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

  • 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…..

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.