AT&T to increase device upgrade fee to $36

AT&T is about to double the fee associated with upgrading to a new device. The current cost of $18 will double to $36 effective this Sunday, February 12th. AT&T has been sending around email notices to customers and has informed dealers of the change, which is in response to an increase in “the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device.” Official word has yet to trickle out, but courtesy of BGR you can get a look at the document reaching retail locations.

[via BGR]

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  • http://amol.humsara.com Amol M

    umm. i’m not an expert.. but what “overall costs” could  there possibly be that would warrant an $18 charge in the first place.. let alone a  100% increase to $36.
    Did their profit margins suddenly decrease and needed to offset?
    Or they just trying to squeeze the customer because they want newer phones.

    • schitzengigles10

       Yeah they do. Their profit problem is called the iPhone. They could kill so many birds with one stone by killing the iPhone and embracing Android, but then again, I’m sure that’s what most of us on here think to begin with.

      • $8357570

        what are you talking about?

        Their problem is called the looming antitrust situation surrounding acquiring tmobile.

        They’re just in no uncertain terms passing off the costs to the customers. Surprise? nah.

        • Tim242

          iPhones do cost the carriers more than they are worth. However, credit whores demanding $25 courtesy.credits for a few hours of outage, or demanding upgrade fees be waived….are the real reason behind this. Btw, I work at awful att.

      • jbrandonf

        Kill the iPhone and lose customers because of it? I’m sure they’d rather decreased profit margins vs no profit margins.

    • Jason Crumbley

      They have to make up the money from paying DTK that 3 billion dollars from the failed take over somehow. 

  • cbkcc1

    they charge a separate fee?  i mean vzw may cost more but no dropped calls and no dumb fees is nice.

  • Bob G

    Only lazy people pay for those fees. I always get them waived whenever I upgrade

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      So then you must only upgrade in-store (vs online), because you have to act surprised when they say there’s an upgrade fee when you ask, and then threaten to walk out if princess can’t get a deal

    • Tim242

      …And credit whores like you are the reason for the increase.

      • shonangreg

        Customers who demand not to be charged to continue being a customer are the reasons the other customers have to pay more to continue being customers?

        Isn’t the solution obvious?

        • Tim242

          You would think. They keep telling us that they are cracking down. But, as soon as customers escalate, supervisors and FSR’s just give them the credits. It just undermines us, and they continue to call in every month doing the same thing.

          • shonangreg

            It seems someone has a such a sense of entitlement that they don’t even know when they’re being made fun of ;-)

            People paying not for services but for the privilege of being charged later? Does AT&T think it is running a cell phone network or a nightclub — with a high cover charge guaranteeing elite clientele to hobnob with?

            The obvious solution I was alluding to was all the customers refusing to pay the upgrade fee, not the managers refusing to grant the exemptions. When AT&T sees their customers walking out the door, the upgrade fee will disappear.

          • Tim242

            Trust me, people threaten to cancel all day, every day for this very reason. Nobody ever does. People keep upgrading over and over. Att’s retention rate of iPhone users prove that. I love it when the retention Sept is closed. I say, “I’m sorry you are unhappy about the upgrade fees.”. “It will just take me a few moments to give you your early term fee amounts, and get those lines cancelled.”. 100% of the time, they say never mind.

          • jbrandonf

            Dude are you an employee talking about customers like that?

          • Tim242

            Is the truth hard to handle?

      • JSYOUNG571

        These are the same credit whores that keep your behind employed with a job, don’t you forget that.  What everyone should do is wait to their contract is up without renewing 6 months early before the end of contract.  That gives you more bargaining power. If At&t doesn’t budge on the $36.00 fee…Leave! After so many leaves Timmy will be laid off and won’t be able to call people credit whores behind a screen name. He will be asking if anybody is hiring.

        • Tim242

          You completely miss the point. Typical customer.

  • Andrew torres

    here comes the shit storm changes between the last 3 major carriers now…i hope this doesnt catch on for shit….this has got to go viral like that $2 convenience fee Verizon was trying to push on every payment you made. Thats what made them drop the whole charge, when the customers started flooding their executive offices with distaste for it.

