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?


  • Laafiera

    I have nothing really to add, but I want to register my belief that this is a horrible, disgusting, nasty, unrighteous, heinous, evil, foul, grotesque,
    sickening, atrocious, offensive, depraved, nefarious, repugnant, loathsome, villainous, wicked, sinful, vile, repulsive, egregious, abominable, dreadful,
    scuzzy, sleazy, no good, dirty, low down, filthy, rotten, putrid, mean, spoiled, god-awful, diseased decision on behalf of magenta!

    It sucks too.

  • skeet

    i mean tmo is a business and with all the deals they’re throwing out its not like a horrid thing

  • http://www.twitter.com/DtheArtist Dave

    GOD-DAMNIT!!Soon as I was about to get me a new phone, and plan. *GASP!* T-MOBILE IS MESSIN UP!! They used to be the best, most “valuable/valued” carrier. Now, there starting to be like AT&T minus the good plans they still have.

  • Mark

    Hey! Maybe this is another sign of new devices (advanced) coming soon!

  • Ray S.

    this hurts me as a t-mobile dealer

  • TRobshi

    Laafiera: “this is a horrible, disgusting, nasty, unrighteous, heinous, evil, foul, grotesque,
    sickening, atrocious, offensive, depraved, nefarious, repugnant, loathsome, villainous, wicked, sinful, vile, repulsive, egregious, abominable, dreadful,
    scuzzy, sleazy, no good, dirty, low down, filthy, rotten, putrid, mean, spoiled, god-awful, diseased decision on behalf of magenta!”

    That pretty much sums it up!

  • J-Hop2o6

    meh.. its only $18 bucks.. they need that extra $$$ for more phones and equipment i guess,, so its w/e

  • monster

    I don’t get the big issue. If 18$ is too much money for an upgrade, you shouldn’t be buying a new phone in the first place.

    People whine about anything.

  • Sad Panda

    Considering the rate plan changes and the extra value (including free T-Mo to T-Mo), this fee is not bad at all. It sucks when you have to upgrade your handset, but at least you get more minutes per month. Not to mention the other carriers still have this too.

  • X

    whats RPS mean?

  • Rey

    i don’t mind paying 18 dollars i mean we spend that in 2 secs at the movies or bar or something, my point is that why should i have to pay if i am the one continuing business with t mo, they should give me something,yea i know about the upgrade discount but it should be better. i mean its like i pay for a new phone, which already cost a lot if its new, then $ 18 just because i got a new phone. It doesn’t make any sense on the consumer side but whatever, a lil disappointed but im still going to upgrade, so there my 2 cents thanks !

  • teacherman

    18 abhorrent bucks to stay or 35 equally abhorrent bucks to get a 3g phone that has a larger network…

  • Chocho232

    It’s just $18. They should add it to the phone price. Less bitching

  • userfriendlyme

    Well i think the fee most people didnt mind pau=ying at first its not something you ahve to pay but if you want to upgrade you just bit the bullet and did it. I think they should put more focus on there plans. The 49.99 plan thats only offered to limited people should be where they put there focus at. If they really want to spike revenue they need to implement that nationwide. im sure the $$$$ will roll in especially when that upgrade fee is tacked in there. Someone at tmobile needs to wake up and smell the Dollars. Also speaking of rate plan how about spliting the data package into 3 Tiers the 3rd being for people who don’t have 3G in there area…!! Its ashame we have to pay 34.99 and dont recieve a 3g Signal i feel like i should be getting money back. I dont think any ceo at tmobile would pay for a brand new lexus car note every month if they new there car wouldnt go over 50mph while there boss who lives in the town over with the same car can go full speed….yet they both have the same car and same car note……..i dunno with the way the economy is we can expect to get ripped off more and more by companies to increase there bottom line.

  • benji

    It’s not to cover the cost of anything. For many years we weren’t nickled & dimed for upgrading our handsets. It’s revenue, pure & simple. They’re either going to subsidize handset costs or not, but taking a little of it back in the form of a fee is petty on their part. Whatever the minuscule costs incurred by T-Mobile when a customer upgrades their handset should be considered a cost of doing business.

    IMHO, the first company that does away with hidden fees like this and acts with more integrity towards is customers is going to dominate the market, or create a trend. Sooner or later someone will see this as a competitive strategy…

  • henry

    >meh.. its only $18 bucks.. they need that extra $$$ for more phones and equipment

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH who do you think you’re talking about? AT&T? Here’s a Nokia 1661 for ya kid, try not to break it before your two year contract is up, cuz it’s gonna cost $70 to replace it with that awesome “equipment insurance” plan tMo has.
    I wouldnt mind the fee if I could see ANY evidence of tMo doing anything asides from playing catch-up.

