AT&T question

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kallyq, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. kallyq macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    #1
    If I put a sim in my 9.7 pro and activate from my device to go on my share plan, is there going to be an activation fee? AT&T account.
     
  2. kallyq thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    #2
    Well, in case anyone else is interested in the answer, I called and it is.a $40 activation fee to add the ipad to my account. That is ridiculous if you ask me.
     
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #3
    I agree. Why should AT&T get paid for making their network available to you? Preposterous.
     
  4. kallyq thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    #4
    I hear what you are saying, but I guess to me that is what the $10 per month is for. I can tether from my phone for free, so not sure if it is worth it to me.
     
  5. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    #5
    Well, I just put the SIM card in from the iPad that I was replacing and I was not charged an upgrade fee.
     
  6. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

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    Sep 2, 2015
    #6
    On Sprint I was like waive the Activation fee or I return my iPad Pro. And they waived it.
     
  7. phillyboy82 macrumors regular

    phillyboy82

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    Not from Philly
    #7
    Mine wasn't $40, only $15 when I brought my iPad Pro 9.7" into an AT&T store to get a SIM card and add it to my mobile share value plan. Just as a heads up.

    As for your other question... if you travel or use it for work it is nice having an untethered iPad to dink around with. It is two steps less to worry about (having to tether/untether your phone, which if you are like me you end up doing a lot to save on potential battery life) and you don't have to worry about your phone dying from tethering (although that is less of an issue today then a few days ago). I can take mine to work and have it sync to the cloud all the time without having to worry about turning tethering on with my phone. It "just works" ;)
     
  8. ron7624 Contributor

    ron7624

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, Texas area
    #8
    Yeah, if you already have an active sim from anoher device, just put it in and there will be no fees. If you need a new sim (as I did) then its 40 bucks for activation, but the sim was free. I did add it to my plan at $10 per month.
     
  9. DontGetTheCheese macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    #9
    Well, this is the same organization that dropped an admin fee on people's bills, because they could. It's the same organization that when I went to naked DSL, having not even had a phone connected to my landline, decided to raise my base service by $5, because they could. And they continued to raise it over the next couple of years until I was paying the same for naked DSL as when I had a landline but since I never used the landline, in fact, I was paying the same for the same thing?????

    Ain't competition great?

    Activation fees are in the same category as paperwork processing fees on a new car and ATM fees*, the BS category.

    * Most of you probably don't remember the grand promise of the ATM itself being the money saver because fewer bank tellers. Now it's fewer people and ATM fees, so, double win for the bank.
     
  10. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #10
    Dang you stay defending AT&T.
     
  11. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    go prepaid and there is no activation fee
     
  12. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #12
    They are getting paid. Each and every month...
     
  13. ACG12 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #13
    Is this new? I activated my mini 4 LTE on Christmas Day 2015 straight from the device and wasn't charged an activation fee. Even if they did charge it I would have made the remove the fee. There's no way I'm paying for a BS activation fee.
     
  14. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #14
    Verizon is not any better. If you put a new sim card in your iPad and try to activate even a prepaid account - they charge a $10 a month line access fee - on top of the monthly data charge. T Mobile is one of the few carriers who do not charge a line access fee.
     
  15. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #15
    If you're not looking to do prepaid, but add it to your existing shared plan, the iPad activation fee is waived if you order the SIM online: https://www.att.com/cellphones/att/nano-sim-for-tablets.html#sku=sku7500565

    On their web site, it's normally $20 (which is the same for BYOD phones and phones on the Next payment plan), so I suspect the person you talked to on the phone might have been looking at the wrong thing or quoting wrong. Do you have a corporate-owned AT&T Store nearby? They probably can't give you the free activation (most of those deals are online-only), but can at least answer the question definitively.

    As for the "free" activation online, here's the fine print:

    "Waived Activation Offer ends June 23, 2016. Bring Your Own program only. Online only. Waived Activation fee is $20/line. Subject to Wireless Customer Agmt. Credit approval req'd. Geographic, usage, & other terms, conditions, & restrictions apply & may result in svc termination & svcs not avail everywhere. Taxes & other charges apply. Data (att.com/dataplans): If usage exceeds your monthly data allowance, you will automatically be charged overage for add’l data provided. Other Monthly Charges/Line: may include federal & state universal svc charges, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge (up to $1.25), gross receipts surcharge, Administrative Fee, and other gov’t assessments. These are not taxes or gov’t req’d charges."
     
