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AT&T Doubles Phone Upgrade Fee
On Heels of Numerous Other Hikes...
by Karl Bode 09:04AM Monday Feb 13 2012
AT&T's been busy showing lately that wireless sector "competition" isn't all it's cracked up to be, and why the carrier has a bad reputation in some quarters. The company recently decided to eliminate their $10 SMS plan in order to push all users to their unlimited $20 SMS plan, impose new fees on users who don't use enough long distance, jack up prices on wireless data, and wage a quiet war against grandfathered unlimited data users. Now the company says they're doubling their handset upgrade fee to $36. "Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before, and because of that the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee,” says the company. This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years." Verizon charges no such fee, while T-Mobile charges $18 and Sprint also charges $36.

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troy201

@newsouth.net

Att

I can't imagine the thoughts of where we would be had they been allowed to purchase T-Mobile. As opposed to telecommunications becoming more competitive, all we keep hearing is corporate greed. I can't imagine 5 years from now or even next year. I'm happy with Straighttalk for 48.61 a month for however long that will last.
Goldman

join:2002-06-21
Maumelle, AR

Re: Att

ATT has been pushing me away for years. Now unlimited is 2Gb and the upgrade fee is doubled.

I plan to go to StraightTalk when my contract expires.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

2 edits

Re: Att

Add me to the list of StraightTalk.

Although I don't think I can wait until my contract expires. T-mobile has decided to incorrectly bill me for the last 4 months. They fix it every time but I have to call in and hassle with these losers.

And that 20 dollars for txt messaging is unreal.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: Att

The StraightTalk plan looks rather juicy.. Especially their promo with the SIM Card.

Heck, it'd be cheaper to buy a phone outright, a StraightTalk SIM, and a year of access on their $45 plan ($499 at the moment with a $40 discount). Sure, the initial cost would be a bit.. but you're still saving money. Not to mention not having to worry about getting chopped off, going over, or those monthly payments.

I'd buy a D4 outright, unlock it, and stuff in a StraightTalk SIM.
--
Bresnan 30M/5M | CenturyLink 5M/896K
MyWS[PnmIIX3@3.3G,8G RAM,500G+1.5T+2T HDDs,Win7]
WifeWS[A64@2G,2G RAM,120G HDD,Win7]
Router[2xP3@1G,1G RAM,18G HDD,Allied Telesyn AT2560FX,2xDigital QP DE504,Compaq DP NC3131,2xSun QP GigaSwift, SMC 8432BTA, Gentoo]
MrHappy316
Wish I had my tank
Premium
join:2003-01-02
Monterey, CA
I bailed on AT&T also. Got sick of paying almost $100 just to have an iPhone. Switched to T-Mobile's prepaid $30 unlimited data and text with 100 min of phone and got the $199 Exhibit II 4G. It runs all the apps I had with my iPhone and it doesn't cost a fortune.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Re: Att

Add me to the list of former AT&T customers. Still use iPhone, except on Verizon's network. My mother took over my remaining AT&T lines that include my mother's phone (Samsung Rugby II) and my grandmother's phone (Pantech Breeze). Only downside is I eat up Mom's family talk minutes when I call her or grandma because you don't get mobile to mobile on two different carriers. I have the unlimited on my VZW ($69 voice plus $30 unlimited data and $10 handset insurance along with $5 for 250 texts) and VZ is worth it when Mom uses my phone because AT&T has no signal in some spots. She also used my phone when we had the Freak Nor'easter last October and had widespread power outages. Verizon worked, AT&T was useless during that disaster. I even had VZW 4G on my mobile broadband card while I used my laptop in the dark.
--
All of my CPE (including my EMTA) is customer owned. The only Comcast owned equipment in my house is the CableCards in the two TiVO boxes I own.
hescominsoon

join:2003-02-18
Brunswick, MD

Re: Att

Sprint gives unlimited mobile to mobile irregardless of carrier on select plans..
neftv

join:2000-10-01
Broomall, PA
would my Nokia 5800 work on Straight Talk? It works on ATT.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Is this only if chg phones before contract up?

