T-Mobile Quietly Brings Back $18 Upgrade Fee

In its wise and infinite wisdom, T-Mobile has decided to reinstate the $18 handset upgrade fee it eliminated last December with no announcement, preferring to limit the new change to an internal memo for employees:

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.”

T-Mobile had eliminated the unecessary fee in December according to feedback the company received directly and indirectly, being seen by customers as an arbitrary fee instead of what the company termed as an administrative fee designed to cover the cost of account management and other costs related to infrastructure.

Now with the fee back in place it remains to be seen whether customers will accept the changes or dispute the fee, as no official announcement was solicited informing customers of the change.

Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of AnimeNews.bizPhoneNews.com and an occasional columnist for Ani.me. He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

11 responses to “T-Mobile Quietly Brings Back $18 Upgrade Fee”

  1. acdc1a

    This is very disappointing to hear. T-Mobile has always been customer friendly in my opinion. This takes that loyal customer and slaps them in the face. With the regional prepaids (and even National with Boost and Virgin) offering better rates without roaming these legacy carriers had better watch out. In this economy it takes better customer service to keep customers, not worse!

  2. Sprint Tech

    Its only $18, I dont see why its such a huge issue.

  3. Curveballer

    18 dollars is nothing when the carrier gives u an awesome deal on a phone.

  4. jj

    @ Sprinttech
    I guess your one of the only people that the bad economy doesn’t affect and can afford the unneccessary fees that cell companies impose. Good for you.

  5. acdc1a

    Only $18?!?!?! That’s 40% of my monthly bill. Only? Crazy!

  6. stellar

    Upgrade at Sams Club and you will still get the $18 fee waived…..

  7. qwerty

    There’s little worse than, “oh, by the way there will be this extra fee…” It doesn’t really matter what it’s for, most all customers will see it as an arbitrary and pointless fee tacked on by company giving customers little other choice. Carriers know this and price the fees right at the point to collect the most money but not have the customers balk en masse.

    I could understand a little if they sold devices at SRP. Giving a substantial discount then charging an extra fee is useless give and take. Build them into the cost of the phone or service.

  8. JJ

    Why charge an upgrade fee for a customer who is willing to sign a contract and upgrade? Don’t you want your customers to stay with you? There goes the so called Great Customer service that tmobile is known for.

  9. Sprint Tech

    I understand that no one WANTS to pay the fee. But, since just about all the national carriers do charge the fee, what are you gonna do? Cell phone companies are no better than credit card companies with wacky fees. Why is upgrade fees any worse than activation fees? I dont see people complaining about those. Its just something you either accept or move on and go elsewhere. The grass isnt gonna be greener on the other side though.

  10. acdc1a

    Sprint Tech, the reason people don’t complain about an activation fee when they first sign up is because they see value in having a new account set up in the billing system and either getting a brand new number or having their number ported in. An upgrade fee is bull because you’re already in the billing system, you already have a phone number, and you want to commit to giving your company money for another 24 months.

  11. Sprint Tech

    I just dont see anyone leaving a company due to an upgrade fee honestly. IMO, its not even close to a deal breaker.