AT&T claims the increase in cost is because of overall the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased.
In a memo to dealers AT&T pointed out the talking points of the new fee to be:
- The upgrade fee is for costs associated with selecting and activating your new equipment.
- Additionally, there is no change in your equipment exchange option.
- Once we have selected all of your services and equipment, I'll be sure to cover what you expect on your next bill.
AT&T confirmed the increased cost in an email:
"Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee. This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years.”