AT&T upgrade fee doubling

Thinking about picking up a new AT&T device in the near future? If you're planning on making the purchase this Sunday or anytime after, be prepared to face a higher upgrade fee than you would've paid in the past. Documents have been leaked showing that AT&T will be doubling its upgrade fee from $18 to $36 effective this Sunday, February 12th. AT&T responded to the leak with a statement confirming the decision, explaining that the move is due to an increase in the costs associated with upgrading to a device. The full statement from AT&T:

"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. This fee isn't unique to AT&T and this is the first time we're changing it in nearly 10 years."

Even though the upgrade fee isn't something that a customer is going to be facing on a frequent basis, it's still a bit of a bummer to see the cost of upgrading to a new device go up. Of course, as Engadget points out, AT&T isn't the only carrier that's hiked its upgrade fee as of late, as Sprint also bumped its fee to $36 late last year. I suppose the good news here is that we've gotten wind of the change ahead of time, so those of you that are thinking about upgrading to a new AT&T handset and really don't want to pony up the extra $18 can avoid doing so by buying a new device tomorrow.

Via Engadget

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69 Reactions to this post

"Are upgrade fees a necessity in the wireless business?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Jawon Chance Well they needed to cover that $4 billion they lost in their failed acquisition of t-mobile somehow. Stick it to the consumer.
Sharlim Perdomo What about signing this petition?
Sharlim Perdomo this link might work better.
Sharlim Perdomo Hey everyone. Just sign the petition against this fee at Here is the link
Maurice B. Jackson thanks phonedog, if i seen this i would not know.
Cary Nelson They say "The upgrade fee is for costs associated with selecting and activating your new equipment." Lets see these days I select my own phone and even activate it myself. How could it cost $38 for a rep to do this? I don't understand.
Howard Marsh Disgusting
Tami Suprun Brock I don't know about anyone else but my upgrade fee has always been waived @ at&t & I have 5 lines....they have always treated me good!
Nay VW no upgrade fee at verizon :)
Curtis Owens BOOOOOO. I should have upgraded mine years ago! they shouild owe me a GOOD phone by now!
Emmanuel Vazquez At&t endless po$$ibilities....I mean possibilities. Hahahaha I'm sticking to Sprint. At least the phones we get are actually up to date, or even ahead of the game. Sprint ftw!!!!!
Nick Koval Oh yeah its so hard putting in a sim card in a phone... Lamoe
Francisco Ramirez That's crap. They really think that's cool?
Rolando Candanosa ....They didn't made loads of cash everytime a new iPhone comes out and everyone upgrades.
Rolando Candanosa ATT increases everything except the things that benefit costumers. Serious, they already increased the early termnation fee, data cost, and now the upgrade fee? It's not as if they didn
Paul Dane Gonzalez No and like Verizon's then planned $2.00 convenience fee they tried to implement, the FCC needs to investigate this too because this is nothing but greed. Didn't AT&T raise their upgrade fee just a year ago almost?
Jordan Mosley This is so crazy. They limit data, make you wait longer for upgrades, and make it harder to upgrade, yet the make super fast networks and sell high tech devices. Why make good phones and networks when you limit their use so much.
Juan Carlos Munoz Dont u at&t customers feel stupid.
Eric Kroh Thats because that are #1 in worst cs in tv/cell service
Scott Ritchey This has been att s mantra throughout the years. Ed whittacre(ex ceo) actually stated that if people want new tech from them then att will make em pay first. So with them just now coming out with 4G, then heres the charge to pay for it while customers wait for it. One of the worst, unfriendly companies in the world. I will never be a customer of their's.
Kenia Canales Loza They still did not explain what the upgrade fee covers. Upgrade fees are just bs fees!
Gary Lancaster FIGHT IT!!! Are we really going to accept those bogus justifications they are feeding us, as to why this is "necessary"? Light up their facebook and twitter pages... #attupgradefee
