Fie On Fees

Some days we really fail to understand the carriers.

Upgrade fees from Sprint have been at $36 while AT&T has just raised its fee from a recently implemented $18, to a whopping DOUBLED $36! See the below excerpt from AT&T’s website (source):

AT&T Raising Upgrade Fees

One of our customers said it best when they were talking to AT&T and stated, “hmm, so this upgrade fee is for us to pay AT&T so that we can pay AT&T MORE money after we pay the upgrade fee?”

Sprint is Doing It So We (AT&T) Can, Too

Time for the Subliminal man
AT&T sent us the following statement confirming the increase:

Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before (phones are expensive and you will pay for them so the carriers do not go out of business because their profit margins are so low (sarcasm)). And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee (crap rolls downhill). This fee isn’t unique to AT&T (thank god someone came out with this more expensive upgrade fee so we (ATT) can raise ours to this exorbitant amount and blame someone else) and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years (see? We really are the good guys (again, sarcasm)).

This really is so out of line. Roughly 45% of the $30.6 billion in revenue AT&T made during the first 3 months of this year was due to their wireless division. That’s up from 42% a year prior. That is because of Average Revenue per User (ARPU) (or this could have something to do with never ending fees), or ARPU as the industry like to call it, rising 3.9% to $61.89 (check out what this means on this post and here as well. Data revenue, (anything that uses KB) and messaging, is up $947 million or 29.8% compared to this Q1 2009. AT&T has 87 million subscribers.

Sounds like AT&T is really hurting financially (once again, sarcasm). Lets just to do the math…let’s say each subscriber upgrades his or her device this year. Nope…let’s be fair, let’s say only half of AT&T’s 87 million customers or 43.5 million subscribers upgrade their devices this year. That would be $1.55 Billion (yes, with a “B”) that AT&T adds directly to their bottom line.

Editor Dante Cesa from states it eloquently in his Feb 10th post, “What do you do after reporting “blow-out” earnings and instituting larger, pricier, data plans? If you’re AT&T, why not go for the jugular by doubling upgrade fees?”


At the very least, PLEASE make sure that you as an Enterprise Customer get this fee waived, especially on new agreements and protect your wireless rights!

Wireless Savings Calculator

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