Major wireless carriers often incorporate activation fees on their smartphone plans, and subscribers who are not mindful enough sometimes find themselves surprised to discover that they are actually paying for some hidden charges.
For AT&T subscribers, however, they are about to deal with increased activation fees, or at least according to some reports currently circulating. As reported by Droid Life, some unnamed sources have provided confirmation that the carrier will be increasing its activation fees for its one and two year plans by $5, boosting it up to a $45 charge. Sure, that is not a significantly large increase by any measure, but AT&T will also start adding activation fees for subscribers under its Next early upgrade plans.
Ever since AT&T introduced its Next early upgrade plans, all variants of the program have been free of any activation fees, which basically means subscribers who avail of any Next plan get to take home new premium mobile devices for $0 down. But according to the Droid Life story, the carrier will soon put an activation fee in the amount of $15, not only on subscribers under Next plans, but also on subscribers who are availing of bring your own device (BYOD) plans on AT&T.
However, there is some positive news for AT&T subscribers, especially those who are current customers of the carrier. If the user is already under a Next plan and has an upcoming upgrade, the alleged $15 activation fee will be waived for the user’s next handset. This condition, however, is subject to change. Moreover, the user may be charged for any further upgrades in the near future.
The last time AT&T made changes to its activation fees was in June of 2014, when the carrier incorporated an increase of $5 on its then $35 charge. Rival carrier Verizon Wireless also followed in AT&T’s footsteps, boosting its own activation fees to $40 for each handset. But in the Big Red’s case, it does not require its subscribers to pay an activation fee when upgrading via Verizon Edge, when purchasing a new mobile device at full price, or when bringing their own device to Verizon’s network. As for other wireless carriers, both Sprint and US Cellular also charge subscribers who decide to activate new lines of service to their plans. T-Mobile may be the only exception, so far.
If these reports turn out to be true, AT&T will now have the highest activation charges of any wireless carrier operating in the United States. Droid Life’s report states that the new activation fees will become effective starting on August 1st of this year. Until that date comes, AT&T subscribers may do well to take advantage of any available upgrades so that they can avoid paying a higher activation fee.
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