AT&T makes it more expensive to upgrade your smartphone

Don't be surprised if you see angry mobs forming around your local AT&T store.

Don’t be surprised if you see angry mobs forming around your local AT&T store. Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr CC

The carrier that’s built up quite an army of discontent from its customers over the years probably didn’t win over anyone with its latest announcement. AT&T is raising its upgrade fees for postpaidĀ customers and tacking on a weird, unnecessary activation fee for new AT&T Next customers.

For customersĀ on one-year or two-year contract plans, the upgrade fee is moving up to $45 from the previous $40 as of August 1, Droid-Life reports. This is also the activation fee for new customers signing a contract. At $45, AT&T is the most expensive carrier in the nation for activation or upgrade fees.

Perhaps even more absurd is the new activation fee for AT&T Next customers. Previously, if you walked into an AT&T store and wanted to purchase a new phone and service using AT&T Next’s installment plan, you didn’t have to pay a dime that day. Starting August 1, AT&T will charge new AT&T Next customers a $15 activation fee. Get this: even if you bring your own phone from your last carrier and just want to start a line with AT&T, you still have to pay that $15.

Current AT&T Next customers will also have to start paying this $15 as an upgrade fee going forward. AT&T did say that this is waived for the next time you upgrade (if you joined before August 1) but after that, don’t get too hopeful.

For now, Verizon Wireless is keeping its activation and upgrade fees the same. Unfortunately, AT&T’s move makes a price hike easier on Verizon if it wanted to match the new fees in the future.

The most important part is this: if you’ve been meaning to upgrade your phone, get it done before August 1 so you have a little extra cash in your pocket. Better yet, you can always have T-Mobile pay you to switch carriers.