    • ChanceIll

      They’re simply trying to make up for the billions of dollars lost on the botched T-Mobile deal. The Deathstar at its best!

    • Stephen_Rockefeller

      No it was the FCC that suggested they better not charge that 2 bucks…..

  • TheWenger

    Why not just increase the price of the phone? All these “oh by the way” charges are what make customers mad. They tend to like to sneak them in too and hope you don’t notice.

    • Dylan Koenig

      Its a good point, if they simply raised the price of each phone and got rid of the upgrade fee in general im sure the same result would occur for the bottom line but customs would be more content. Definitively something that should be suggested to them. The issue would be a price increase across the board, aka walmarts, best buys, targets, radio shacks, you name it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Carney/1004713533 Dustin Carney

    This angers me, on verizon i had absolutely no upgrade fee’s to my knowledge and now i have this? WTF and i plan on buying the note so i gotta fork out that extra money

  • the_suffering

    so typically att premier has this fee waived.  is this still the practice?  crosses fingers.  i have to say the difference between support between premier and regular customer service is night and day.

    • Tim242

      So, it’s good customer service to waive the fees for some, and not others? Btw, I work in att business care.

      • Chris Lambert

        I would say it’s good customer service not to charge for signing up for a new contract.

        I really don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t just leave – In the UK, I’d just walk across the road and sign up with a new network for free.

        • the_suffering

          i dont have much choice where i live.  att or sprint..  verizon & tmobile work but dont have local numbers and are edge or 1x.  sprint is barely just implementing 3g here and their coverage is crap.  att here works the best and gives me 3g.  if i lived in a larger area i would leave, but based upon whats offered here att wins.  that and premier customer service is damn good.

        • Tim242

          I don’t agree with upgrade fees. However, they exist for all carriers, with the exception to Verizon. I believe it’s a way to recoup costs from credit whores. Interestingly, Verizon doesn’t hand out credits like candy…and they don’t have an upgrade fee. I may work at att…but am a happy Verizon customer.

  • the_suffering

    also, who else thinks this increase is part of their plan offset the billions they just had to give tmobile.

  • BigCiX

    Everyday something new with at&t is making that carrier look like garbage!

  • Aslan N.L. Bollin

    yes, because it costs att so much money to have me buy a phone, open the box, put my old sim in the new phone and turn it on…… you f-in kidding me right?

  • http://phandroid victor ray

    Att is pissed off because the merger didn’t go their way…so they got to take their frustration out on their customers and make up for those lost billions of revenue ..

  • hulk smash

    People complain but you are still on ATT!

  • presstech

    What the hell costs do they mean. You don’t even need talk to a person to get a phone and activate. Should be zero fee to do that.

  • Alex Mercer

    Pathetic. Greedy ass companies are getting even more greedy. Maybe a huge outcry will make them change their minds like when Verizon tried to charge people for paying online.

  • chuckles87

    i dont see how it costs $36 to move a simcard from one phone to another. i would expect this coming from a cdma carrier but from a gsm carrier it all the more bs

    • Dylan Koenig

      The physical change does not cost that much, more like the reps time your taking (factor in average pay 14$ per hour). What costs is the tower maintenance, upgrading the service everywhere, the system that is in place to make the activation take minutes not hours, the people who are working to make sure these systems stay online, etc. Its what happens behind the scene to make your visit in the store as quick and efficient as possible so you can go home and enjoy your new cutting edge phone that is available as a subsidized option and not simply a full priced (700$) option from Samsung directly, or htc or motorola, etc.. 

      It makes sense if you look into and understand the detailed process that happens in that 10 minutes you are standing at the store.

      • tomxp411

        Of course, if the subsidies weren’t around, the phones wouldn’t cost $700, either… they’d probably be in the $300-400 range… it’s the stupid, broken subsidy system that rips people off when they need to replace a phone outside their 2 year upgrade cycle.

        And the rep’s time? What a joke. Every other business builds that in to a little something called the “sale price.”

        This is simply another way to get more money out of customers for no reason other than the fact that they can do it.

  • abc

    TAKE TO FACEBOOK & TWITTER. 
    This is bullsh*t. If At&t successfully does this then you can be certain the other carriers will follow.

