While T-Mobile is trying to eliminate fees, AT&T has no problems hiking or introducing new ones. According to Droid-Life, starting August 1st AT&T is set to increase their upgrade fees for subsidized customers to $45, which is $5 more than what it is right now.
If that’s not enough, the company will introduce a new upgrade and activation fee for customers on AT&T Next plans, or those who opt to bring their own device and open a new line of service. That particular group will suffer a $15 charge in these situations, which is much less hard to swallow but still pretty annoying.
We’re still not sure why cellular companies feel the need to charge a fee for simply upgrading a device when that process is often as simple as a few clicks on their end. Heck, much of it is automated so there isn’t even a need to cover the costs of paying a customer service rep to help you. How do you quantify the value of an activation? What will $45 do to change the act of basically flipping a switch?
AT&T and any other carrier which charges service and activation fees will probably never let us in on those details, and that’s probably because there’s not much more to it than “moar monies.” The changes apparently won’t affect your next upgrade if you were locked into service before August 1st, but don’t be surprised if the upgrade after that comes with a thickened price tag.