The article says Sprint charges a fee to switch to a new device. I never paid that fee ever. When contract expired and I signed up for a new phone and a new contract, there was no fee to do that other than signing up for a new contract. Is AT&T the same.

Or is this upgrade fee only apply if you switch phones during your contract period? The BBR'S news item and the linked news story don't make clear when this fee would apply.
--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Is this only if chg phones before contract up?

No.

You could be out of contract for 10 years, they will still charge the 36 dollars to stay their customer with a new device.
Expand your moderator at work
MrHappy316
Wish I had my tank
Premium
join:2003-01-02
Monterey, CA

Re: Is this only if chg phones before contract up?

Only applies if you upgrade your phone thru the company. Because AT&T uses GSM sim cards you can switch phones or upgrade anytime using a full price phone with no charge.
jpkjeff

join:2012-02-09
Oklahoma City, OK
The upgrade fee IS charged, but there are tons of promotions where you don't have to pay it (or it's reduced). I'm on a legacy ex-employee plan and only pay $18, but because I do the entire upgrade process once a year online-ordering the phone, receiving it via UPS two days later, and then going online to change the ESN-I don't even get charged that fee.
I also know from working there that if you complain loudly enough, they will waive or reduce it to keep customers since it really is a stupid fee, especially if you do the entire process yourself (rather than in a store or over the phone with a rep, although even then it certainly doesn't cost the company $36).
jpkjeff

join:2012-02-09
Oklahoma City, OK

Re: Is this only if chg phones before contract up?

To clarify: I was talking about Sprint.

jhacker

join:2001-12-11
Peoria, IL
said by FFH5:

The article says Sprint charges a fee to switch to a new device. I never paid that fee ever. When contract expired and I signed up for a new phone and a new contract, there was no fee to do that other than signing up for a new contract...

You must have gotten lucky. Sprint was happy to charge me this fee EVERY time I upgraded. I even tried once to get them to waive it, when my son's iPhone was stolen 3 days after we bought it. "Nope, sorry, we don't waive that fee. It wasn't our fault that your phone was stolen."

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI

Att better rethink things if possible

This corrupt corporation wants customers, but don't seem to know how to earn or keep them. Maybe eroding consumer rights wasn't a good idea...Rethink Not possible!

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

Re: Att better rethink things if possible

They have consistently shown that all they care about are executive bonuses (even when they **** up) and their shareholder and DO NOT care about their customers, their network, or their own employees. This is a company that has shown nothing but the worst that companies can do.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | Droid Charge TweakStock by dwitherell
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
said by nonamesleft:

This corrupt corporation wants customers, but don't seem to know how to earn or keep them. Maybe eroding consumer rights wasn't a good idea...Rethink Not possible!

Americans willingly put up with spending more on their monthly wireless plans than they do their car leases. Compare this to France, where unlimited voice, text, and 3 GB of data (throttled thereafter) is $20/month.

You'd think they would demand change from their government, but instead they vote in Tea Partiers. Sigh.

ftt2go

@prserv.net

$$ they charge new activation fee existing customers

Also if u have an employer discount or plan that waives activation fee on 2nd wireless line, they will still charge u full activation fee if you go with ordering their landline or u-verse. No discount or waiver for loyal 10 year existing customers.
desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI

1 recommendation

Consumer Boycott

""Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before, and because of that the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee,"

Indeed they have; because barcode scanning the IEMI and inserting a SIM is so labor intensive.

Really, the solution for this is that consumers simply refuse the purchase if the sales associate won't waive the fee. I did this when the fee was $18; the sales person refused to waive it, the manager refused to waive it so I walked out of the store.

