"Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee," an AT&T spokesperson said in an email to Boy Genius Report. "This fee isn't unique to AT&T and this is the first time we're changing it in nearly 10 years."
AT&T is correct in saying upgrade fees aren't unique to Ma Bell, though not all wireless carriers charge one. Here's how it breaks down:
- AT&T: $36 to upgrade
- Sprint: $36 to upgrade
- T-Mobile: $18 to upgrade
- Verizon: No fee to upgrade
Verizon Wireless caught quiet a bit of flak when it proposed a $2 convenience fee for online credit card and over-the-phone payments and ultimately decided against it, so it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction AT&T receives over this, and whether or not it makes any difference.