10-21-2019 10:55 PM
29 12
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  1. PaulQ's Avatar
    Last month, my husband "upgraded" from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11. He bought it from Apple. He did the SIM swap at home with Apple's little guided process. Our AT&T bill was then hit with a $35 "upgrade fee." I was pissed. I contacted them and it took a ridiculous amount of time for the agent to come back on the line to tell me it's only charged once - I asked WHY.... got nowhere. So I took to Twitter, and engaged in this back and forth asking them over and over, "what did I just pay you $35 for?" It was so pointless that I just gave up.

    I seem to recall this happened during the last iPhone upgrade too.

    I have not been charged a fee moving to my S8, Note, Pixel 2, 3 ... In a couple days, I am going to open the SIM tray on my P3 and move the SIM to my P4. I don't know what will happen. It will be telling either way.

    Do you guys routinely get charged an upgrade/activation fee when switching phones on the big carriers?
    10-19-2019 10:20 PM
  2. Lepa79's Avatar
    Last month, my husband "upgraded" from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11. He bought it from Apple. He did the SIM swap at home with Apple's little guided process. Our AT&T bill was then hit with a $35 "upgrade fee." I was pissed. I contacted them and it took a ridiculous amount of time for the agent to come back on the line to tell me it's only charged once - I asked WHY.... got nowhere. So I took to Twitter, and engaged in this back and forth asking them over and over, "what did I just pay you $35 for?" It was so pointless that I just gave up.

    I seem to recall this happened during the last iPhone upgrade too.

    I have not been charged a fee moving to my S8, Note, Pixel 2, 3 ... In a couple days, I am going to open the SIM tray on my P3 and move the SIM to my P4. I don't know what will happen. It will be telling either way.

    Do you guys routinely get charged an upgrade/activation fee when switching phones on the big carriers?
    I have T-Mobile. Upgraded to Note 10+ from Pixel 3 XL when it came out (08/23). No charge. Both phones are unlocked. moved my sim from pixel 3 XL to Note 10+ and 2 bills came in since them. No extra charges.
    10-19-2019 10:28 PM
  3. almath's Avatar
    Ordering through the Sprint app or online waives the activation fee (Within 2 or 3 billing cycles). Had to call them when I upgraded because that fee sat on my bill for a couple of months. But it got taking care of without problems.

    But wait I might have misread, I didn't "jump", these were totally new contracts.
    10-19-2019 11:26 PM
  4. bhatech's Avatar
    I only buy non carrier unlocked phones and just swap sims. Never have any upgrade fee. At least that’s my experience on both Verizon and T-Mobile.
    Golurk likes this.
    10-19-2019 11:47 PM
  5. alodar101's Avatar
    Technically, bringing your own NON carrier phone to a service could qualify as an activation. Carrier sold phones don't have this fee... Though we see it as "waived". This was one of the promises from the "New" T-Mobile.... With tmo, I pay for the service. That includes a sim. They could charge me an activation fee to enter their Network...theoretically... But don't. I only buy unlocked phones directly from Apple, Samsung or Google. I pay no phone fee at all from any carrier.


    I recall when I was with att...a fee for everything. Verizon wanted to charge you for the air you used while in the store. So trusting these guys would be tough for me
    10-19-2019 11:59 PM
  6. Almeuit's Avatar
    Last month, my husband "upgraded" from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11. He bought it from Apple. He did the SIM swap at home with Apple's little guided process. Our AT&T bill was then hit with a $35 "upgrade fee." I was pissed. I contacted them and it took a ridiculous amount of time for the agent to come back on the line to tell me it's only charged once - I asked WHY.... got nowhere. So I took to Twitter, and engaged in this back and forth asking them over and over, "what did I just pay you $35 for?" It was so pointless that I just gave up.

    I seem to recall this happened during the last iPhone upgrade too.

    I have not been charged a fee moving to my S8, Note, Pixel 2, 3 ... In a couple days, I am going to open the SIM tray on my P3 and move the SIM to my P4. I don't know what will happen. It will be telling either way.

    Do you guys routinely get charged an upgrade/activation fee when switching phones on the big carriers?
    Why? Easy answer.. free money for them.
    10-20-2019 01:19 PM
  7. Almeuit's Avatar
    Technically, bringing your own NON carrier phone to a service could qualify as an activation. Carrier sold phones don't have this fee... Though we see it as "waived". This was one of the promises from the "New" T-Mobile.... With tmo, I pay for the service. That includes a sim. They could charge me an activation fee to enter their Network...theoretically... But don't. I only buy unlocked phones directly from Apple, Samsung or Google. I pay no phone fee at all from any carrier.


