Top message: Upgrade Fee by toddraderman
Replying to: The solution to your problem is simple. by epik
I have the fix for your problem: stop signing a contract.
We have the power and we don't use it. If you don't like the fee, pay the full retail (the real one, not the one you think you paid), or find another company that won't charge you (yet).
There are (at least) two disincentives to doing this; One is you still in effect pay for the subsidized handset even though you haven't taken the subsidy. The other is phone technology is moving so quickly that it's hard to keep using a phone for more than two years. Once everyone makes the transition to 4G maybe it will be possible to keep phones longer and stay away from contracts. Still, without receiving a discount on the price of service it's a tough sell.