  16. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #16
    Well then I guess we should decide how often and how much they get paid. How dare they set their own prices?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 27, 2016 ---
    So a business decides to charge for their service, and I am suddenly "defending" them?

    Why don't you stop expecting stuff for FREE and pay the piper if you want to use their network?

    Don't like the fee? DONT PAY IT. And BTW, get off their network. Easy.
     
  17. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #17
    An activation fee isn't a business charging to use their service. It's a business charging you to let you pay for their service. Imagine going to McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac meal, and the cashier tells you "that'll be $3 for me to ring up the order, plus $6.52 for the meal."

    Funny how I can go to any prepaid carrier, at worst spend a few dollars for a SIM card which is sometimes even free, and only pay for the service, but AT&T wants to charge $40 for the same thing.

    No matter what AT&T does, you don't see anything wrong and you will constantly defend them. This isn't the only time.
     
  18. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #18
    Bingo. Paying for the right to pay to use their services is yet another money grab. Maybe ZBoater owns a lot of AT&T stock???
     
  19. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #19
    While I don't like activation fees, and the fact that they've increased (AT&T just increased to match Verizon at $20 for phones and other devices on either the Next installment plan or BYOD), there is a cost to set up a new account and account for churn. Most of the prepaids and T-Mobile simply charge $5-$15 for a SIM card to start service, and in the case of prepaid, you might be paying more per minute/GB and it balances out the "cheap" startup cost in the long run. A lot of times, these are waived if you start service online (AT&T seems to be running the "waived activation" promotion indefinitely now, while T-Mobile has done free and 99¢ SIM card promos online).

    The $40 that keeps being thrown around on here is for the old 2-year contract plans and setting up service for an iPad by itself on an older plan. At this point, you have to really work to find a way to get charged a $40 activation fee.

    I will agree that the "upgrade" fees are a money-grab. If you're paying full-price for a new phone, it should just be the cost of the device, rather than $20 to essentially replace a SIM card in the system. When I got my iPhone SE, I chose to get it through Apple and take my iPhone 6's SIM over. Also, for what it's worth, if you have an older iPhone with a micro-SIM, you could buy a SIM-free iPhone and stop by an AT&T store afterwards for a new nano-SIM. SIM replacements are free.
     
  20. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #20
    I understand that the SIM cards aren't free, nor are the employees who help you set up the service. That's why I mentioned that you only need to buy the SIM on prepaid networks, which is several times less than this activation fee, and that's ignoring the fact that AT&T has these prices built into the cost of the plan. McDonald's has to pay the employee that put your order in, but that's included in the price of the food.

    A SIM card and a few minutes of an employee's time does not cost $40, and why is it more expensive when you sign a contract? The same amount of work is done either way. But it's especially ridiculous to charge a fee when I buy a new phone and just put my old SIM card in it. In that case, they charge a fee for absolutely nothing.
     
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #21
    I am not defending AT&T. What I am saying is that a business has a right to charge whatever the heck they want, and call it what they want. You, as the consumer, have the choice of not buying it.

    Don't like the AT&T fee. Then don't pay it. Easy. There is no defense here. Just a statement of capitalistic fact.
     
  22. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #22
    We get that, but the problem is with so few major carriers, people really don't have much of a choice to go elsewhere. If all carriers decide to do it, people have to pay it.
     
  23. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #23
    I agree...but there are a couple of points here that are worth clarifying:

    First, the $40 fee that keeps being brought up is not available anymore. It's $20 (just increased from $15 to match Verizon). I've seen SIM cards being sold from various carriers in stores from about $5-$25, so that's fairly close to the activation fee AT&T and Verizon charges. Yeah, they probably could just build that in the plan, but how is charging $20 to activate service any different than a carrier who charges $20 as a "SIM card" cost? It's a one-time charge you'll have to pay before you can use your service regardless. If AT&T or Verizon were to say "our SIM cards are $20" instead, would that make it more palatable?

    Going back to the old $40 charge, the main reason why contract "activation/upgrade" fees increased was basically to make up for the rising subsidy costs. It's nickel and dining, but it was mostly to balance out the more expensive costs for smartphone hardware. I suspect this being so bad was the reason why they eventually caved and went installment + no contract, much like T-Mobile really pushed to be the norm.

