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:

  • Ian Littman: One catch here is that Comcast's own xfinitywifi network is *not* available to CableWiFi customers; you have to have a Comcast account to use it or pa...
  • Josh: I don't know how anyone passes laws like that, or upholds them or whatnot with a straight face. It couldn't possibly be more blatantly because you're...
  • Paul Houle: This is a sad day. Many of the states involved with these fights are the ground zeroes of the broadband struggle. While Wheeler pursues suburban p...
  • Lee: Ah the magic of corporate debt to pay dividends. They are not the first nor will they be the last to use debt to pay dividends....
  • Jackripper: What bs so now we are stuck with limited services and no consumer choice. Like mobs owning their own domain. How thuggish....
  • Josh: Still totally irrelevant so long as they have laughably tiny caps....
  • Derpson: Just ran speedtest on my galaxy s7, got a blazing 8/1. They need more towers next!...
  • Phillip Dampier: A paid subscription is required to access the article in question which is why you are probably having an issue. I have captured a screenshot which is...
  • Paul Houle: @rcxb, it could be worse. You could live in Frontier Country where you pay $90 a month for phone + 1 Mb/s DSL. Fiber prices for smoke signal s...
  • jhf5: I wonder what is in store for New York, wondering if 100Mb/ s will be standard service or not, NYSPC requirements say 100 required, though I am not su...
  • rcxb: Does anybody else remember back when AT&T DSL was $12.99/mo? Sure it was only 1.5Mbps, but I'm sure plenty of people would go for that speed at t...
  • Mike The Great: All I can say is LOL!...

Your Account: