AT&T Confirms Device Upgrade Fee Rising to $36
Upgrade fee? at&t is GSM...
I can see carriers who do not use GSM charging a fee because you actually have to call/go online to upgrade or change handsets. With GSM the subscriber has all the control.
It is charged when they offer to sell you a phone for $100 as an incentive to sign another 2-year contract, but wish they had talked you into paying $118. It would be criminal fraud to actually say they are charging you $118 for a phone they had agreed to sell you for $100, so they call it something else (absurdly claiming it to be for their cost of a 2-minute website session during which you clicked a few buttons).
Think of it this way....you're getting a phone that is worth somewhere between $500-$700, and you're getting it for at least 75% off and maybe as much as 100% off depending on the make and model and whatever promotions are going on
So when the carrier sells you a phone, they take a big hit, they lose money. Indeed, the carrier loses money even if you buy the phone at the no contract price.
The upgrade fee is simply to re-coup a fraction of that loss....it's like when you buy a discount card at a store, $25 a year gives you a 25% discount on everything in the store....well, the upgrade fee is like that....$36 for a 75%-100% discount....it is not unreasona...
What? You thought they were just going to forget about having to eat that much profit at the end of the year? They're going to get their money back somehow and that somehow is out of your pocket whether you like it or not.
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