As if upgrading your device didn’t already cost enough, AT&T is upping its ‘upgrade fee’ from the current $18 to a whopping $36. This was confirmed multiple times from various sources over at BGR and appear to be legit and not a hoax. The image below is one of the change announcements sent to retailers across the nation. As it were, customers are also reporting getting courtesy emails from AT&T to alert them of the new fee. Why are they doubling this fee??

Because the overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased, effective Sunday, February 12, 2012, AT&T will change its upgrade fee from $18 to $36

How quaint. I can remember back when T-Mobile first initiated their ‘Upgrade fee,’ it wasn’t met with open arms by customers. I do believe we were the last or the top 4 to implement one though. Expect what ever price you see for a new phone to cast you another $36 to actually own it. Kinda takes the FREE aspect out of the equation doesn’t it. It would have been pretty amazing if this was for iPhone upgrades only though wouldn’t it?

I have yet to ever get a straight answer as to why this fee ever popped up on carriers in the first place. If anyone could give me a real answer other than the tradition corporate answers, that would be appreciated.



  • Tony

    I’m getting tired of AT&T and all the greed. The only reason I stay with them is because I’ve had my cell phone account and same phone number with them since they were L.A. Cellular.

  • Matt

    Sprint did the same exact thing about 6 months ago. It’s BS but I guess that is the normal upgrade price now.

    • Stormy Beach

      Really, I must have missed that. I think Verizon’s has always been that high. T-Mobile was still $18 last I checked. I assume theirs will be doubling soon to if it hasn’t already.

  • Jonathan C.

    The reason the upgrade cost, is that they (ATT) have to cover the cost that they paid for the bail out on the assumed buy out of T-Mobile. They paid 3 Billion to T-mobile in case the buy out fell though.

    ATT are not going to write that cost off, they are passing it over to the users.