    Second, while I do agree that the upgrade fee is ridiculous, the SIM card isn't being swapped (at least in the case of an iPhone). The iPhone comes with an AT&T SIM card preinstalled and that gets added to the account, replacing your old phone. Probably somewhere some accountant figured it out as a line item that basically counts this as the cost for the replacement SIM card and having "AT&T-specific" iPhones shipped and managed. These go to not just AT&T company-owned stores, but also independent dealers, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Apple Stores, and so on. Again, if you come up with your own device and move your SIM card over, there's no charge (the way it should be).

    To save a bit and offer flexibility (I've used various carriers and would rather have an unlocked device from the start), I bought my iPhone SE as a SIM-free model at the Apple Store for full-price and then moved my SIM over—no fees.

    Finally, to get this thread back on track, the OP was asking about adding an iPad to his/her account. It's a BYOD situation, so regardless of getting charged $20 from AT&T for "activation" of a new SIM in person, nothing from AT&T if you ordered one online, or whatever the cost of a SIM from another carrier, it's adding service and assigning a new phone number to the account.
     
  24. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #24
    It is, just not for phones, because AT&T still sells tablets and hotspots on contract. And the fee is actually $45, so they offer a $100 discount on tablets when you sign a contract, then take $45 of it back instantly.

    $20 for a SIM card from any carrier is ridiculous. They don't cost anywhere near that much to make, which is why AT&T will freely give out SIM cards to existing customers who need one. They'll even send one to you and pay for shipping if you need one.

    If that was the case, they should have increased the price of the down payment instead. The activation fee hurt everyone, including those who bought a cheap phone on contract that didn't cost AT&T nearly as much money as say an iPhone.

    If all these wasted SIM cards are costing AT&T so much money, they should stop pre-installing them in phones. I just bought an AT&T iPhone SE from the Apple Store to use on RingPlus and Verizon. I just threw the SIM away because I didn't need it.

    Like I said, I understand AT&T has costs associated with the SIM card and employees, but all of that is covered in the monthly plan. Adding/increasing an activation fee is just a way for them to squeeze a little more money out of their customers, and there's nothing a lot of people can do about it if they want good and reliable service.

    @ZBoater of course they can charge whatever they want. Whereas other people are calling BS on bogus charges, you're almost happy about it.
     
  25. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #25
    Wow - my apologies for missing that 2-year-contract item for tablets. To be honest, I've only looked at adding a tablet I already owned to an existing account, so the activation was the lower amount and there wasn't any sort of obligation. The fact that an iPad mini 2 bought through AT&T with a payment plan has an activation fee of $20, yet on a 2-year-contract, it's $45 (on the same screen with the online store!) is downright criminal. I'm sort of surprised they're not charging $20 or $45 for the "device only (no plan required)" option. For posterity, hotspots are $45 on contract and $0 if paid-in-full (again, inconsistencies).

    Agreed - when I tried T-Mobile earlier, I thought the $15 was steep for the SIM in the store (had to establish the account and such), so I went and added our other lines online when they were running a promo for 99¢ SIMs.

    I think there's a lot of folks on the various iPhone SE threads (and probably at Apple Stores, too) that would wholeheartedly agree with you. Less inventory of devices with pre-installed SIMs floating around and not running into the "I want a Verizon iPhone on a payment plan, but they only had T-Mobile and AT&T models in stock" problem that some were having (despite the model itself being the same). Install the SIM on the spot to activate and lock the phone to the carrier, and ship one in the package if it's being sent to customers. There's probably good reason for the way things are now, but it amazes me the number of people that have no idea their iPhone even takes a SIM card. The Apple SIM was a good first step, but when companies opt-out (Verizon) or do sneaky crap (permanently locking the SIM down on AT&T), there's still a ways to go.

    It seems it's really finding the least of all the evils for you when it comes to carriers. There were a lot of things that I enjoyed with T-Mobile, although I had a few family members that didn't have as good of coverage as we initially expected where they lived, so we went back to AT&T for now (better discount through work than Verizon and almost identical coverage in my area). Unfortunately, it sort of seems like the fees are a take-it-or-leave-it situation and there really isn't much recourse.

    A little off-topic, but I'm curious with AT&T losing more postpaid subscribers (as reported during their quarterly earnings yesterday), if some of these antics will change in the future...it may not be big enough yet.
     

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