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Legere pounces on AT&T’s decision to raise activation fees

Published Jun 12th, 2014 7:00PM EDT
AT&T Vs. T-Mobile Activation Fees

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It used to be that if one mobile carrier raised activation fees, rival carriers wouldn’t publicly slam them in part because they wanted to reserve the right to raise fees of their own. However, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken a different tack, which involves trolling AT&T nonstop for just about everything it does. So when news broke Wednesday that AT&T would be raising up its smartphone activation fees for customers who buy phones on contract, Legere predictably pounced and use it as yet another club with which to beat Ma Bell.

“Is this a joke, AT&T?!” Legere wrote on Twitter. “[T-Mobile] removes fees and you do the opposite!? What happened to copying us?”

Of course, in AT&T’s defense you don’t have to buy a phone on contract and it seems that the price increase is in part to encourage customers to move over to one of AT&T’s AT&T Next early upgrade plans.

“Customers looking for a great value can get it with AT&T Next and Mobile Share Value plans,” AT&T explained to FierceWireless. “With AT&T Next, customers can get a new device every year for $0 down, plus no activation, financing or upgrade fees. Customers choosing a 2-year contract plan will experience a four-dollar activation fee increase beginning June 8. Customers on 2-year plans choosing to upgrade to a new device will experience a four-dollar upgrade fee increase beginning June 8.”

Don’t expect any of this to silence Legere, of course. Bashing AT&T is for him what a morning cup of coffee is for everyone else, in that his day would just feel incomplete without it.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.