Rip-off report: AT&T doubling its device upgrade fee

By , Feb 10, 2012

AT&T is changing the price of their fee to upgrade handsets while on contract, reports BGR.

Originally, AT&T only charged customers $18 to upgrade to a new device, but now they want to charge $36. And to top things off, their reason is pretty bogus…

Because the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased, effective Sunday, February 12, 2012, AT&T will change its upgrade fee from $18 to $36.

AT&T’s raised $36 fee will begin this Sunday, February 12th. If you were planning on getting your loved one an iPhone for Valentine’s Day and are currently on AT$T, we suggest you do it tomorrow.

Of course, $36 isn’t an insane amount of money , but AT$T wanting to charge us $36 to have a customer rep click on a new device on a computer seems like a little bit of a rip off to us.

What do you think of AT$T raising the fee?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/andre.manzyuk Andre Manzyuk

    Jerks, getting ready for the iPhone5, it’s a way of jacking up the price of the phone, without actually doing it on paper…

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been w AT&T for 8 years an have never paid an upgrade or activation fee. I’m the primary on an account w 5 lines and if the activation isn’t automatically waived in the store I just wait for the bill then call and have it removed. You don’t even need to make a big deal about it. Just ask them nicely and they always credit your account. I’ve done the name thing for the fee they charge to change a number. Of all the companies I’ve ever dealt w for customer service AT&T is always the easiest. And if you ever need to order a phone don’t do it in the store or online. If you call they’ll always throw in a discount and free expedited shipping. I might sound like an AT&T fanboy but if I wasn’t happy with AT&T I wouldn’t have stayed w them for 8 years.

      • http://twitter.com/Max_Kas Max Kaslick

        Usually you have to call at least 3 times and speak to 3 different people but you eventually it will work out.

      • http://twitter.com/Zerafiall Daniel

        So… save a couple bucks with an afternoon of ripping out your hair : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Spicer/759909131 Andy Spicer

    I can switch my sim card from my iPhone 4 to Iphone 5 for nothing! Stupid AT&T

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000374367805 Mark Brammer

      Last I remembered, you have to buy the phone to use it…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000374367805 Mark Brammer

      Last I remembered, you have to buy the phone to use it…

  • http://twitter.com/kylebshr Kyle Bashour

    they’re /always/ waived it for me, whether online or in store.

    • http://www.facebook.com/syosoft Sean Benoit

      I just added two new lines, $36 act. fee each. I went into AT&T online chat…

      Rep: “You know this is only a 1 time fee, right?”
      Me: “Yes, you know I’m a long time customer who is outraged by this blatant gouging, right?”

      Fees were promptly removed without much fuss after that quick exchange.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Schuster/1653840742 Ryan Schuster

    Would love to get my hands on an itemized list of all costs associated with an on contract upgrade.

    $0.01 Keyboard stress.
    $0.01 Electricity.
    $35.98 Custumer bendover training.

  • http://twitter.com/GeeMervin23 Mervin Gee

    Switching to Verizon in a few months..

    • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

      Switching to straight talk now saving money as I type lol!!!

  • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

    One more reason for everyone to switch to straight talk keep your iPhone 4S for only 45$ a month unlimited everything wala bye bye AT&T!

    • Anonymous

      Could you explain how you accomplish such a feat with a phone with unlock able baseband and early termination fees.

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        Straight talk works without unlocking that’s how and as far as termination fees you can either pay it or fight it it’s your choice.

      • Anonymous

        I took an old 3G unlocked it and did tmobile pay as you go, no data. Are you saying you can take a i4 or 4S and put it on t mobile with just talk? So unlocking only has to do with the data and not the talk? I am under the understanding AT&T requires all smart phones to have a data plan, so the only option ( at least I’m the US) is to go to tmobile or something like republic.

        I welcome your input, thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Does Straight Talk support iPhones?

      Also, wala = voilà

      • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

        Yes straight talk now supports iPhones and thanks for the correction I had a brainfart when I typed it lol

    • Anonymous

      so internet is unlimited? not like h2o right? i might switch as well!

  • http://twitter.com/crenelle MichaelBrianBentley

    They’re taking advantage of customer interest in newer models in a way that doesn’t normally attract attention. I bet lots of people didn’t know there even was a fee for that.

    In terms of actual cost impact to the customer, it isn’t much. For a two year iPhone contract, you’re paying something like $60 a month for two years, which adds up to something like $1440 at a minimum.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500182436 Richard Brooks

    This and the extra data cost are to pay for a failed merger point blank. This is the reason why it failed! At least there is another gsm option our there

  • http://www.facebook.com/swagswagswagswagswagswagswag Brandon Smith

    fuck… just sold my 4 on ebay for 400, bought the 4s for 211 and only paid 18 and yeah im a true apple fan so i still have unlimited date damn swag.

  • http://twitter.com/vantheman169 vantheman420

    I opened 3 brand new lines in october with at&t and got 3 different iPhones all brand new contracts, not only was AT&T charging me the $36 dollar activation fee per line, they were charging me an $18 dollar upgrade fee. When I saw that on my AT&T bill i promptly called AT&T and argued with this one representative that I should not be getting charged an UPGRADE fee for a brand new line, she was a bitch about it and assured me every line gets charged an UPGRADE fee on first activation. Being a prior AT&T customer, i knew she was full of shit and I hung up on her after I realized our conversation and her helping me was going nowhere. So i called back and talked to somebody with HALF a brain and they removed the 18 dollar fees.

    On a 2nd note 36 dollars for an upgrade FEE IS OUTRAGOUS1

  • Manuel Orellana

    For those of us in Canada it’s nothing new. I got into an argument with a Rogers rep over this fee. We have an “activation fee” of 35.00 every time you get a new phone. I asked what it was for and first they said, well, it goes to cover the charges of shipping the phone out to you, then I said, can I pick it up and save the 35.00 they said no it’s an administration fee to process your order, it goes to cover the rep setting up your new phone, I laughed and said, which part does it cover, is it the one where he presses the power button or the one where they take out the sim tray insert the sim and then put the sim tray back. It’s an underhanded way for providers to make a few bucks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AKChris82 Chris Williams

    To be honest..why do an Early upgrade just to get a Phone..doesn’t matter if it’s the i5 or Android? Just so you can be the first to get one? if you have less then 3 months left till your Upgrade..just WAIT!!!! people whom have bought iphones such as myself know..that the first batch of devices usually have a defect. So wait..those 3 months..& those who want to switch to another carrier..are ya will to spend THAT MUCH just to switch? wait out your contract if it’s less than a Year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.karycinski Andrew Karycinski

    i think they are trying to recover their etf for failing to and having to pay for not aquring t-mobile

  • http://twitter.com/sureine surein edwards

    At least the option to early upgrade is only $36. In Ireland you have to buy out your contract which can wind up being several hundred depending on how much time you have left.

  • Anonymous

    Would anyone explain how the sophistication of the phone is relevant to the fee increase. Until it is shown (there is no transparency), the reason does not justify the increase imo. It’s a poof, just to squeeze more money out of their customers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001783517599 Gregory D Foster

    I have always complained about the upgrade fee and it’s always been removed. Please tell me the logic of charging me $18, or in this case $36, for giving you MORE money for 2 years!!! It’s absolute greed at its best and utter BS!

  • Ralph Taylor

    I did not even know this until I got my bill. When the rep asked me about paying for the new phone I said put it on the bill. She said they do not add things to the bill it had to be paid by credit card. i did not have a piece of paper I see that said anything about this. I knew that I should have switched to Verizon but thought this was easier. So next time I will switch to Verizon or someone else.