When I purchased my T-Mobile G1 a couple of months ago an $18 upgrade fee was applied. This same fee was applied when I bought an HTC Fuze from AT&T just last month too. I've never seen a way to get out of paying this fee and this fee made absolutely no sense to me and is just a way for the carrier to stick you with more unnecessary fees. If you are upgrading your handset, then you are already paying them a bit of money for a new device and more than likely people are adding services like data, text messages, and more that are supported on the newer device. I was pleased to receive an email this morning that T-Mobile is eliminating this $18 upgrade fee across-the-board and across all channels (retail, online, etc.).
I hope that this causes all the other U.S. wireless carriers to follow suit, which happens a lot when one company sets the bar. Can anyone tell my why this fee is even necessary?