Jose Angel Santiago Verizon...great customer service. Sprint.....unlimited data. At&t....greedy bastards,and Tmobile....cant understand what the customer service reps are saying 95% of the time lmao.
Jose Angel Santiago Im happy I have Sprint. Unlimited data without charging extra. What else can you ask for?
Justin Edwards That's rediculous!
Tyler Frodl oh my god att isnt that bad they just have to stop.coming out with phones like every day lol
JFella James Stringfellow I'm glad I been left ATT smh.
David Dao Double the fees? They are ripping us off bcuz They need to make back $ due to tmobile contract they lost.
Jeremy Michael Brock Does At&t ever do anything that makes the consumer happy? They're all about restrictions and fees and limiting service. At&t has never done anything that has made me think "wow I'm glad they did that."
Rik Rasmussen AT&T, making enemies out of customers, one at a time.
Marko Teullet Never mind then ...
Bruce W. Thomas Jr. I'm sticking with Verizon... No reason for a crappy company... You get what You pay for... Quality service with Verizon. Love it.
CeeGii Borels hahahaha they want customers to pay that big chunk of cash they owe DT
Barry Kwan I dislike ATT but TMO can't help me in AK.
Ali Wright It is bad enouph they spit out copy cat phones that don't even have the latest android software/updates on them. You buy now get what you paid for months later and guess what? By then it's time to upgrade again. Its just typical greed from big companies with deep pokets we see all the time. How about you give us all the accesories/batteries for the phones/tablets we buy with unlimted data,voice and text messaging? Oh wait I'm sorry that would be GREEDY of us wouldn't it? SMH
Bill Moran Come on over to Sprint we are launching LTE and we are unlimited...
Thom Davis THANK GOD I don't use Att, yes sprint has a charge, but more times than not, the fee is waived. I personally have upgraded phones atleast 10x and only got the charge on the first one!
Tony Cruz Sprint FTW!
Erin Thompson So after the 2 yrs r up n when u upgrade u have to pay for the upgrade?
Joy Balanay No problem! I was planning on going to another carrier end of march when my contract ends!
Tom Parker I hate AT&T
LizandJason Box Makes me even more happy to be a T-Mobile customer
Kendrick Crisostomo DaMnNnNnn (._. )
Adam Scherzer Definitely related to the earlier news about ATT going to pass it's debts off to the customer. They won't pay for their own greedy mistakes.
Ny Finest Sprint is getting the galaxy note people and its gonna be lte
Devlin Robear That is why I switched from those greedy bastards to Verizon.
Timothy Mark thanks congress...
Jason Russ Pricks!!!_
Dounutz Sesar This is lame
Kevin Gray This is how things start. AT&T or Verizon ups a charge for something and soon every body is going to follow.
David Mendez Wouldn't be surprised if they try to almost double etf fee
Bill Thomas VERIZON!!!!!!
Robert Hoellering I don't think so i think it should be free just so we feel like staying with that carrier but then again be happy its not a few hundred for upgrade fee.
Ferdinand Casey Torres Love this just the more reason why I need to leave AT&T once my contract is up
Jayel Johnson I'm so mad!! You guys are always raising the damn price
Judi Bryan Ouch! Glad I picked up my Gaxaxy SII 3 months ago! And LOVIN' it!!! By the way, thanks for the great dog-fights that helped me make such a great decision!
Carlos Nava GALAXY S3 OFFICIAL! 5.0 inch 1080p super amoled Plus HD 12 Megapixel Camera with 1080p video/5 Mega pixel HD front cam 2.0 Gigahertz Dual core Exynos 2 Gigs of ram,4G LTE,Android 5.0, 3000 mAh Battery,FaceLock/Eyelock ,Android T.V (2012)
Kris Sabo It is horrible how much do they need they just gave 6billion dollars to t-mobile to use them.
Carlos Roldan well that the $4 billion dollars they lost trying to aquire t mobile . that's stupid and outrageous!!! shame on you at&t!!!!!
Cary Nelson Just in time for the Galaxy Note coming on the 19th.
Rob Brown Fucking AT&t
Gerard McLean That's crazy. When is a price ever going to go down or disappear?
Jeff Lansberry No. We pay more in the US than anywhere else in the world, both for subsidized phones as well as monthly fees. It's greed pure and simple.
Justin Brady What a joke.
Devin Fischer A necessity to make you port...

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