AT&T Goes For The Jugular, Raises Activation Fees By Up To $15

In a move that is sure to tick off customers, AT&T is reportedly preparing to hike its upgrade and activation fees for standard postpaid subscribers, and will also impose a seemingly arbitrary activation cost to its Next and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) customers. The additional fees aren't significant, but they're the type of thing that makes the wireless industry as a whole look bad.

What we're talking about here is a $5 bump to AT&T's upgrade/activation fee for customers signed up to one- and two-year service contracts, which puts the cost at $45 instead of $40. What's another $5, right?  That may be how AT&T saw things when deciding to increase fees, but at $45, it now has the highest upgrade/activation fee in the industry. Here's a look at how AT&T compares to its competitors (two-year service agreements shown):

  • AT&T: $45 activation/upgrade fee
  • Verizon: $40 activation/upgrade fee
  • T-Mobile: N/A
  • Spring: $36 activation/upgrade fee

AT&T Store

It's also a disturbing trend to anyone paying attention, as just last summer AT&T increased the fee from $35 to $40. Had it stayed at $35, it could have boasted the lowest activation/upgrade fee in the industry, save for T-Mobile.

Even more egregious is AT&T's plan to assess Next customers a $15 activation fee. Up to this point, Next plans had the benefit of offering customers no out of pocket expenses. That's about to change, and the same goes for BYOD customers -- like Next subscribers, they'll go from paying no activation/upgrade fees to being hit with a $15 charge.

Droid Life first reported the pending changes, which are set to go live beginning August 1st. While nothing is yet official, a reader at Android Central sent in a photo of a purported internal AT&T document outlining the price changes.

Anyone else thing T-Mobile's outspoken CEO John Legere is going to have a field day with this on on Twitter?