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FYI: AT&T’s Activation Fee for 2-Year Contracts is Now $40

In case you are an AT&T customer who purchases discounted phones on new 2-year contracts, you should know that your activation fee is now $40 instead of $36 when upgrading phones. That’s right, AT&T has raised their activation fee, a fee that doesn’t exist if you buy phones through AT&T Next with a Mobile Share plan. The change went into effect June 8. 

AT&T confirmed the change to Fierce Wireless, stating that customers “choosing a 2-year contract plan will experience a four-dollar activation,” but that those who go with AT&T Next and Mobile Share are getting a “great value” that doesn’t include such a fee. Clearly, AT&T and the rest of the industry see an opportunity to make more money off of new monthly device payments plans in favor of 2-year service plans or this wouldn’t be the case. 

Verizon charges a $35 activation fee, while Sprint’s weighs in at $36.

Via:  Fierce Wireless | AT&T

    Who the hell in their right mind activates on AT&T’s network in the first place? I don’t feel bad for you.

  • UniBroW

    One of the many reasons why I left Sprint

  • schlanz

    activation fee or upgrade fee? different things. or are they both $40?

  • verZion

    at&t waives activation fee’s if you work for a big company. check employee benefits for details. the employees sometimes don’t know, so it’s best to walk in informed. I paid $0.00 to activate three lines on AT&T’s new ValueShare plan.

  • JoeTi

    Just passing along the cost or pumping a profit center? How long until Vzw joins them?

  • JAA

    that’s AT&T for you finding ways to raise fee’s. I currently have Uverse with them and every other month it’s a new fee or something went up.

  • JohnLElkins

    That’s right, AT&T has raised their activation fee, a fee that doesn’t exist if you buy phones through AT&T Next with a Mobile Share plan. The change went into effect June 8.


  • yellowdgg

    F THAT!!!!

  • mustbepbs

    Activation fee…

    “You need to pay us an initial fee to pay us ungodly amounts of money per month for the next two years. Please”

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Bah…. PrePaid is life. . . . And for anyone who dares ask you to pay an activation fee…. you tell them you’re not paying it……..After they take the phone out and set start setting it up……..before you sign that contract tell them you’re not paying the fee. And if they give you the BS about “wellll we can’t waive it from here” . . . Just tell them you change your mind about the purchase….

    • Dusty

      you are exactly the type of customer people hate in retail. Unless you go to the carrier store, they (authorized retailers) cannot waive the activation fee. Being a formal bbym employee i can tell you they CANNOT. There is nothing in their system to waive it or anything of the sort. The only ones who can waive the fee are the carriers. and trust me the retailers would gladly have your activation fee waived if they could because they don’t see a penny of it.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        ummmmm….I’m talking about the carrier stores. Where most people buy phones. Where they can waive it.

        • Booger

          What makes you believe that’s where most people by them there? There are numerous other options out there including Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, mom and pop Authorized Resellers, etc.

          Many go to those other places because the cost of the phones are generally much cheaper and many times have better customer service. And even with an activation fee in many cases it’s still cheaper than going to the carrier stores.

        • Dusty

          Ok well if you had specified that in your first comment i wouldn’t have said anything. You simply said “And for anyone who dares ask you to pay an activation fee…. you tell them you’re not paying it.” For people who do not know as Booger below has said will go to a Best Buy, Amazon, or any other authorized reseller and do as you have said. Resulting in frustrated employees and customers who think they are right all because of some comment you wrote.

  • jimt

    There’s always Tmo. Just a thought.

  • OhYeah!

    What assholes, it should be free unless you are trying to activate a new one every week or something.

    • MistaButters

      It should be free regardless. “Activation” doesn’t do anything on a GSM network. They just pop a SIM in and the phone is good to go.

  • Marikel

    Here in NH on Verizon I only pay $30 for the activation fee.

    • mustbepbs

      Woot NH represent!

      • NH FTW! But seriously it doesn’t matter what state you live in, and this is about AT&T

        • mustbepbs


    • schlanz

      that’s the upgrade fee. new line activation fees are 35

  • Aren’t these activation fees supposed to support user training workshops or some ridiculous thing like that? I can’t remember where I saw that BS excuse, but I think that is what they are “for” (but since nobody ever uses them it’s basically a scam). Can anyone help me out?

    Edit: yup they are. Stupidest thing I’ve read all day

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Who buys on contract?

    • hoosiercub88

      People that got trolled into Next plans.