    I recall when I was with att...a fee for everything. Verizon wanted to charge you for the air you used while in the store. So trusting these guys would be tough for me
    T-Mobile still does it as well with their phones. They just now call it a "SIM card kit" and do the exact same.
    10-20-2019 01:21 PM
  8. Almeuit's Avatar
    I have T-Mobile. Upgraded to Note 10+ from Pixel 3 XL when it came out (08/23). No charge. Both phones are unlocked. moved my sim from pixel 3 XL to Note 10+ and 2 bills came in since them. No extra charges.
    And that can happen with AT&T, Sprint.. etc.

    The difference is always in how you order. The OP's husband went to apple and bought it. Even though they bought it at Apple I can bet anything it was still routed through their AT&T account.. hence the activation fee.

    If the OP's husband bought the iPhone at full price, got the "unlocked" model , swapped their current SIM into the unlocked model, and then went about their day there would be no activation fee.

    Just like you with your Note. I am willing to bet you bought unlocked not from T-Mobile and I'd bet did this same SIM swap.
    10-20-2019 01:24 PM
  9. Lepa79's Avatar
    And that can happen with AT&T, Sprint.. etc.

    The difference is always in how you order. The OP's husband went to apple and bought it. Even though they bought it at Apple I can bet anything it was still routed through their AT&T account.. hence the activation fee.

    If the OP's husband bought the iPhone at full price, got the "unlocked" model , swapped their current SIM into the unlocked model, and then went about their day there would be no activation fee.

    Just like you with your Note. I am willing to bet you bought unlocked not from T-Mobile and I'd bet did this same SIM swap.
    Yep, unlocked from Best buy paid in full. Got home, swapped sim out of my pixel 3 XL into the note 10+. Easy stuff.
    10-20-2019 01:26 PM
  10. Almeuit's Avatar
    Yep, unlocked from Best buy paid in full. Got home, swapped sim out of my pixel 3 XL into the note 10+. Easy stuff.
    Yep if you bought through T-Mobile like the OP did through AT&T they would have forced a "SIM Card Kit" a.k.a activation fee.

    T-Mobile pretends they got rid of them but... They just renamed it as if people are stupid and can't figure it out.
    Lepa79 likes this.
    10-20-2019 01:27 PM
  11. PaulQ's Avatar
    Why? Easy answer.. free money for them.
    Oh, no doubt. Near the end of my Twitter exchange, it became entertainment to see how they would dance around it. I wanted someone to tweet back, "Because we can."
    10-20-2019 01:31 PM
  12. Almeuit's Avatar
    Oh, no doubt. Near the end of my Twitter exchange, it became entertainment to see how they would dance around it. I wanted someone to tweet back, "Because we can."
    They probably wanted to lol
    10-20-2019 01:43 PM
  13. PaulQ's Avatar
    And that can happen with AT&T, Sprint.. etc.

    The difference is always in how you order. The OP's husband went to apple and bought it. Even though they bought it at Apple I can bet anything it was still routed through their AT&T account.. hence the activation fee.

    If the OP's husband bought the iPhone at full price, got the "unlocked" model , swapped their current SIM into the unlocked model, and then went about their day there would be no activation fee.

    Just like you with your Note. I am willing to bet you bought unlocked not from T-Mobile and I'd bet did this same SIM swap.
    I didn't think of that. I buy my phones full price, unclocked. I never buy through a carrier store.

    Here's an update: I asked him more about how he bought it. He said during the upgrade process online through Apple, he selected AT&T. He restarted his payment plan with Apple. However, he says the way he understands it, the phone is unlocked. He did a search on the web and confirmed it.

    He also tried starting the process of buying a new phone this morning and he was presented with all four carriers and a "SIM free" version. He said he didn't recall that option when he upgraded.

    So - going back to your point - selecting AT&T may have triggered that route through AT&T even though the phone is unlocked.

    I'm going to be curious about what happens tomorrow with my P4.
    10-20-2019 01:58 PM
  14. Almeuit's Avatar
    So - going back to your point - selecting AT&T may have triggered that route through AT&T even though the phone is unlocked.

