Upgrade Fee Back From The Dead!


Well I’m pretty sure this news won’t go over well as T-mobile feels this is the right time to reinstate the ever appreciated upgrade fee. That’s right, the upgrade fee, that maligned, despised and most disgusting fee in all of wireless is returning to Magenta April 15th. Once thought gone, the announcement of the new rate plans has obviously made T-mobile reconsider the extra money screwed earned from this fee. Apparently its being reinstated to help offset costs associated with the upgrade process, so there you have it, its all about the dollar. 

“Beginning April 15, the $18 handset upgrade fee will be reinstated for all handset upgrades completed through Retail, Customer Service, RPS, Business, and the Web.”

Feel free to complain in the comments! Truthfully its not the worst fee in the world, but its one of those things which I think could be done away with and not influence the future of the wireless industry, you know?


  • http://www.alexisexplainsitall.blogspot.com alexis

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for years and years and am currently without contract. This fee makes me sick and I can’t believe a company whether it be Tmobile, AT&T or whatever else could justify charging loyal customers a fee for upgrading their equipment. What about all the money they make on unused minutes? There was a story on our local news about how the cellphone companies rake it in since not everyone uses their allotted minutes. Which means the minutes you do use you could be paying up to $5.00 a minute!

    I’m sure there are people who have gotten out of this fee by complaining – do share because I plan on doing it when I upgrade sometime this year when hopefully some good phones come out.

  • Wizzyconsin

    @Philip: No, Cell phone companies are not losing loads of money like banks and car companies. People are buying cell phones and are using them, a lot. Cell phone carriers are winning at an alarming rate with people ditching land lines every day. Sprint(!!!) is coming out with 4G (something thought not too long ago wouldnt be out for a long time bc of the price), Apple is about to ship 4 MILLION iPhones! Please do not try an justify this customer gouging fee. My family has four phones to upgrade this year. 72$ IS A BIG DEAL, and its not going to help a company stay afloat. Lets be honest, the 18$ is not to keep their heads above water but to pad wallets.

  • MFAce

    While I don’t agree with the re-activation of the $18 upgrade fee, it’s not that serious.

    If you really have that much of an issue when upgrading a customer, that you can’t overturn a negative like this.

    Maybe you shouldn’t be selling phones to begin with…just a thought.

    As far as I’m aware, all other carriers have a fee just like this one, and I’m sure they are still quite successful in extending their customers’ contracts.

    Long story short: The fee is back, so get over it. The longer you dwell on it, the more frustrated you’ll get.

  • timmyjoe42

    Is the $18 fee waived if you are out of contract and sign up for a new 2 year deal when getting the upgraded phone?

    This is basically an activation fee that is half price for existing customers, right?

  • Wizzyconsin

    @MFAce: Im actually a little more frustrated that everyone is rolling over and taking it. In Europe this whole situation is opposite and the companies actually cater to the customer. You can drop your carrier at any point and the BS between locked phones isnt an issue. Im sure there ARE other companies that charge upgrade fees, but I KNOW there are some that dont, and unless TMobile changes the way they do business and get their acts together those are the companies that will be getting my future business.

  • Wizzyconsin

    BTW. Now that we have an official date from the FCC about a tmobile phone, why is it nowhere to be found on this site? Shocking.

  • MFAce


    You can’t really compare apples to oranges though.

    In Europe you have free health insurance, correct? We have to pay for it here. Europe has un-capped Internet as well, we do not.

    Then you also have to look at the prices of the plans that T-Mobile offers, compared to the other carriers…I think you can find your answer within those thoughts.

  • Wizzyconsin

    healthcare and internet are beasts, too, yes. But that doesnt mean we should be bending over and taking it from companies that continue to nickel and dime us every step of the way. how is this upgrade fee different than paying extra for a window or aisle seat on a plane? Both are offensive and used to be free. In this economy, this deserves a far greater outrage.

  • MFAce


    True, but $18 though? You would think that this debate would be on an increase on an MRC, something that’s extra on a per month basis. Not a 1 time fee for $18, but I understand and know where all of you are coming from.

    Just complain enough, or threaten to cancel and they’ll waive it, more than likely.

  • Wizzyconsin

    @MFAce: I assume that there was much debate on how to get some extra cash in their pockets. A raise in rates would definately be suicide, so that is out. At 18 dollars, though… thats just enough to piss of a loyal customer but not enough to make us jump ship and pay early termination. And like I said earlier. I need four new phones for my family and because my daughter decided to have a long distance boyfriend, we needed more minutes and had to change our plan, effectively killing our upgrade phone plan. 4 phones at 200 apiece plus a new “upgrade” fee as an extra kicker at 72$? Why kick us when we are down?

  • Rob

    Why not just add $18 to the cost of the phone? Charging a fee for the privilege of buying a phone from them is insulting. I have refused to buy any phones from T-Mobile since they converted my Voicestream account. I just buy my phones elsewhere. I would have dropped T-Mobile long ago if AT&T didn’t suck so bad.

  • MFAce


    LOL Well that is quite a predicament.

    I’m sure if what you say is true, threaten to cancel and they’ll run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to please the customer (you).

    Case closed.

  • Ray

    And I just checked…. they ALSO reinstated a $5.99 standard shipping fee above the $18. (much more for express shipping.)

    Tacky…Tacky….. Especiallly after that “we listened to our customers” blurb they had in the T-Mo Upgrade FAQs when they killed the charges!

  • Wizzyconsin

    Rob: Amen, brother.

  • Josh

    Just threaten to cancel the Customer Loyalty team will waive the upgrade fee and charge you for shipping.

  • Glenn

    I am already resigning for a two year contract just to upgrade my phone as well as paying for the phone. Now they want another 18 bucks just to allow me to buy a new phone and lock into another two year contract …what a deal..I am thinking on switching just because after 5 yrs of being a loyal customer tmobile still wants to pick my pocket.

  • Tmo Subscriber

    Great way to encourage customer loyalty T-Mobile. Maybe that’s why you’re losing customers. Its time for my upgrade and if they don’t waive it for me, they’ll lose a 6 year subscriber to AT&T.

  • JasonJ

    Is this true that T-Mobile charges $18 to renew your own contract? I’m gathering facts to verify this practice. If you have factual information that can help me, please email me at luxtownhome4rent@gmail.com

    • Wuxiaoru116

      I can’t believe on this…i have 4 lines with 2 year family plan and t-mobile charges me each of those phone more moreeeeee and moreeee than $18. The highest handset upgrade revenue are 2×179.99, and another two are 29.99. COmon…179.99? wtf is this

  • Ivoryisis

    All phone companies have an upgrade fee. Get over it.

  • Ivoryisis

    All phone companies have an upgrade fee. Get over it.