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AT&T Increases Activation Fee to $40

Article Comments  50  

Jun 12, 2014, 10:56 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T has bumped up the price of activating new equipment on two-year plans from $36 to $40. The change went into effect June 8. The fee doesn't apply to AT&T Next plans, though AT&T told Fierce Wireless that heavy adoption of its early upgrade program played a role in increasing the activation fee for those signing contracts. AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel claimed "there are administrative and other costs associated with activating or upgrading a device" on two-year plans. Sprint charges a $36 activation fee, Verizon charges a $35 activation fee (waived if customers sign up for Edge within two month), and T-Mobile doesn't charge an activation fee at all for customers who select a Simple Choice plan.


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Jun 12, 2014, 12:24 PM

Nothing but a scam.

In what other business do they offer a product for $200, then when you check out add another $40 because OMG it's so expensive and we forgot to price our products to include employee payroll and the electricity and phone bill?

Or how about advertising a product for 50% off, then you get to the store and they tack on an extra $40 because the advertised discount is more than they can afford?
pay the full price of the phone and you wont have to worry about it, if you dont wanna do that stop complaining and pay the fee

i hate when i used to get calls about this because you do have a choice
I doubt anyone will even notice the increase.

Honestly, when i upgraded the Upgrade Fee wasn't even noticeable.

By the way, wireless providers sell AIR. They have always gotten over on consumers. There's nothing new here.
T Bone

Jun 12, 2014, 7:29 PM

The Real Purpose of the Upgrade/Activation Fee

I heard this in 2010 from at&t corporate during an official visit to our site:

Everyone knows that the activation fee, the upgrade are completely bogus, nonsense fees. Nobody likes them, not even the employees of at&t.

However, customers tend to be sticklers, they want to try to 'negotiate' to get the lowest possible price. at&t doesn't not negotiate the cost of rate plans, therefore the only way to make customers feel like they are getting a good deal, is to pretend to demand more than you really want by charging fees that you don't really intend to collect.

So the way we accomplish that is by charging completely bogus fees, like the upgrade fee, that we have no intention of collecting, so that when customers get angry, you can t...
wow good to know! I am switching to AT&T tonight after work, I didnt know I could negotiate those fees away
You are 100% incorrect I work for AT&T from a corporate level and we do not I repeat do not waive upgrade fees we are not authorized to. Customers can attempt to call customer service but even they aren't waiving them as much. The intent of the fee in...

Jun 14, 2014, 11:14 PM

Let us discuss the reason behind this further.....

They are REALLY trying to make people switch to Next. It IS FAIR. You only pay so as often as you upgrade - if grandma Eleanor keeps her phone for 3-4 years, she was ALWAYS paying full retail for the phone on the back-end. After the 2 years, everything else was profit for the company - did you seriously think a company could take a $450 hit on a device and still swim?

People, realize, your contracts were nothing more than full retail to begin with. At least this time around, if you own a device and want to add it, it only cost $15 (usually). As long as you aren't a data hog and can use WiFi to do your Netflix and porn, you'll be fine - and even then, you only watch 5 mins of porn so you'll be okay.

I can't say much for the cellul...
I love the girl analogy!!!

But everything you wrote is true! I have AT&T and I am really impressed with not only their network but their customer service. I had Verizon for about 9 years before switching and although their network was good, it jus...

Jun 13, 2014, 12:57 AM

Verizon will be next.

The bean counters over at Evil Red will calculate the four dollars per new subscriber as a loss in revenue and before you know it Verizon will increase its Activation fee to match.
2 words. VZW Edge.

Jun 14, 2014, 8:41 AM

Non Story!

I am on the next program with all my devices and they don't charge fee's!
I completely understand why they charge for these though, when it comes to subsidizing the cost of the phone the carriers don't immediately make $ so they try and get as much as they can up front. The Next program has afforded them AND US the ability to get what we want. They want to make $ off us faster and we don't want contracts but get the choice to get a NEW phone every 12 or 18 months!

I am a HUGE fan of no contracts and new equipment every 12 months!!!

Jun 13, 2014, 9:00 PM

For the love of God, please read people

This only effects people who sign 2 year contracts - as bringing your own device is waived at the moment.

Whether or not you can understand, nor admit it, you've ALWAYS (ALWAYS) - GOT THAT? ALWAYS have paid full retail for the phone. What, did you expect them to take a $450 loss on a phone and somehow stay in business? No, they just jacked up the monthly bill to make up for it over 24 months.

Now, at least when you're done paying off your device, the *hidden* subsidy goes away. Before grandma would keep her phone for 3-4 years and you'd secretly be paying for a phone that was FAR paid off.

Also, say you want to add a line - It's $15 (for 10GB and above) and you have unlimited everything besides data. As long as you own de...
The fact that the fee is waived if you sign up for the Jump program only proves that there actually is NO COST imposed by activating a new account that needs to be recouped....which is the traditional (and totally bogus) excuse for the activation/upgr...

Jun 13, 2014, 2:28 PM

Switch to cricket if theres a problem

switch to cricket same coverage, up to 8mbps lte/hspa taxes included.

Jun 12, 2014, 11:32 AM

T-Mobile Charges...

T-Mobile charges a $10 SIM card fee... Where as other carriers that use them provide them free on activation or upgrading. While much lower, the fact is, this is where they have a fee to start service (Activation) but called something else.
Only if you don't already have a SIM card from your first phone, and are buying a non-T-Mobile phone which doesn't include one.

Jun 12, 2014, 2:12 PM

ha, i laugh

I never pay activation or upgrade fee
as long as you call CS, they will take care of it.
they rather have you stuck with them for 2 yrs then worry about these fees

Jun 12, 2014, 11:31 AM

What carrier will be next?

I wonder which carrier will follow suit next.... Seems to be an industry standard. 😕
If AT&T is doing it, I can guarantee Verizon will be next, followed by Sprint. Sprint is generally the last to follow suit, but the Duopoly are always quick after another.

Jun 12, 2014, 11:43 AM

SIM card

For AT&T, when you get a new phone, don't you just take the SIM card from the old phone and put it in the new phone and then it's activated?
Not if it's a new signup or a phone discount, which requires the incredibly expensive process of an underpaid phone operator clicking a few buttons to sell you the phone.
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