AT&T said to be introducing activation fee for Next and BYOD customers, raising upgrade fee on August 1 [Update]

According to a new report, AT&T may be raising its upgrade fee to $45, and introducing a new $15 activation fee for AT&T Next and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) customers, starting August 1. Droid Life is reporting that the $5 increase in upgrade fee, and $15 activation fee will apply to all customers beginning August 1, though those currently making payments under a Next Installment Plan won't have to pay on their next upgrade. With this, the AT&T Next Plans are no longer a zero out of pocket deal, as you will be paying the $15 to utilize that service from AT&T.

As of right now, there is no official word from AT&T on these changes. With less than two weeks until the reported change, it won't be long before we find out if AT&T goes through with the price hike or not.

Update: A reader has kindly provided us with a photo of an internal AT&T document (seen below) outlining the changes in activation pricing structure, indicating that prices are indeed set to go up at the beginning of August. Thanks, Anon!

Source: Droid Life

Jared DiPane

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

  • Greedy, greedy, greedy AT&T.
  • I read the other day that Apple, along with a few others, are trying to get get rid of SIM cards. If that's done, consumers will probably have to "activate" devices rather than simply moving their SIM cards from device to device.
  • T-Mobile's next uncarrier announcement will be related to this.
  • Yes it will, Legre is going to rip Att a new asshole over this. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • With T-Mobile growing and dropping prices left and right? It would be wise to leave it as it is. I have att and love the coverage and customer service but don't increase the already high price...
  • Agree
  • True.. T-Mobile is dropping prices but based on personal experience I can tell that as soon as you move a mile or to away from town the service is almost zero. I liked their prices .. But the network isint good.. Almost feels like T-Mobile is just buying customers when they drop prices .. They cannot upgrade the network without the $$ ... But they helped the customers in general in last 2 years... But they dis not work for me or my friends ... Moved to cricket..
  • I just dropped AT&T yesterday to go to Verizon.  Verizon offered me a deal I just couldn't refuse. ($1k worth of incentives)
  • Good luck with Verizon. They've always had coverage but the slowest speeds loading web pages   At least here in Vegas and southern Cal  Jersey is exceptionally bad.
  • 100% agree with you on that.
  • This makes me glad I just upgraded to a 640 GoPhone... Might decide to save $$ and not upgrade to a flagship when it is released. 640 has everything I need.
  • That's IF they pick up and make the next flagship available.
    I've been eligible to upgrade for free for the past 2 years, I'm hoping I can get away with not having to pay the extra $20
  • If you are buying the phone off contract then you don't get an upgrade charge. This is only for people on the Next program or if you sign a 2yr contract. If you have a phone you got from somewhere, you just change the SIM..unless I'm missing something.
  • No commit and byod activation for voice and tablet devices - $15
  • Activating a device involves then providing and provisioning a SIM. If you just move one, there shouldn't be a charge. The catch may be if you have a Micro-SIM and the new device needs a nano 
  • Partially correct... As of June 2015, AT&T no longer offers 2-Year Contracts. 
  • F you AT&T! Where's my god damned DENIM update??????
  • This
  • +920
  • +925 !!!
  • So... AT&T's goal is to become more hated? Step one, offer 2 year contracts that are a half-way good deal for some people Step two, make 2 year contracts a bad deal by raising monthly fee on them Step three, offer a NEXT program that costs users just a little less than the crappy contract plans and promote it as heaven-sent Step four, raise price on said NEXT program
  • As of June 2015, AT&T no longer offers 2-Year Contracts. 
  • I already BYOD. They better not try charging a fee when I bring its replacement.
  • I was thinking the same thing...does this mean I have to pay $15 if I crack a screen and use a replacement phone?  Do I have to pay another $15 if I switch back after I get the screen replaced because I am activating new IMEI (aka, bringing new devices).
  • Ya,this could get messy fast. Activation road blocks are part of the reason I left Verizon for ATT. If I can't freely switch between phones, that's bullshit and going to piss a lot of customers off. With T-Mobile pushing the boundaries, I don't see how ATT can do this stuff.
