipliers on their quotas. so they charged more for their services and paid less to their employees. where is that money going? if you think it's going to your commission check, you're deceived because as I mentioned, retail reps, and even business reps are making less money across the board. if the networks are being improved, how come we haven't seen any improvements? (I have service from both companies) these guys are lining their pockets and have you convinced that they need to charge all these extra fees for all kinds of reasons.

7. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Can't you see AT&T and Verizon? Your in love with with other. Please, get a room.

20. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

you're. FFS.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

A$$hole see, a$$hole do.

10. wtmana

Posts: 56; Member since: Nov 27, 2013

I love my t-mobile, never ever back to at&t. I have 4 lines for $150 everything unlimited, they never charge for activation fee.

18. trublackrose

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

Instead of an Upgrade or Activation fee. They charge a 20$ Sim Card fee. I know they have a promo right now for a free sim. When that promo ends though, its 20$ for a sim. Any phone you order through them has this additional charge. I am getting this info, right from their website when you look at ordering a phone. One could say they don't have Activation/Upg fees. But looking at it, they do. Just under a different name.

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