    • MistaButters

      Well let’s see. I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan and a 21% plan discount, so I’m not leaving AT&T soon. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of a new phone for $200. (And actually, if you do the Best Buy thing every year during the super bowl you get a $50 giftcard towards that purchase, and they’ll match any competitor price on top of that, so why not get a brand new phone for $99).

      I can later sell said phone, and have enough cash to buy a brand new Nexus. So…..yeah.

      • kalchas88

        Still sounds like a crap deal.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      A majority of cell phone users in the United States?

  • Wolf0491

    Hmm I don’t use either so don’t really know. I just buy my phones up front full price and generally use phones att doesn’t carry Lol.

  • ProZomby

    The idea of an activation fee is absolutely absurd. I don’t think I’ve ever paid it. When you buy the phone, if they want to activate it, tell them no you’ll do it later. Then just do it yourself online, for free. It takes like 2 minutes. If they insist on doing it there, tell them to waive the fee or you’re walking out (they’ll waive it).

    • Gabe

      The activation fee is applied to your bill automatically whenever you buy a phone it has nothing going to do with in store costs. If you want it waived you have to call customer service and yell at them.

      • hoosiercub88

        This guy ^^^ ProZomby probably thought he was getting away without paying it for years now lol

      • MistaButters

        Exactly, and honestly, if you call them, they tell you tough s**t.

        • jamaall

          If you yell at they, they’ll yell back. They’re very hot tempered. If you say you’ll cancel it, they’ll even transfer you over to the cancellation line.

          • MistaButters

            Yeah, I think they know I’m not leaving.

            However, I’ve had two great AT&T customer service experiences in the past 6 weeks. I got a Microcell back in the day, and recently it stopped working. I am WAY outside of the warranty, but they sent me another one for free. And those aren’t cheap. Then they actually “accidentally” dropped my unlimited plan and rolled it over to a more expensive shared data plan (they claim the microcell actication triggered their system). Fortunately I caught it within a week. When I called, they were super apologetic, changed it back, and offered me a $30 credit.

          • timrcm

            I wouldn’t consider a free Microcell to be a great customer service experience. All it does is make up for their lackluster network. It SHOULD be free if you’re on a contract with them.

          • MistaButters

            Not their network’s fault. My apartment is like a faraday cage. Actually, AT&T gets better service in my apartment that Verizon and Sprint, where you won’t even get a single bar.

          • Seth Boman

            You pay for the microcell up front and your bill is credited the full price. Basically free.

          • Alexander Anteneh

            One time I cancelled my byod service in advance of the next billing cycle, and they wanted to charge me for the next month. I didnt yell at the rep, but subtly raised my voice and got the charges waived.

      • Denvertoad

        Nope, haven’t paid the UG fee for the last 4 or 5 phones. Nor is the fee tacked on to our bill. Like ProZomby I’ve activated on line and told the stored rep to waive the fee or lose the sale. Of all the fees Verizon sticks it to us with this one truly angers me. Not paying it, not happening.

        • 80am

          Wow big tough guy telling the industry what you won’t do. Good luck with that. And if you feel so entitled to yell at a rep because your better than them, they will kick you off their network and not welcome you back.

          • Denvertoad

            You can continue to roll overand be their bitch or grow a pair. Its a business relationship, I’ll try to get the most out of it for me just as the providers will do the same. And no, I don’t yell at the reps. If they believed I was abusive they wouldn’t wave the fee.

        • michael arazan

          But if you buy a used phone and stick in your sim, they could care less.

          I don’t look forward to the day you get an activation fee every time you put your sim in a phone not on your account

          • Alexander Anteneh

            I had a nexus 4 a while back and got a sim from them and activated it and I still got an activation fee on my bill. promptly switched back to tmo, then prepaid

    • Gary Graf

      Agreed. I’ve never paid an activation fee. The last 3 phones, I’ve just swapped the sim card out just like a GSM phone.

  • mcdonsco

    Das stupido…

    Never could understand being charged an activation fee for the *privelage* of being locked into a couple thousand dollar contract.

    • BernieBastinaly

      My Uncle
      Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
      with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

      • I bet your Uncle did other things with you too

        • KOBALT


        • a) youth.in.asia

          He folded her up like a lawn chair and left her in a heap on the floor convulsing

  • Kenny Woodard

    Absolutely disgusting

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Mo money mo problems

  • Wow this is old news now. This was reported on yesterday by many other sites. Come on DL get your head in the game.

    • J Davis

      Well if you read it on other sites yesterday they were late also. This went into effect June 8th..

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Stop complaining.