When did AT&T raise the activation/upgrade fee to $40?

aneftp

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
4,298
488
Just playing around the ATT website and noticed the upgrade/activation fee is now $40. Seeing a lot of iphone 5S "sales" on 2 year contract. Trying to do my calculation whether to use an upgrade vs. doing ATT Next (got the early NEXT promo sign I signed contract before January 18 2014); recently used full subsidy upgrade October 2013 for iphone 5S as well.

That's ridiculous. It went from $18 to $36 and now $40.

Verizon went from 0 upgrade to $30 a couple of years ago as well.

Just wished the FTC would intervene and force these carriers to reveal total pricing. So they can never sell a phone for "free" or one penny. This way the "cheapest contract phone" will be whatever the activation/upgrade "fee" is.

Consumers in the USA are fickle about prices. Carriers still sell a lot of "free" phones, even the iPhone 4S on contract. This way it would eliminate the "free" from the mindset of consumers.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
Activation fees do nothing in terms of activation. I don't need anyone's help with a activation. Give me a sim and a phone and I'll do it myself.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,211
1,163
FTC does not need to intervene. There are alternatives.

Straighttalk, TMobile, Cricket, GoPhone, others all over shelf at WalMart. Take your wallet elsewhere.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,116
1,888
Manhattan
I thought carriers only charge activation fees if you take the subsidy--but correct me if I'm wrong. I believe if you pay full price for an unlocked iPhone it's just a matter of swapping the sim(assuming it's the same size).
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,631
815
Los Angeles, CA
FTC does not need to intervene.
Someone does if not them. In the day and age where it was all hand written etc an activation might have made sense. But now folks like the Apple store, best buy etc are doing the heavy lifting for many sales so if anything that fee should go down.but or won't until they are legally told to lower it

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I thought carriers only charge activation fees if you take the subsidy--but correct me if I'm wrong. I believe if you pay full price for an unlocked iPhone it's just a matter of swapping the sim(assuming it's the same size).
Unless you are starting new service, then there's a fee to set up account, port number etc. Thing is, I can set it up online etc so no carrier staff is involved. So I just paid them for me to do their job. What?
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,103
2,098
Oregon
But then there is the cost of next.
NEXT doesn't cost anything. Unless you're talking about the cost of the phone, then yes, you're playing more for the phone and less for the monthly service. Depending on how many lines your account has, NEXT is the same cost or cheaper than the traditional subsidy plans.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
4,298
488
NEXT doesn't cost anything. Unless you're talking about the cost of the phone, then yes, you're playing more for the phone and less for the monthly service. Depending on how many lines your account has, NEXT is the same cost or cheaper than the traditional subsidy plans.
"Depending on how many lines your account has NEXT is the same cost or MORE than the traditional subsidy plans"

There corrected you on this. Let's not sugar coat this. There are those on older voice plans (essentially unlimited voice with any mobile) and unlimited text who get the option to mix and match flip phones with smartphones.

It's much cheaper for those on these mix and match flip phone/smartphone lines to continue using the subsidy model.

So you gotta be "fair and balance" when you discuss NEXT. Anyways $40 upgrade/activation fee is simply profit for ATT especially when it's done online with no customer service.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
Yet I walk into an att store and setup a gophone account and these is no such fee. The fee is BS.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
That's nothing but a bs charge that verizon and AT&T came up with to nickel and dime us some more.
Doesn't make any sense to charge or pay for that.
When I plug in the iphone to itunes and activate it myself and receive the phone by mail.
Nonsense...
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,103
2,098
Oregon
"Depending on how many lines your account has NEXT is the same cost or MORE than the traditional subsidy plans"

There corrected you on this. Let's not sugar coat this. There are those on older voice plans (essentially unlimited voice with any mobile) and unlimited text who get the option to mix and match flip phones with smartphones.
Like I said: "Depending on how many lines your account has, NEXT is the same cost or LESS..."

Do the math. With 3 or more lines, and given that they're all smartphones(because to be totally honest, who has a flip phone anymore? My grandparents all have smartphones now...), NEXT is slightly less. The difference increases as you add more lines.

It all comes down to how you use your account. I know many people that use their phones for more than two years. With the new "shared data" models that the carriers are using, you save more money the longer you use the phone.