    $36 a line to upgrade? A family of 5 upgrading would cost $180. I need to pay you $36 so that YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM A 2 YR CONTRACT? 

    Even if you don’t have At&t you should voice your opinion on their Facebook, this is bad for everyone. 

    Hope everyone sounds off and they change their mind the way Verizon did with the $2 fee to pay bill online.

    • Stephen_Rockefeller

      Verizon didnt “change their mind”……..they fee was borderline illegal, and they were gonna get investigated by the FCC.

      • abc

        Ok well instead of arguing with me about why or why not Verizon backtracked on the fee, put that energy into voicing your opinion about this BS upgrade fee on At&t’s Facebook/Twitter.

        Excessive upgrade fee’s pulled out of their ass should be considered illegal too.

        • Stephen_Rockefeller

          My comment wasnt argumentative at all, just informative……..you must have service with ATT, good luck hope those fees dont become a reality

      • Ethere

         This isn’t true either. Where I work we charge $5.99 to take a payment over the phone, $2.00 over the IVR, and free online. It’s not illegal or something worthy of being investigated over. Verizon stopped it because of the uproar of customers.

    • Dylan Koenig

      You can always not upgrade and not have at&t take about 300-400$ (2000$ total) off of each phone and still pay your monthly bill that you rely on to communicate with friends and family?

      Honestly i think they would prefer that as you still pay the bill for the service you use and they do not need to take a large hit to keep you as a customer.

      Just saying….

      • abc

        Didn’t even understand what you said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636691113 Sid Red
  • Tim242

    I work at att. You people that are going to call and bitch to have them waived…YOU ARE THE REASON IT IS BEING RAISED. They’re raising it to make up lost money on credit whores.

    • UMA_Fan

      Are you kidding?  At&t over the years has REAPED in revenue and market share over the years thanks to the iPhone.  At the same time they let their smaller competitor T-Mobile USA destroy them with HSPA+ network upgrades and coverage… the very same technology they use.  T-Mobile has HSPA+ 42 nationwide.  At&t only has HSPA+ 14 in most areas and LTE in a few cities all while charging consumers almost four times what T-Mobile does.

      At&t makes moves like this because they are at a point where they have so much of the market that they are not afraid of losing drastic market share to anyone else.  At&t makes plenty of money, this is about them trying not to make LESS money as before .  It also has a lot to do with the iPhone subsidy since that’s what they sell most of.

      How does a smaller competitor like T-Mobile do so much more with it’s network, make less money, have better customer care, and not charge a $36 upgrade or increase it’s data rates?

      • Tim242

        I’ll start by saying that I am a happy Verizon customer. T-Mobile does not have H+42 nationwide. Here in AR, they only have H+ in Bentonville, and it’s 21. ATT’s H+ is 21 in most places, but it’s not as widespread as it should be. The answer to your question of how T-Mobile does so much, is simple. They are not profitable. They have put themselves in a position where their future is very uncertain. Not to forget, they only have 33 million customers to support. ATT loses a ton of money on giving out too many credits and adjust ants. We waive upgrade fees, and give out courtesy credits like they are candy. Then, we allow early upgrading for any smartphone, other than iPhones. On top of that, people want the phones discounted. I love the people that think they deserve $25-50 in courtesy credit EVERY MONTH because they have bad service lol. I spend all day listening to credit whores. That is a huge problem.

        • UMA_Fan

          T-Mobile USA IS profitable.  They make a few hundred million dollars NET every quarter.  It’s in fact, the most profitable branch of Deutche Telekom outside of T-Mobile Germany.  At&t’s net profit is in the billions.  Sprint looses money every quarter.  In fact I’m going to bet since at&t, sprint, and verizon all posted net losses for Q4 2011, When T-Mobile’s financials get announced later this month they are going to be the only carrier to post a profit for quarter 4.