I purchased the device online and moved my existing SIM.
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

Re: Consumer Boycott

i HATE that they put that sim card in before they ship, because i have to take the thing back out when i get it any way to transfer contacts from the old phone!! i dont think the average consumer is so dense they cant figure out how to pop the sim out of the "card" and in to the phone.

processing costs my rear! the imei is on a sticker on the outside of the freaking box! all they need to do is slap the sim "card" and other "upsale enclosures" in the box, close it, put in shipping box, slap label on, done.

that does not cost them $36. and even if it did, unless its a full price no contract purchase, theyl more than make that up over the contract. its just another BS just because we can fee..

not to mention the fact, that if its an online upgrade, when you get it YOU are supposed to verifi the imei and the number off the sim online during the activation process.
wkm001

join:2009-12-14

So it is basically...

an activation fee? Isn't that what everyone else calls it?

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: So it is basically...

said by wkm001:

an activation fee? Isn't that what everyone else calls it?

Aren't activation fees typically waived as part of signing up for a contract extension? I see that advertised that way all the time.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: So it is basically...

No.

I sell phones part time and we can not remove the upgrade fee. People ask all the time.

Rarely the carrier waives the upgrade fee, but that is not often.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: So it is basically...

said by DataRiker:

No.

I sell phones part time and we can not remove the upgrade fee. People ask all the time.

Rarely the carrier waives the upgrade fee, but that is not often.

It was always waived for me by Sprint. Of course, I always dealt directly with Sprint and not a 3rd party phone seller.

--
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
»www.politico.com/2012-election/


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: So it is basically...

Sprint activation is permanently waived where I work for new customers. You don't even have to ask.

Upgrade fees are generally waived one weekend out of every month.

ATT, as far as I know has never done this.

Rambo76098

join:2003-02-21
Columbus, OH

Re: So it is basically...

I worked at Radioshack for a little while and AT&T had a few "sale events" where they waived the fee. Was usually around holidays.
jpkjeff

join:2012-02-09
Oklahoma City, OK
DataRiker is correct.
I used to work for Sprint and many of their third party retailers like Radio Shack, Best Buy, and other resellers would almost always offer promotions that waived activation fees (for new customers) or upgrade fees (for those upgrading). That can be quite an incentive especially for a multi-line customer (if you were activating 4 new lines of service, that promotion would save you $144 which is a huge savings over a corporate store NOT offering that promotion).

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
You usually get a contract extension by accepting the subsidy on the new phone anyway. I've always been stuck with it when upgrading and my contract has been extended each time. It just wasn't high enough to raise a stink over.

The 2gb throttling and this have finally pushed me to looking at other carriers, where I wouldn't have before. I've been a Cingular Wireless customer since 2001. I've put up with a lot of BS, but they're just getting downright abusive.

-- Rob
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: So it is basically...

I'm in a similar issue - I just 'renewed' my 2 year at about the same time the 2GB limit kicked in.

I'm going to actually kick back with this one, and attempt to 'force' the 2GB limit higher (stream 24x7 radio - it does work).

jeffro

join:2007-04-20
Bay City, MI

Whew!

Glad I got my new phone Saturday. What an unnecessary fee. I never really understood (besides the obvious) why paying an upgrade fee in the first place if I was due an upgrade anyway.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

So what?

Upgrade fees are completely avoidable.

No one forces the consumer to contract with AT&T.

Next "controversy", please?

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 recommendation

Re: So what?

said by elray:

Upgrade fees are completely avoidable.

No one forces the consumer to contract with AT&T.

Next "controversy", please?

This is a news site about broadband, wired and wireless. When the 2nd largest US wireless broadband carrier pulls anti-consumer shenanigans, the news belongs here.

The solution may very well be to switch carriers. Thanks to stories such as this one, I have the facts available to me to plan accordingly.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12

Of course they did

Of course they doubled the fee. How else is the CEO going to pay for that 4th yacht for his summer beach house?

/M
swarto112
Premium
join:2004-02-17
Brookfield, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

SMS - still have $5 plan

I was surprised when I upgraded to the 4S but they left the $5/mo SMS plan on...which was fine as I use the data plan heavier plus with iMessage I rarely use my limit anymore. I used to rely on Google Voice texting anyways

TransitMan
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-05
Dayton, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Hey ATT Wireless

After my contracts are up, good-bye. No more phones, no more dealing with your fees.

