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AT&T Confirms Early Upgrade Price Increase to $200

Article Comments  56  

Oct 7, 2010, 4:07 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Oct 7, 2010, 4:40 PM

AT&T has confirmed for Phone Scoop that it is raising the Early Upgrade fee for smartphones from $75 to $200. Users who need to upgrade to a new phone (due to loss, damage, or other reason) before they are eligible for a discount may pay the Early Upgrade fee. AT&T says the new $200 charge for early upgrades reflects the increased complexity of smartphones. AT&T points out that even with the $200 Early Upgrade fee, most smartphones will cost less than the full retail price. The Early Upgrade fee for feature phones and quick messaging devices will remain at $75. The iPhone is exempt from this program.

from AT&T
more info at BGR »



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Oct 7, 2010, 9:54 PM

Other carriers dont even have this option

The closest I get with Sprint for an early upgrade is for being a premier cust you can get full discount after one year instead of 2 if you renew. That was pretty nice Att letting people upgrade for only 75 bucks? on a new smartphone and 200 isn't bad either grant it's a big jump but still good if ya want a new phone much cheaper new then most on Ebay. & still they let you change to other phones early for only 75 whts everyone complaining abt. Now of course Att still rips you in other ways just like Verizon which is why I am with Sprint Tmobile used to be the value leader but not anymore.
Verizon Wireless has $20 early upgrades.
T-Mobile prorates the upgrade based on how long you've had the phone.

Oct 7, 2010, 10:50 PM

This is why....

Phone insurance is a good idea on all phones especially smartphones. A $50 or $125 deductible is better than an exception up or no commit pricing.

Early iphone pricing of $200 more masked as an exception upgrade for an iphone. Not to mention, att dishes those out often.

I activated an iphone for a customer back in June. She broke the phone and was elig for the early iphone upgrade pricing. Instead of getting a phone that is insurable, and is accident prone, I can't believe she bought another iphone.....amazing.

My dealer base doesn't offer an exception upgrades for smartphones. To charge $75 more and make $65 in comp from att, puts me at loss of $35.

You're right. But this is also why we need to step away from the contract model in the US. Too many people expect something for nothing and it's the wireless industry's fault for conditioning them that way.

Oct 7, 2010, 4:40 PM

Bad Idea

No, this is a bad idea.

Depending on where you are at in your contract, it requires a 2 year renewal from the date you sign. With the pricing, in most cases you're better off paying the additional $100 and not extending your contract at all. I worked for Cingular/AT&T for many years and left a couple of years ago. Once AT&T took over they just don't get it. They are trying to run it like the ran a dying landline business and are getting left in the dust. I still have their service and have no complaints, just do not like many of their policies and EVERY time they change one, it hurts the consumer. They are making plenty of money. What if I had a basic phone and wanted to early upgrade to a blackberry or Android phone? I get jamm...
You DO realize that nearly every policy that AT&T has changed in recent years has been changed so as to be identical to Verizon? Verizon is a company which has a completely unjustified reputation in some places for being 'consumer friendly' but they ...

Oct 7, 2010, 8:05 PM

Sorry, I Don't See The Justification.

I understand the reasoning why carriers do this , but as an individual that works around PLC ,VSM, CLB and other forms of highly advanced complex electronic technology in commercial equipment, It amazes me how some of these complex engineered and operable controls I work with don't cost much more than a cellphone. I'm not saying phones are not more complex than years ago, but I do find it somewhat disturbing that the few components that phones have, can cost as much as PLCs that run thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I find it completely unjustified that manufactures can get away with selling these cellphones to carriers for such a markup. But then again they can get away with it because rather than the carriers fighting ...
A mark up?

Consider....the most advanced smartphones today have 1GHZ processors, to put that into perspective, the first PC I bought completely on my own was in 1995, had a 1OO Megahertz processor, and that thing cost me $5000. Today....you can ge...