  • mingkee

    it’s good I did upgrade 2 times in a row
    I remember I said upgrade fee is suspended, there’s a chance it’d come back
    too bad my prediction is true :(

  • brunoid

    RPS = Retail Partner Sales

  • Greg

    at first i was like darn this sucks, but you have to understand on the business point of view, it does cost money to bring in the handset, and also ship it to retail stores and such, and also paying commisions, and the cost to have the rep take care and process everything, tmobile is a service based company and there is a cost to maintain that customer service lvl that tmobile is known for.

  • Chaos4all

    First I dont agree with the fee but all other carriers charge $25 to $28 upgrade fee. So $18 is still the lowest. Also it is less than changing carriers and paying higher rate plan prices and a $35 to $37 activation fee. When a phone cost $150 for the carrier to buy but you as a consumer gets it free, then the money has to come from somewhere. Whether its and upg fee or higher rate plans or the hidden $1 and $2 fees that At&t Verizon and sprint put on their bills. The carrier will make money so that they can provide us all a service. Its a business and all of them will make their money somewhere.

  • RS

    yeah, tmo is starting to nickle and dime us now.

  • RS

    the ostrich pic is hilarious, hey u ran out of cat pictures?

  • SolGlow

    Here’s my issue with the upgrade fee.

    When T-Mobile started charging one it was at the time that fuel prices were through the roof ($4 per gallon) and that was used as the reason to implement the fee as a means to recover fuel costs to ship phones.

    Then, when fuel prices started to fall and have stabalized they removed the fee.

    So, with fuel prices still low and not seen shooting back up to $4 anytime soon, why the return of the fee?

  • ryan

    This is lame. I work for the big t and had to deal with this fee before. Nothings worse than having customers yell at me because new customers are getting a better deal on phones than loyal ones. They don’t care about the rate plans anymore. Its about that fee. Huge headache for us dealers. People have cancelled for this. Also this screws us on partial discounts cause they raised those. Now add 18 bucks…..

  • http://alexgetsreal.abelinda.net alex

    it’s really not that big of a deal. i mean it is a little stupid considering everything else we pay for like ringtones and backgrounds (if you’re a sidekick user especially). but i’m not going to really complain.

  • Betito

    I can understand the upgade fee. However, we all work in this industry so we know the costs to build and maintain a cell network. Consumers do not. They will see this as sticking it to the hard working people, and looking at where our country is at right now, angers them even more.

  • J

    It likely has nothing to do with padding anything. It probably has everything to do with subsidizing the cost of having better phones. T-Mobile doesn’t get the same kind of deals as larger carriers due to a smaller potential customer base.

  • http://tmobile Tmo Rep

    you ppl complain about ever little detail.. like seriously what company doenst charge that upgrade fee should have upgraded sooner then instead of complaining.

  • TMoh

    Rumor is T-Mo is planning on doing something around $45 for prepaid at the big boxes… ?

  • asanchez24

    Is it better to upgrade in a store or by calling customer service?

  • IVAN

    Hasn’t T-Mobile learned by now that continuing to hit loyal customers with this nickle and dime technique is a real kicker on why we lose existing costumers to the competitor if they pay any form of re-activation there is now less reward for the existing and good paying customer to stay with T-Mobile making it more inciting to port out to an equally competitive plan and more exiting equipment offered by our competitors. Even with all the new and exciting price change formats and free features that T-Mobile is introducing will soon be forgotten in this competitive market evolution has created a norm and need for a unlimited plan flat rate pricing standard that includes all access to network capabilities the only difference will be who’s is the fastest and will the benchmark be held at 49.99 per line?

  • Brad

    I’m happy to pay the fee, if it helps T-Mob complete it’s 3G roll out and start LTE!!! Besides my monthly bill is lower then my buds who have At&t and us cellular!

  • Infidel Castro

    They heard I was going to upgrade again from a G1 to a G2 maybe and tomorrow would make 23 months on magenta for me. Unless I like the Fiesta more, or now theres the TMO 16gig iphone option http://www.buy.com/prod/apple-iphone-3g-16gb-never-locked-w-full-apple-warranty/q/loc/12435/210461450.html

  • KC

    Benji said: “the first company that does away with hidden fees like this and acts with more integrity towards is customers is going to dominate the market, or create a trend. Sooner or later someone will see this as a competitive strategy…”

    Here in central florida there is such a company: metro pcs. If I hadn’t just gotten my son a G1 in October I’d be seriously looking at metro next upgrade. No roaming without sticker shock with metro due to the big guys gouging metro, but with unlimited talk and text for $40/month and no upgrade fee the rare times I travel out of area it would be worth a prepaid. If you travel alot tmobile may not be your best choice in the first place….

  • timmyjoe42

    Don’t upgrades usually bring them more money anyway?
    Maybe I won’t upgrade to a G1.

    (At least the blog image isn’t a cat today.)

  • Steve

    Question: does this constitute a “material and adverse” change in the terms and conditions of service allowing for early cancellation of contracts?

    I’ve been a long term T-mobile customer but am seriously considering switching to Metropcs because of price. The 4 major wireless providers insist that they have to tie up customers in long term contracts to pay for heavily subsidized phones but now they are going to ding you a fee to cover the “costs”? I’m not buying it. For $50 bucks I can get unlimited everything and not have to worry about it.