          You still ignore the point that since at&t rakes in more than triple the profits of t-mobile they can’t afford to even keep their network on par with T-Mobile?  THERE IS NO EXCUSE.  HSPA+42 may not be everywhere but it’s in a lot of places.  T-Mobile HSPA+ 21 has better ethernet backhaul so you typically get better speeds on Tmo even with that.  I’m trying to stay objective and not be a T-Mobile cheerleader but you can’t rationally justify at&t failing to keep up their network with T-Mobile from a technology standpoint and then raise their prices on consumers at the same time.

          Credits and adjustments are something EVERY carrier does.  That’s the most BS justification I’ve ever heard.  There’s nothing you can point to that shows at&t credits customers more than any other carrier.  EVERY carrier’s goal is to cut down on courtesy credits, that’s not news.  Every year. exluding the most recent JD Powers wireless customer care study, at&t always was at the bottom while T-Mobile was usually first or second.  …And you can bet you don’t get to the top without issuing a ton of credits, justified or not.

          • Tim242

            No doubt, att has not kept up. They still lack 3G in a lot of areas saturated in 4G by Verizon, and H+ by T-Mobile. Just saying that they have a lot more towers and customers to deal with, than T-Mobile. T-Mobile USA is for sale for a reason. Let me tell you that other carriers DO NOT give out credits like we do at att. Only valid credits are given by Verizon…and those aren’t always easy. At att, we just give in to bitch customers. I had a man rep shopping for credits today. He had been given $3000 in courtesy credits in thw last 3 years. This is why prices go up. I blame att more than the credit whores. They should put their foot down. But, they want to create monsters and lose money instead.

        • Dean Politis

          AT&T rep who is a happy Verizon customer?  That says everything!!! Maybe if people like you actually gave business to the company they worked for, the rest of us wouldn’t get these bogus charges.

          As for your so called “credit whores”, why do you put the blame on them? The problem is AT&T not them. If the weren’t successful, they wouldn’t keep doing it.

          • Tim242

            Haha over half of us are Verizon customers. That says we are smart. Solid Verizon LTE here FTMFW!

      • jbrandonf

        LOL, how does at&t charge four times as much? The roaming agreements Tmo has with regional carriers shows up on the nationwide map of coverage but H+ is only available on Tmo-owned towers.

    • jbrandonf

      Referring to customers as credit whores is a fast way to get yourself fired. Not only that but you’re not making yourself or the carrier look any better.

      • Tim242

        Is the truth too hard to handle?

        • jbrandonf

          Why don’t you give me your full name so I can forward that up my supervisor chain?
          ——————————

          • Tim242

            You are an idiot

          • jbrandonf

            I didn’t think you would.

          • Tim242

            Why would I? I am entitled to my opinion without fear of retaliation. You are part of the problem.

          • jbrandonf

            You’re right, except if you identify yourself as an employee. You’re part of the problem with at&t’s image. Uneducated, insulting representatives like yourself make the good ones look bad.

          • Tim242

            I am not uneducated, or rude. Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean I’m a bad rep. I put up with abuse from customers all day long. Most of which, just want credits. It is a huge problem. If you were a rep, you’d understand. The customer is not always right. The good customers have to pay for the crap that these bitches don’t want to.

          • jbrandonf

            I am.

          • Tim242

            I am not sure that I believe that. So, if I have you my ID, number? What is it called? Where would you go to look me up?

          • jbrandonf

            Oh your ATTUID? It’s letters and numbers by the way. I can look your numbers up on Sales Dashboard, or check you on tSpace. All the while I’m searching mycsp to text you the cobc from my cou. ——————————

          • Tim242

            You are not a rep. You did not name the one place to look up that attuid. You may work in sales…but you are not a phone rep. That explains your lack of knowledge of what we have to put up with.

          • jbrandonf

            Who cares?! I’m the actual face of the company.. I deal with the same stuff you do, troubleshooting phones, reviewing bills, teaching features, paying bills, selling and I’m not out here insulting the very people who pay my bills.

          • Tim242

            You most certainly do not deal with the same stuff we do. We have to fix the accounts that you people f up. Stop adding features that they don’t want. Stop putting new lines on individual plans on a family plan account. People are nice to you. People are nicer in person, than when hiding behind a phone. One day ina call center, you’d be calling them worse than credit whores. You don’t have to deal with after the sell. We have to not only put up with constant customer abuse, but have to clean up the messes made by you COR store reps. When you walk a day in my shoes, then come back and talk $hit.