Also, if you are violating the TOS with me, I might just tell you kiss off and go pre-paid elsewhere, without an ETF.
--
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” - Darth Vader.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Government involvement

Not that I'm for any type of government regulation, but somebody REALLY needs to do something with this company!!

Luckily for me, AT&T is no where near me, so I couldn't use them if I wanted to and I SURELY don't!!

Personally,
This company need to be disbanded and sold off to smaller ones, just because........freaking pickles!!
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

jlibuszowski
Premium
join:2005-10-25
Hoffman Estates, IL

Re: Government involvement

said by cork1958:

Not that I'm for any type of government regulation, but somebody REALLY needs to do something with this company!!

Luckily for me, AT&T is no where near me, so I couldn't use them if I wanted to and I SURELY don't!!

Personally,
This company need to be disbanded and sold off to smaller ones, just because........freaking pickles!!

I did my part outlining many of the facts with these mergers and corporate culture at

»www.attdestroysjobs.com and at

»twitter.com/#!/attdestroysjobs

Really the best was to sum things up is the company is a MONOPOLY or at least a DUOPOLY who has a strong history of stiffing innovation, increasing prices while at the same time reducing service(s). And when they don't get their way, the current AT&T CEO Mr. Randall L. Stephenson goes to industry conferences or speaks on their investor conference calls and cries about how no one in the FCC likes them and everyone is out to get em like they are the boogeyman.

Sad to say this is one of the largest issues right now within the whole telecom space and government :

From: @attdestroysjobs to @SenJohnMcCain Sry ur McCain Fiengold Reform act on PAC donations aight working. Our CEO told #kStreet & #FCC

And you would think after so many years of corruption and ethics issues within not only the banking and financial sectors, but also telecommunications, healthcare and entertainment industries due to large political donations and interest groups looking to stuff money and buy politicians and political insiders that things would be different today.

Well Nope. sorry to say but they really truly are NOT! Just keep an eye out in the news and you will see, just the other day US President Barack Obama. Who won the election against John McCain in 2008-09. And pledged to not use SuperPac money, once again flip flopped on the issue or maybe his teleprompter broke down or was stolen and umm umm bum bum Mr. Obama had forgot what he pledged to NOT do only days before.

»www.hulu.com/watch/327290/decisi···ac-money

Oh well maybe when the US goes back to the days of Gopher and 300 baud modems and ordinary citizens see that having a US controlled RED button to shut down the internet or by allowing the government unrestricted access to US citizens emails, banking records, and ip addresses for 3 years. All because some idiot out of Texas Lamar Smith is also being influenced by PAC money from the entertainment industry/ Hollywood (trust me Hollywood is not hurting, in fact quite the opposite many of these celebs are dying of drug overdoses and alcohol issues and other substance abuse problems, because they HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY and are not happy). So anyway, hollywood puts money into Lamar Smith's piggy banks and as a result Lamar (Tx) dreams up silly things like

H.R 1981 which develops a policy of spying on US citizens, and NOT protecting against Child Pornography or other forms of abuse like it states.

»www.readwriteweb.com/archives/se···_pro.php

People may begin to WAKE UP and be like OMG!#L what the heck did we do. So I urge you ALL do you part, get involved, heck start video taping your senators and congressman and elected leaders at public events and other rallies and post them up on Youtube or other services. And start holding these folks accountable.

Ideally the best way would be to call up the FCC, Department of Labor, Department of Science and Technology that these people sit on and tell them specifically that THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT stand for this.

Cheers,
Joseph "libbs" Libuszowski

tc1uscg

join:2005-03-09
Clinton Township, MI

Doing eveyone a favor

Sprint charges 36? Gee, I've had Sprint for 13 years, and 6 phones. (well, now 5 and soon to be 4 (ported to Republic Wireless and cancelled one line), I've never paid an upgrade fee. Who gets charged this? Some newbie off the street who doesn't know any better? But, the ONLY thing wireless carriers understand is CHURN. When people start going to the likes of MetroPCS, Cricket, and other standalone companies, they get the picture.