According to a recent leaked internal email that appears to have been sent out to T-Mobile employees this week, T-Mobile is due to start charging a $20 fee for upgrades at the end of this month. To be completely accurate, the fee is called an Assisted Service fee, but the core of the fee still applies as it's a fee that comes into play when people get help with their device during the upgrade process, which is essentially an upgrade fee. Having said that, the document also states that it will only apply to those current customers who are not enrolled in either the JUMP!, JUMP! On Demand, or SCORE plans while they upgrade. This will apply to upgrades that are handled through retail locations and through the customer care telesales department only.
While the document does state that the fee partially covers the cost of the new advanced SIM card which is basically the SIM starter kit, it seems to more so apply to the other two details that are listed as well, which includes helping the customer to transfer data from one device to another, as well as "specialized assistance in selecting devices and performing the upgrade" which comes "from knowledgeable and award-winning retail team members." Breaking that down, T-Mobile is charging customers upgrade fees as they did before, but again, it's worth noting that this doesn't apply to the majority of customers as T-Mobile states only a fraction of them aren't enrolled in the above mentioned plans.
They also want to encourage customers to utilize the many self serving processes that T-Mobile offers, and the new assisted service fee is a way for them to encourage customers to do that. The change takes place on July 31st, so anyone thinking of upgrading a device after that time that aren't enrolled in JUMP!, JUMP! On Demand, or SCORE, will want to remember that a $20 fee is going to be charged at checkout when paying for the device and anything else they pick up at the store. Naturally, customers can still order devices from the T-Mobile website and not pay the fee, and if they bring in their own phone. Alternatively, getting on either of the three plans mentioned will allow customers to avoid the fee during an upgrade as well. For customers that may be considering upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7 when the pre-orders start, this will be information to retain.