          • jbrandonf

            No wonder you have so many problems, look at your general attitude towards people! Either way, this really isn’t the medium for airing out your frustrations.

          • Tim242

            I am a great rep. I get great WAVE scores. That’s where a 3rd party company calls customers and surveys them on their experience. My original point, was that people are a$$es when they call, and demand credits. That causes prices to go up. What’s interesting is, a lot of people claim that you store reps promise them waived upgrade and activation fees. That causes even more problems. We have a lot of customers that credit whore every month. We have some with as high as $3000.00 in courtesy credits over the last 3 years. You have np idea.

          • Tim242

            CSP is the only thing you listed that phone reps use. So, I proved my point

          • jbrandonf

            LOL..I’m a store rep. And cobc is company-wide. You’re certainly crazy if you think that doesn’t apply to you. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re in violation of it by identifying yourself as an employee and calling customers “credit whores.”

      • JSYOUNG571

        These are the same credit whores that keep your behind employed with a job, don’t you forget that.  What everyone should do is wait to their contract is up without renewing 6 months early before the end of contract.  That gives you more bargaining power. If At&t doesn’t budge on the $36.00 fee…Leave! After so many leaves Timmy will be laid off and won’t be able to call people credit whores behind a screen name. He will be asking if anybody is hiring.

        • jbrandonf

          You replied to the wrong guy, but I agree with you.

    • tomxp411

      What the frak is a “credit whore”? 

      EVERY OTHER BUSINESS IN THE WORLD builds its profit in to the sale of its items… except the cell phone industry, which overcharges for the phone in the first place, then gives the customer a “discount” to make the customer feel like they’re doing the customer a favor. 

      Screw that. The cost of upgrading should be ZERO. As in NOTHING. It’s really not that frakking hard to pull a SIM card out of phone phone and put it in another… or am I missing some secret, arcane process that’s involved with the upgrade process?

      • Tim242

        I agree, upgrade fees are bogus. Bogus, or not…they exist. So, while most pay them with no fuss…a growing number of people call yelling, demanding they be waived. Well, since so many people are getting out of it, the price is raising to make up the cost. Credit whores are people that have att service, that call every month for credits….for valid charges. I had a man Thursday that was yelling because his bill was too high. I offered him ways to reduce it. He refused. He wanted a ton of features, but wants to call in every month for courtesy credits. Upon reviewing his credit/adjustment history, he had been given$3,000.00 in courtesy credits over the last 3 years. He rep shops until he finds people to cave in. How much money is att making/losing on him? These credit whores are why prices get raised. I wish att would just put their foot down on these credits. They tell us reps to not give undue credits…but when the customers escalate, our managers always cave in. It’s sickening.

        • sir1jaguar

          Tmobile value plan with 2 years contract – till February 1, 2014: Loyalty department – helped by DANIEL (employee no. 1244098) Ingrid (employee no. 58046) Maira (employee no. 47271) Chris (february 1,2012)
          $49.98 – 1000 whenever minutes (unlimited nights & weekends and tmobile-tmobile unlimited call)
          $20 – 5gb (unlimited) (no overages) Super fast internet speed (18mbps-28mbps consistently here in Austin,Texas)
          $10 – 2gb (unlimited) (no overages) Super fast internet speed (18mbps-28mbps consistently here in Austin, Texas)
          $5 – 3rd line (we can add 2gb (unlimited-no overages) internet anytime for $10)
          $5 – 4th line (we can add 2gb (unlimited-no overages) internet anytime for $10)
          $20 – domestic & international (worldwide) – all kinds of messaging (unlimited) for all 4 lines
          Total – $109.98 plus taxes & fees with 15% corporate discount and $10 loyalty discount/month till the contract expires.
          So we are looking between $90-$110/month for 4 lines. That is one heck of a deal that NO ONE CAN BEAT.
           