    Any thoughts about contract cancellations?

  • Wizzyconsin

    Ok… NOW i have had it with TMobile! Put them in the same box as Wells Fargo for trying to screw every penny out of the consumer. More fees in a terrible economy that, from I have seen, has yet to affect cell phone companies on top of TMO’s exceptionally bad line up of cell phones. GIVE ME A REASON TO STAY! I really just dont see it happening. And no, the lowered rates isnt good enough and they really just shouldnt have bothered.

  • Betito

    @ Steve: It does not constitute a material change because you pay that fee should you UPGRADE your phone and renew your contract. If you don’t wanna pay the upgrade fee, simply do not buy a phone at discounted price.

    I do agree tho it is not wise to reinstate this fee when Cricket, MetroPCS, Boost, and Virgin are now coming out with their own unlimited plans significantly less than the Big 4 and with the state of our ecomony, people are looking to save money.

  • ahenke22

    @ henry
    $70 insurance? you must buy your phone through indirects.. its 6 bucks a month.. and for the cheaper phones its 25-40 to replace a handset.. BB’s and G1’s have a 90-130 payment..

  • Steve

    Betito, you stated that you work in the wireless industry. If by chance you work for t-mobile have you heard any rumors about $50 unlimited plans? I really think that could be the future of the industry.

    I have a suggestion for ALL mobile companies…offer a great unlimited plan like MetroPcs as an example and make the customer pay the retail price for the phone OR if the customer wishes to purchase a subsidized phone at a discount they can sign a contract. At least that way the consumer has a choice.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • mike

    How does it make sense to put idead of metropcs in here? The sentement here is about how people are mad at paying a measly 18$ to do an upgrade and you suggest its a better idea to buy it outright? Yeah ill pay 450 for my curve when I can get it for 218 and get 100 back in the main (price after MIR and before tax)

  • Betito

    @ Steve: that plan you speak of is a customer loyalty plan. $50 for unlimited voice ONLY. If you’ve been a customer for 2 or more years you should qualify. Best part is that you do not need to renew your contract.

    I live in Houston and we have Cricket, just about same thing as MetroPCS with the plans and pricing. I don’t like their phones, but you can flash a CDMA phone and use their service. Boost Mobile has a $50 unlimited plan no tax with text, PTT, web, and roaming included, but they are having major issues with text messaging and phone outages. Virgin will release a $50 unlimited plan tomorrow, but it’s voice only, so you pay extra for web and text. Plus Virgin has an option where if you lose your job, they give you 3 months of free service.

    Bottom line is that these prepaid carriers are now competing heavily with the Big 4 on price. What the Big 4 have against the prepaids is better selection of phones and 3G services.

  • G1 lover

    Metro pcs is not all that its cracked up to be read the small print!!

  • pjs

    @Steve, T-Mobile already does allow you to sign up with a contract for a subsidized handset or not sign a contract and pay full price (FlexPay or Postpaid are allowed). I still think that the big 4 have a significant coverage advantage when compared to these prepaid carriers (no I’m not just looking at coverage maps).

  • FILA

    just another damn fee to add on to everything, plan, upgrade, the price of my new G1 in July on a year contract, fucking christ, better start savin like 500 now

  • WizzyConsin

    @ TMO REP: Ive seen you on the message boards before and all you seem to do is find that anyone complaining about anything is just ludicrous. Why in this economic climate SHOULD I upgrade? And why do you think I should have to pay a penalty/fee when upgraded service costs more anyway? Why is T-mobile double-dipping into my pocket? Why do they consistently reward new customers and shaft the loyals? And no the new loyalty rates are in no way good enough. I know why they only reward newbies, because we are the fools that choose to stay and know we will pay the fees. I, for one, have had enough.

  • Philip

    I think most companies, even cell phone carrier companies, are losing lots of money this year.

    I’d rather the $18 be charged for upgrades than T-Mobile losing money and eventually going under.

    Or, as has been mentioned by others, it’s all going to help pay for LTE and whatever costs are associated with what they’re unveiling next Tuesday!

    BB 3G FTW! :D

  • steve

    My point about bringing up metropcs was to highlight an example of an industry player who is NOT nickel and diming their customers with petty fees for handset upgrades when others are doing things different and thriving in a bad economy.

    Paying $450 for a phone still makes sense when you take into account that for unlimited voice, text, web and e-mail T-mobile still would charge you at least $85 IF you qualified for the loyalty discount.

  • Chase

    I bought a G1 just over a month ago and they used the upgrade fee on that. It was in a retail store so maybe I’m just not fully aware of the circumstances and whatnot related to the $18 fee. Also, I don’t ever recall them using it before. But I may be sadly mistaken.

  • RS

    I dont see anything wrong with someone switching to metropcs. my bro has metropcs, he has had no problems.