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AT&T Businesses Communications Network Networking The Almighty Buck Wireless Networking

Second Time In 9 Months: AT&T Raises Phone Activation Fee $5, Now Charges $25 (arstechnica.com) 70

For the second time in 9 months, ATT is raising its activation and upgrade fee. In April 2016, the fee for non-contract customers was raised from $15 to $20. Today, it has been raised another $5, from $20 to $25, according to PhoneScoop. Ars Technica reports: As the mobile carrier switched from contracts to device payment plans, ATT initially did not charge an activation and upgrade fee for customers who brought their own phone or bought one from ATT on an installment plan. But in July 2015, ATT started charging a $15 activation fee to customers who don't sign two-year contracts. (ATT also raised the activation/upgrade fee for contract customers from $40 to $45 in July 2015.) The $25 fee is charged for new activations or upgrades when customers purchase devices on installment agreements, ATT says. Customers who bring their own phone to the network are charged the $25 fee when they activate a new line of service, but not when they upgrade phones on an existing line. "We are making a minor adjustment to our activation and upgrade fees. The change is effective today," ATT told Ars. ATT also still charges the $45 activation and upgrade fee on two-year contracts, but those contracts are "available only on select devices."
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Second Time In 9 Months: AT&T Raises Phone Activation Fee $5, Now Charges $25

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  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @09:24PM (#53708591)

    So, why did AT&T do this?

    Fuck You. That's why.

    Just another example of Corporate Arrogance, demonstrated by yet another Too-Big-To-Fail corporation who struts around with the confidence of knowing consumers won't actually do a damn thing about getting screwed over with unjustified costs that do nothing but line the pockets of the elitists.

    • Just another example of Corporate Arrogance

      Without the Capitalism in general and the greedy KKKorporation$ in particular, how would the gentle and human-faced Socialism even know, what to mandate?

      From flush toilets, to personal automobile, to "EpiPen" — wonderful things get made and offered for sale by the folks seeking to profit from the sales.

      Some of these wonderful inventions are then mandated by the government — for example, in most of the US an apartment can not be offered for rent witho

    • Yes, and what exactly is the problem with this? If you don't like it, don't subscribe to AT&T. I don't.

      Personally, I use Ting. There's no activation costs at all, and I can activate my phone myself from their web site. (Not an employee, just a happy customer.) Why anyone continues to use the mainstream cellular companies instead of the MVNOs I have no idea.

    • Do you really think anything will happen no matter what they do at this point? The FCC laid down before he was even officially in office. That lets you know where this is going. Expect the death net neutrality and more bullshit like this very soon.

  • It seems to me that when people are activating or upgrading a line they're free-agents in terms of cellular service and thus most likely to consider an alternate carrier. Charging them $25 right off the bat is a good way to discourage using your service. With customer acquisition costs as high as they are this seems like a penny wise and pound foolish fee.
  • Welcome to Canada... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nabeel_co ( 1045054 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @09:51PM (#53708705) Homepage

    ...like 5 years ago. 10 more dollars and it'll be about what we pay here for activations today.

  • by skogs ( 628589 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @09:58PM (#53708739) Journal

    Not only did I port my number over from V$$, but I activated it myself....for nothing...in about 10 minutes online. Since switching to Ting, I save at least $70 a month, and I have no hassles.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ting is awesome for everybody except those who use a lot of data or still hang on to an 'unlimited' data plan elsewhere.. or only get a verizon network signal (which is a good chunk of rural parts of the country).

    • Ting is great....if you don't actually use your phone much or use the smart part of your smart phone. If you actually use your phone and need data? Their service adds up pretty damned quickly.

      The last month I was on Ting it ended up costing me nearly $60 for minutes and data and I really don't use my phone that often, all it took was a sick relative and being stuck in the hospital waiting to find out what was going on to blow through the cash on their service. I want to be able to use my phone without ha

  • To Tmobile.

    Depending on the coverage in your area.

    Pretty good service, calling over IP, credits for every line you switch. One line unlimeted 4g hours and texting is like $70 a month tax and fees included.

    Fuck AT&T

  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @10:37PM (#53708927) Homepage Journal

    In a small town in Texas, AT&T removed the copper network. Those with POTS lines (nearly everyone as cell coverage is bad at best) were deprived of telephone service. AT&T's response: Here's a free cell phone. Oh, you want it to -work-? That'll cost you - double what your copper line did. More if you didn't sign a 2 year contract.

    AT&T also removed the copper network and sold the scrap.

    When I say "Feel the AT&T Love" - I'm not talking about the good kind of love.

    • That sounds highly illegal. Those lines aren't owned by AT&T as they were paid for by subsidies over the years.

  • May I suggest ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by BenBoy ( 615230 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @11:47PM (#53709177)
    Google's project fi? Just pay for the data used, penny a meg, 20 bucks for unlimited voice/text. Not associated except as a fairly new customer ... Liking it so far.
    • That's pretty expensive. There may be some prepaid plans that are worse ($30 for 1Gb+unlimited V&T is probably hard to beat), but once you get to the regular subscriptions from the big four, especially family plans, it's really poor value.

      I was always surprised Google structured Fi that way, it struck me that building a phone service around a price schedule is doomed to failure. Sooner or later everyone else changes their prices (or what you get for those prices) and suddenly your innovative pricing

      • Is it? Don't the big 4 charge around $20-$30 per line? That's not any cheaper. Project fi is really useful for people who heavily use wi-fi but occasionally need to do some remote web browsing or maps when away from home or work. I personally use a couple hundred megs a month on average as both home and work have wi fi and I do not use my phone as a primary media consumption device. (I don't watch movies on it, etc, I just use it like a tool and only when I need it to get somewhere or call someone)

        • by BenBoy ( 615230 )
          That's more-or-less my use case too; I don't use much data out of wi-fi areas, so my bill (two phones, each with a GB of data) runs about $55. It's a lot less than I was paying for att (90+ bucks for two phones plus 6 GB take-or-pay that I never used all of but once). Perhaps everyone else is doing better? The magic for me is that I only pay for the cellular data I use. No complex roll-over schemes; If I don't use that 1 GB, they give me the money back on the next bill (penny a MB). If I use more, it's stil
  • They're going to "compete" themselves right out of business. I switched from AT&T to Google Fi, got 5 new phones, and my bill is STILL cheaper!

  • This is a rather foolish maneuver because there are more choices for wireless service now than there has ever been. Prepaid phone service no longer has the stigma that was once attached to it so the large tier 1 carriers have to be careful about raping the consumer's wallet. MetroPCS has partially-subsidized phones and Tracfone has an equipment lease program. Neither company charges an activation fee and their monthly service charges are inclusive of taxes and fees. Unless you travel overseas, there is almo
  • My unlimited plan is going by $5. I believe they did this a year or so back too.

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