          * Free wifi calling for all 4 lines (will not use minutes to call anybody (domestic) as long its in wifi zone)
          * Corporate discounts – effective till the contract expires
          * Replace all sim card – 4 lines to 4g sim (tmobile store) – free.
          * Can take off internet data features in any line, anytime? their answer is YES.   
          * $120 credit towards the coming bill
           
          * No migration fee
          * no upgrade fee
          * Block pay per use web for lines – (free)
          * Web guard – teen (free)
          * International long distance blocking for all lines (free)

          Theres more freebies we got from free phone (1 day sale of samsung galaxy s2 & htc amaze) to 1st month credit on our account.
          NO ONE CAN BEAT TMOBILE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INSANE PRICING & PACKAGES…
          I was an AT&T subscriber for 8 years and will never go back to them forever…

          • Tim242

            Congrats on the new phones! That is a good deal. But, realize that it is “deals” like that, that are driving T-Mobile under.

  • Dean Politis

    I could understand Sprint and Verizon charging an activation fee because they actually have to do something in the system to change your phone, but not T-Mobile or AT&T.  There is nothing to do to activate a GSM phone other that put the SIM card from the old phone into the new phone.  Do I have the option of forgoing this fee and doing it myself?

    This is why I have have bought unlocked phones.  Yes, I pay more for the phone, but I am not on contract, I get better rates that ultimately make the phone cheaper than a subsidized phone, I don’t get carrier crapware on my phone, and no stupid fees like this.

  • G-Money

    TIM242, Whenever I get a customer Service Rep like you who acts like they own the company, I just hang up and get a dumb ass Rep who will give me what I want. Do yourself a favor and stop being such a dick and help out the little Guy. Cell phone company’s make enough on bull shit charges that they say are mandatory fees, its just another way to collect money to guarantee you have unlimited coffee and donuts in your break room.

  • bobgosh

    For those of you defending this charge, Verizon has more costs to cover than att having a larger network, 3G in their entire network area and something like 200 4G markets and growing fast as compared to att’s what 14 or so 4G markets and still do not charge an upgrade fee. In fact they run a lot of additional specials for upgrading customers. Why pay more for the privilege of being on an inferior network with an inferior company.

  • Tim242

    You guys are a bunch of fags! 8==><==8

  • hulk smash

    I’ll wait until one month after my contract is up. Wave the fee or kiss my ass good bye.

  • sir1jaguar

    Tmobile value plan with 2 years contract – till February 1, 2014: Loyalty department – helped by DANIEL (employee no. 1244098) Ingrid (employee no. 58046) Maira (employee no. 47271) Chris (february 1,2012)

    $49.98 – 1000 whenever minutes (unlimited nights & weekends and tmobile-tmobile unlimited call) share for all 4 lines
    $20 – 5gb (unlimited) (no overages) Super fast internet speed (18mbps-28mbps consistently here in Austin,Texas)
    $10 – 2gb (unlimited) (no overages) Super fast internet speed (18mbps-28mbps consistently here in Austin, Texas)
    $5 – 3rd line (we can add 2gb (unlimited-no overages) internet anytime for $10)
    $5 – 4th line (we can add 2gb (unlimited-no overages) internet anytime for $10)
    $20 – domestic & international (worldwide) – all kinds of messaging (unlimited) for all 4 lines
    Total – $109.98 plus taxes & fees with 15% corporate discount and $10 loyalty discount/month till the contract expires.
    So we are looking between $90-$110/month for 4 lines. That is one heck of a deal that NO ONE CAN BEAT.
     
    * Free wifi calling for all 4 lines (will not use minutes to call anybody (domestic) as long its in wifi zone)
    * Corporate discounts – effective till the contract expires
    * Replace all sim card – 4 lines to 4g sim (tmobile store) – free.
    * Can take off internet data features in any line, anytime? their answer is YES.   
    * $120 credit towards the coming bill
     
    * No migration fee
    * no upgrade fee
    * Block pay per use web for lines – (free)
    * Web guard – teen (free)
    * International long distance blocking for all lines (free)

    Theres more freebies we got from free phone (1 day sale of samsung galaxy s2 & htc amaze) to 1st month credit on our account.
    NO ONE CAN BEAT TMOBILE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INSANE PRICING & PACKAGES…
    I was an AT&T subscriber for 8 years and will never go back to them forever…

    F U… AT&t…