  • The way it reads, if you switch phone to phone, it wont charge unless you are upgrading.  The $15 is to activate a new line from my assumption.  So if you bring over your own phone and open up a new line, you pay $15.  When you switch phone to phone on an existing line with ATT, you aren't activiting a line, your line is already activated.  That is how the document reads to me. 
  • The updated photo gives some good info too.  Looks like existing customers won't have to worry about it at all...
    Sounds like the No-Commit though would be buying the phone outright...  so it is an extra fee when purchasing the hardware that they tie to the line, which seems like something that could get in the way, but also something that might have a loophole we could find.
  • My son works there. I'll get the skinny when he comes home.
  • I never understood activation fees. I am already joining your company to sign up for service. Why do you feel the need to charge me a fee just tk activate service .
  • Because no one every says no.  People just sigh and pay it.  So they do it because they can.
  • Generally a manager can waive any silly fees if you ask.  That's what competition is for - holding companies in line.
  • I haven't paid any upgrade fees 10 years. There are some perks for being a 15+ year customer.
  • Same reason airlines charge you to put a bag in the luggage hold designed for bags. They move the charge from one place to the other so they can advertise a lower price, then add fees to make up the difference.  It would probably not be prudent to raise monthly rates right now with wild man Lagere playing chicken with rates and features. A few bucks here and there might raise some ire on the tech boards for a while, but  a couple of bucks on a one time charge isn't going to news very long.
  • And just think, if Apple and others get their way and get rid of SIM cards, consumers will probably have to "activate" devices rather than simply moving their SIM cards from device to device.
  • What's going to happen to bloggers who switch phones all the time? BYOD activation fees every time they use a different phone?
  • when you switch phones on your line, you are not activating anything.  You are still using the same line, it was already activated whenever you opened up the line whether 1 year ago or 1,000 years ago.  Switching phone to phone is not activating anything new. 
  • Bye, AT&T. Don't even care if I get the next flagship now. See... A phone carrier ruining a relationship between a company and one of its customers... All over $15.
  • How exactly are they ruining it. Are you a customer now? Keeping the same SIM? Buying a new phone outright or using the NEXT plan? No charge. The new charges, are tied to new activations, i.e new lines/new customers.
  • BREAKING: AT&T most hated carrier on the planet.
    BREAKING BREAKING: Microsoft announces flagship phone to be AT&T exclusive
  • I love how companies make us to pay for the "privilege" to be their customer. I mean... It's silly.
  • It's a lack of pro consumer government regulation = excessive purchasing of Politicians
  • Somebody has to now pay for the big acquisition of DirecTV.  Now you know who that is.
  • I was really considering switching to T-Mobile with Lumia 640's on all four of my lines and I think this is the straw that broke the camels back. Looks like it will be four Lumia 640's until the flagship launches. If it doesn't launch on T-Mobile though I'll be screwed.
  • Maybe check this out some more. You have four lines? You are going to put those SIMs in four 640's. Doesn't seem like there will be any charge. T-Mobile is going to hit you for a $15 SIM kit for each phone. After that you need to look at the plans and prices. T-Mobile has that nice new plan with 2 lines for $100, and if you get a third for $20 you get # four free. That is unlimited talk/text and 10G per line, not shared. Lines are normally $20 per if you need more.  AT&T, lines are normally $15 per, but the data is bulk and shared. So it comes down to whether less shared data is better, or possibly inefficiently allocated data works for you. That and the distinction between AT&Ts network and T-Mobile's. These things are never just the bottom line price. You gotta do some math and comparison.
  • Best monthly price by far for mobile share value including corporate discount.
  • I will love when AT&T tries to charge us $15 for a BYOD "activation" next time and I bring up how long our family has been a paying BS.
  • AT&T has never, in ten years, even noticed when I popped their SIM card into a phone I bought myself. Are they going to be implementing a new surveillance plan to catch BYOD Customers?
  • Switching to T-Mobile....
  • Hate to say it, but project fi is sounding better all the time...