Home » AT&T »Competition »Consumer News »Wireless Broadband » Currently Reading:

AT&T: Pay Us $36 If You Really Want to Upgrade That Smartphone

Phillip Dampier February 13, 2012 AT&T, Competition, Consumer News, Wireless Broadband 1 Comment

AT&T increases upgrade fee. (Photo courtesy: Engadget)

AT&T has announced it is doubling the price of its equipment upgrade fee, now charging $36 when a customer activates a new phone on their wireless account.

Our regular reader Scott sent word AT&T raised the upgrade fee Feb. 12, from $18 to $36, to “cover their costs. ” The fee now matches that charged by Sprint.

From AT&T’s official statement:

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.

Wireless companies in North America encourage more frequent phone upgrades because of their business model: pitching subsidized phones in return for a two-year contract commitment, along with higher-priced service plans which gradually recoup the cost of the subsidy.

Consumers who hang on to their phones longer than two years continue to pay higher prices for service plans designed for those who always upgrade phones every two years at contract renewal time.  Phone companies also prefer customers who live under a term contract because they are less likely to switch providers.

In the past, loyal customers not only received extra incentives and discounts when they renewed their contracts, they also had these kinds of service fees waived.  No more.  Most companies have discontinued extra upgrade discounts for existing customers and increasingly refuse to waive service and equipment fees.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Matt says:

    Been a long time since long time customers got anything from carriers. New subscribers are all they care about these days. Just looking for someone else to hook into a new contract with higher costs instead of us with old grandfathered in plans.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • BobInIllinois: Never underestimate the ability of Chicago politicians to keep finding more things to tax, while continuing to increase tax rates on all of the exist...
  • Matt: In Hawaii, meaning there is no real competition. Had the (15/1) plan, and the Standard HD TV all after taxes $142. They were also charging me for the...
  • dawsonfiberhood: Uh, the culprit has been committing dozens of acts, across many states, and nearly simultaneously in widely separated areas. The culprit has been exca...
  • Roy: I'm a Dish subscriber. As best as I could tell, your Dish page covered only corporate issues. Do you have a page that discusses how to score deals f...
  • Phillip Dampier: We have plenty of DoT fiber around here that is black on the pole but is orange running down the pole or at the point it descends underground or into ...
  • Aaron: Outdoor fiber cable doesn't have bright orange insulation. Every buried or aerial fiber I've ever encountered was black, with a thick outer sheath, s...
  • James R Curry: I filed an FCC Open Internet complaint about the 600kbps video throttling back on June 19th. This morning, I received a call from Sprint's executiv...
  • Limboaz: I'd sooner have a root canal without freezing than watch most of the worthless content on Showtime. They put the weird in Hollyweird....
  • BobInIllinois: dancer....Verizon sez that their sold-to-Frontier FiOS fiber assets are spread throughout the US(true), while the wirelines have 2 disadvantages: 1)d...
  • dancer: Why Verizon wants to keep selling off more FiOS assets to Frontier and forces Frontier to buy Wireline Assets?...
  • Lee: A website is not effective at selling more services than you originally wanted. The helpful (sarcasm) service reps at Frontier always try to get you t...
  • Robert Raleigh: Hi, everybody. You all know a lot more about all this technical stuff than I do, so I hope you can help met. For years I've had a Clear (and befor...

Your Account: