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You won’t be able to avoid T-Mobile’s new $35 activation fee

Published Nov 1st, 2022 7:05PM EDT
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Image: Michael Buckner/BGR

T-Mobile is making it harder than ever to buy into the Un-carrier branding. This week, leaked internal documents revealed that T-Mobile is ready to expand the activation fee to just about every possible transaction. By November 15, it will be virtually impossible to avoid paying the $35 Device Connection Charge when activating a new device.

On Monday, a Redditor shared a screenshot of a new company document on the T-Mobile subreddit. The T-Mo Report received the same documents and shared screenshots in a blog post as well. The documents reveal that T-Mobile will be replacing its Assisted Support and Upgrade Support Charges (ASC/USC) with the Device Connection Charge (DCC).

Previously, it was possible to avoid these charges by placing an order online. That will not be the case for the DCC. No matter what, you have to pay the fee.

The documents say the charge “applies to all postpaid mobile, Beyond the Smartphone, and broadband device types including BYOD, phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, hotspots, high-speed internet gateways, and other connected devices.”

There are a few exceptions, but none of them involve bringing a new device to T-Mobile. For example, if you want to swap out your SIM card or add a DIGITS Talk & Text line, you will not have to pay the activation fee. The same is true for JUMP! and JUMP! On Demand upgrades, as well as prepaid activation and upgrades.

While it’s not particularly surprising that T-Mobile now has the same universal activation fee as its biggest rivals, it’s still disappointing. T-Mobile has plenty to offer, including the best 5G speeds on the market, but moves like these make it abundantly clear that the “Un-carrier” is willing to sacrifice some good will for a few extra dollars.

T-Mobile will bring ASC and USC to Beyond the Smartphone and broadband plans on November 3, and then introduce the Device Connection Charge on November 15.


Related: How to opt out of T-Mobile’s creepy new data collection program

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.