T-Mobile drops $18 upgrade fee, will other carriers follow suit?

T-Mobile drops $18 upgrade fee, will other carriers follow suit?

Summary: 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. 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.).

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T-Mobile drops $18 upgrade fee, will other carriers follow suit?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?

Topics: Wi-Fi, Mobility, Networking

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8 comments
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  • Can anyone tell my why this fee is even necessary?

    Greed
    ShoreLeave
    • Agreed (no pun intended)

      but i think that he was looking for the "official PR" reason.

      My logic says that it's a way to recoup some of the expenses. Every retail store factors in a "cost per square inch" that a product takes. Sure, Best Buy might mark up a laptop $100 over cost, but when you factor in the cost of heat, maintenance on the building, rent, taxes, and crew salaries, if that laptop sits there for more than a week or two, they are losing money. Same with T-Mobile. Sure, they have to keep a much smaller stock than most retailers, and their building are smaller, but there is still a cost there. Also, I'll wager that their inventory moves slower. After all, if you're upgrading your phone every two years, then those phones are moving fairly slowly. Sure, you can argue that there are people whose entire family upgrades every two years, but there are also people like my dad who has had the same basic handset for the entire duration of our 5 years with T-Mobile. Which do you think that there are more of? Also, realize that in the vast majority of cases, T-Mobile sells the handsets below cost, so the problem is compounded all the more.

      I'm not saying whether they're right or wrong, or whether it's a matter of sheer greed or a necessary T-Mo tax to keep their books balanced, but I will say that of all the cellular providers available in the US, T-Mobile seems to be the least corrupt.

      Joey
      voyager529
    • Because if they didn't charge it...

      ...they would be leaving money on the table. Sure it's greed, but it also was within the "rules" that the rest of the industry was playing. I don't know which of the carriers came up with this "fee" to begin with, but if everyone else is charging it, why shouldn't T-Mo?

      It's no different than the blatantly similar fees banks and airlines charge their customer base. It's collusion...pure and simple. For T-Mo to break with the crowd...I say it's about time. And even though I was charged the $18 when I upgraded to my G1 a couple of months back, at least others that follow now get treated with a bit more respect and integrity, and less insulting to the intelligence of their customers.
      flatliner
  • Cause we pay it....

    If we just said "sorry, I'll go to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc." and actually did it and in large #'s, we'd see this fee go away.
    itguy08
    • I left T-Mobile and went to Cricket last December.

      I had been a T-Mobile user for 10 years but made the move to Cricket. For $45/month I get almost unlimited everything (just not 411). Best move I ever made.

      While Cricket isn't for everyone their business model is to be commended.
      ye
    • Not if they all already charge it

      I know that AT&T already charges this fee and Verizon/Sprint may as well so this ploy doesn't work.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: T-Mobile drops $18 upgrade fee, will other carriers follow suit?

    because CEO's need more money. They live very poor lives for the most part and can use any extra money we can give them to pay for Ivy league colleges for there kids. Plus they have to pay off the schools too because their kids are dumb cause they married a dummy for looks. Give those poor guys a break will you? :\
    Doscile
  • RE: T-Mobile drops $18 upgrade fee, will other carriers follow suit?

    Upgrade fees? Ive never paid them and I've been with every major US wireless carrier over the past 2 years [I refuse to sign a 2 year agreement]. I never once had to pay an upgrade fee (with VZW, as I've upgraded several times over differnt contract lengths). Even when I had T-MO back in 2006 and became eligible to upgrade, I never paid an upgrade fee - then again I never would have agreed to one either, so maybe I fought it and won. Who knows. All these fees that carriers add on (other than their subscriber subsidy built into the agreement) is pure BS and I havent paid a single one, because I threaten to leave and get the ETF waived. :) (BTW, I've never paid an ETF and broke out of several wireless contracts)

    EDIT: Ive had cell phones since 2001 and have had a carrier or two longer than the 1 year contract period.
    JT82