As for activation fees, yes they suck. There are ways around them, like NEXT or a FAN account.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
Like I said: "Depending on how many lines your account has, NEXT is the same cost or LESS..."

Do the math. With 3 or more lines, and given that they're all smartphones(because to be totally honest, who has a flip phone anymore? My grandparents all have smartphones now...), NEXT is slightly less. The difference increases as you add more lines.

It all comes down to how you use your account. I know many people that use their phones for more than two years. With the new "shared data" models that the carriers are using, you save more money the longer you use the phone.

As for activation fees, yes they suck. There are ways around them, like NEXT or a FAN account.
I have a few flip phones on my account and I use their subsidies to get iphones and use them on other lines. No data plan on them, just unlimited texts and unlimited calls. Also I have unlimited iphone data on 3 lines so cant use "next" and don't want to use any of those rip off share data plans either.
Many people still on older grandfathered plans that they don't want to give up.
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,103
2,098
Oregon
I have a few flip phones on my account and I use their subsidies to get iphones and use them on other lines. No data plan on them, just unlimited texts and unlimited calls. Also I have unlimited iphone data on 3 lines so cant use "next" and don't want to use any of those rip off share data plans either.
Many people still on older grandfathered plans that they don't want to give up.
Then don't give it up! But the carriers are going to continue to increase the upgrade fee until it isn't worth it anymore.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,421
4,401
"Depending on how many lines your account has NEXT is the same cost or MORE than the traditional subsidy plans"

There corrected you on this. Let's not sugar coat this. There are those on older voice plans (essentially unlimited voice with any mobile) and unlimited text who get the option to mix and match flip phones with smartphones.
To be fair though, it's not a guarantee that the older non-Mobile Share subsidy plans are cheaper than new Mobile Share Value + Next. If you still have flip phones, then sure. On all smartphones lines, it really is more of a case to case basis.

Here's what I would be paying if I hadn't gone MobileShare:
$90 700 minutes 4 lines
$30 family unlimited text
$45 line 1 5GB w/tether (plus some occasional overages)
$30 line 2 3GB
$30 line 3 3GB
$20 line 4 300MB
TOTAL $245

Figure $75 per month from that is for device subsidy ($450 * 4 / 24) so cost of monthly service for me is $170 on traditional plans vs $160 on Mobile Share Value.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,392
1,024
I don't think it's $40, I think it was $36 or something, that's what I got charged for the 5s... It was $18 tho before
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
4,298
488
To be fair though, it's not a guarantee that the older non-Mobile Share subsidy plans are cheaper than new Mobile Share Value + Next. If you still have flip phones, then sure. On all smartphones lines, it really is more of a case to case basis.

Here's what I would be paying if I hadn't gone MobileShare:
$90 700 minutes 4 lines
$30 family unlimited text
$45 line 1 5GB w/tether (plus some occasional overages)
$30 line 2 3GB
$30 line 3 3GB
$20 line 4 300MB
TOTAL $245

Figure $75 per month from that is for device subsidy ($450 * 4 / 24) so cost of monthly service for me is $170 on traditional plans vs $160 on Mobile Share Value.
Actually new contracts with subsidies are now back again to the 20 month full subsidy upgrade cycle again.

http://about.att.com/newsroom/early_smartphone_upgrades_now_available_for_att_customers.html

So it should be $450/20 months

So the subsidy is worth $22.50 a month per line.

Which means the subsidy way is CHEAPER the more lines you add!!

Of course att and Verizon can collude together and start selling iPhone 6 at $299 subsidized price 2 year contract or $650 full price thereby reducing the subsidy.
 

has.marvel

macrumors member
Jan 13, 2012
59
4
So what happens if I just switch the sim card? I am an AT&T user and am not on Next and am already on the Mobile Share program and the cheap rate. I just buy a full price phone, sell by old one and switch the sim. What would they know and what can they do?
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
So what happens if I just switch the sim card? I am an AT&T user and am not on Next and am already on the Mobile Share program and the cheap rate. I just buy a full price phone, sell by old one and switch the sim. What would they know and what can they do?
They can't do anything if you go that route.
 

sgjohnston

macrumors newbie
Dec 14, 2009
27
0
I got in just before it went up. At no point in the process did the guy mention an activation fee, the first I knew about it was the $72 charge (for 2 lines) on the bill. I phoned to complain, and althought they "never do this" they waived the fee.
 
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