Oct 7, 2010, 10:12 PM

No Rebates = +$200

Carriers are moving away from mail-in rebates for smart phones. This is a direct impact of the iPhones no-rebate strategy.

Most smart phones are between $99-$199 (directly in line with the 3gs/i4) without rebate on a 2-year contract and $499-$599 off contract.

The +$200 is a fair way to offset the cost when a customer wants to upgrade early (after at least 6 months). This will bring the price between $299-$399 which happen to be the early upgrade price for the iPhone 3gs/4.

Coincidence? Hardly.

Oct 7, 2010, 9:44 PM


I for one think its fair! I think every carrier out there has its faults but if you are in a contract and your phone is damaged, I want options. Exception upgrade is a great option..do I pay more for the phone? yes but hey...ATT is a business..they cant just give phones away...every consumer out there thinks that the policies of any of these carriers are unfair...its amazing that people cant take responsibilty and manage there own accounts and know what there plans are and track there usage...its amazing that people start service with a carrier knowing they have a 30 day remorse period to cancel but wait 4 months and realize that they dont get great coverage and now they want to cancel but not pay no etf fees! all the time "your not providin...

Oct 7, 2010, 5:34 PM

Coninue down the same path.

Att is continuing thier policy of introducing things through the Iphone, then trickling down to their other smart phones. First the required a $30 data package on the Iphone, then the company changed the policy on their other smart phones requiring the data package.

For the past couple of years, you could do an early (or exception) upgrade on the Iphone for $200 more than the regular 2-year price. That was still $200 less than the retail price of the phone. Now they are doing the same on their other smart phones now. Don't let anyone tell you different, the Iphone runs ATT.
your allowed to complete a early upgrade to the iphone every 18 months but pay a higher cost which is ironically 200.00 more but that is not the same as a exception upgrade. The iphone was always exempt from exception upgrade and smartphones had aways...
I feel the need to point out that the $200 fee only applies to purchases in the ATT store....if you call customer service and are NICE about it, and if you have a good reason for wanting an upgrade, and you aren't covered by insurance or warranty, cus...

Oct 7, 2010, 4:11 PM

Before the flames begin...

I personally, think this is great. The only downside to it is if there's something legitimately wrong with your phone and you want something different. If it's just a "I want something new and shiny!", by all means, charge away!
From my experience working for AT&T...most 'problems' people have don't actually exist or are not the device but the network (dropped calls). There is a very precise system that AT&T has if you know about it. If you return the same model 3 times with ...

Oct 7, 2010, 6:09 PM

so i can have a WP7 phone for 200$??

nice! haha
no its 200 + whatever the contract price on the phone is.

Oct 7, 2010, 4:28 PM

Phonescoop somewhat has the facts wrong

A cust that has a defective phone and phone is out of warranty or is not eligible for warranty due to liquid or physical damage MAY be ELIGIBLE for a exception upgrade. This means no insurance or warranty and you dont want to pay full price for phone. You wont pay the ETF fee like phonescoop says in the article. If the line is at least 6 months into the contract and no exception upgrades in last 12 months you can do a exception upgrade. All this means is that you can upgrade at the 2 year discount pricing and pay one time upgrade fee of 18.00 plus pay 200.00 more than the 2 year pricing. Iphone is excluded from the exception upgrade by the way. Example is that if im eligible for exception upgrade and I wanted the captivate. I would pay 400.0...
I just want to say also that if it is a nonsmartphone that it is still 75.00 more than 2 year pricing. This exception upgrade pricing only for the circumstance if you have a phone that is defective that cannot be replaced.
The article never mentioned ETFs.
Shocked Posters that usually insult or reprimand the Moderators, generally do not last much longer after the attack. Surprised Very Happy
But for a lot of people with regular defects after the 1 year manufacturer's warranty, they would be better off cancelling (for less than $200) and buying the phone at a new 2-year contract price.

Google Voice makes this all the more easier.

Oct 7, 2010, 4:23 PM

not the price..but the complexity...

this could have been worded better.
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