Barely two days have passed since Verizon introduced a $20 upgrade fee on most of its plans, and AT&T has already caught wind of it and introduced its very own new and more expensive upgrade plan. In case you aren’t in the loop, Verizon customers seeking an upgrade on a “Device Payment” and “Device Payment Annual” plan have to make a one-time payment of $20 in order to do so, as of this Monday, and the same goes for people who bought their phones at full retail value. The said upgrade fee doesn’t apply only in cases of customers switching from another carrier and those who upgrade on a two-year contract though the latter can make a one-time payment of $40 in order to get their plan upgrade.
After this unpopular decision officially came into effect the day before yesterday, AT&T wasted little time and as of today is charging what seems to be the same fee to their customers. As explained on the carrier’s official website linked below, these new fees are individual in nature and will be added to customers’ first or next phone bills. More specifically, owners of AT&T Next smartphones are now liable to pay $20 upgrade fees for activation and upgrade. However, in regards to two-year contracts, AT&T actually managed to outdo its competitor in this particular aspect, as it’s charging them no less than $45 for activation and upgrade although this is an aspect which will mainly only be relevant to corporate customers. Have you back-ordered your upgrade device and think there’s no need to worry? Unfortunately, there definitely is because AT&T is still planning on charging you. In fact, the aforementioned upgrade fee(s) may appear on your bill even before you receive your new phone. The only way to avoid extra charges is to become an AT&T Next customer prior to August 1st.
In case you don’t remember, it has been less than 10 months since AT&T last raised its fees for wireless activation and upgrade. The company was often criticized for overcharging its customers in the past, and these latest developments certainly are unlikely to help its case, regardless of whether the competition is doing the same thing or not.