    I'm going to be curious about what happens tomorrow with my P4.
    Are you buying from Google or going through AT&T?
    10-20-2019 05:33 PM
  15. me just saying's Avatar
    at$t has an activation charge no matter where you get the phone.
    10-20-2019 06:02 PM
  16. PaulQ's Avatar
    Are you buying from Google or going through AT&T?
    Neither. I bought unlocked through Amazon. I never indicated any carrier.
    10-20-2019 06:10 PM
  17. Almeuit's Avatar
    Neither. I bought unlocked through Amazon. I never indicated any carrier.
    You won't see the activation fee then. You just swap SIM and go.
    10-20-2019 06:17 PM
  18. Almeuit's Avatar
    at$t has an activation charge no matter where you get the phone.
    Only if you are activating a new line yes .. If you simply swap your current SIM into another phone it doesn't charge you anything at all.
    10-20-2019 06:18 PM
  19. PaulQ's Avatar
    You won't see the activation fee then. You just swap SIM and go.
    Oh wait! I just asked my husband how he was instructed to move the SIM.

    MISSING PIECE HERE. He said he didn't. His phone came with a new AT&T SIM (recall, he picked AT&T).

    He said his old phone ran a process that asked him to scan a barcode on the screen with his new phone (or vice-versa, not sure). That activated the new SIM and did all the iCloud business. So there was a "swap" but it was all electronic, not physical. It was a regular SIM, not an eSIM.

    I guess you need to pick a "SIM free" iPhone if you want to avoid the $35 fee. I still think this is a total ripoff for an existing line. Once we go eSIM, I'm sure this fee will be inescapable.

    I appreciate this thread - very informative discussion.
    10-20-2019 06:41 PM
  20. Mike Dee's Avatar
    Oh wait! I just asked my husband how he was instructed to move the SIM.

    MISSING PIECE HERE. He said he didn't. His phone came with a new AT&T SIM (recall, he picked AT&T).

    He said his old phone ran a process that asked him to scan a barcode on the screen with his new phone (or vice-versa, not sure). That activated the new SIM and did all the iCloud business. So there was a "swap" but it was all electronic, not physical. It was a regular SIM, not an eSIM.

    I guess you need to pick a "SIM free" iPhone if you want to avoid the $35 fee. I still think this is a total ripoff for an existing line. Once we go eSIM, I'm sure this fee will be inescapable.

    I appreciate this thread - very informative discussion.
    If you buy the carrier version for whatever reason you should just be able to take out the unactivated SIM prior to activation and pop in the old SIM to avoid the fee. I've done that in the past with no charges.
    10-20-2019 06:52 PM
  21. Almeuit's Avatar
    If you buy the carrier version for whatever reason you should just be able to take out the unactivated SIM prior to activation and pop in the old SIM to avoid the fee. I've done that in the past with no charges.
    That doesn't usually work for AT&T.
    10-20-2019 07:33 PM
  22. Mike Dee's Avatar
    That doesn't usually work for AT&T.
    I didn't think of that. I'm on Verizon
    10-20-2019 08:03 PM
  23. SupraLB's Avatar
    If you buy the carrier version for whatever reason you should just be able to take out the unactivated SIM prior to activation and pop in the old SIM to avoid the fee. I've done that in the past with no charges.
    I remember I tried that last year when I upgraded from my Pixel 2 to Pixel 3, but it didn't work for me. I bought my Pixel 3 at Best Buy. I swapped in my old Pixel 2 sim into the Pixel 3, and everything worked it seemed. Except phone and I believe LTE data. I was at home when I set up (on wifi) and I thought it was working fine. But when I left home, I later realized i was not getting calls or able to access data.
    I had to call Verizon, and they did something to activate that old SIM and all worked fine, but still got hit with the $30 activation. Perhaps I missed a step or something to get around it.
    10-20-2019 10:53 PM
  24. alodar101's Avatar
    T-Mobile still does it as well with their phones. They just now call it a "SIM card kit" and do the exact same.
    That sim card kit dropped in price though... Used to be$35/25....I think it's now$10

    Either way, if you used an already activated sim, they most likely don't card that fee
    10-20-2019 11:26 PM
  25. Almeuit's Avatar
    That sim card kit dropped in price though... Used to be$35/25....I think it's now$10

    Either way, if you used an already activated sim, they most likely don't card that fee
    Most likely? Oh no they def. do. You go online and upgrade it will force it in the cart... even if you have a SIM.

    As I said they just pretended to get rid of it and renamed it.
    10-21-2019 02:14 AM
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