Upgrade Support Charge?

  • 23 November 2016
  • 50 replies

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Has anyone been charged or know what an "Upgrade Support Charge" is when buying a phone from a T-Mobile store?  I was charged this fee of $20 when I recently bought a Galaxy S7.  I will admit I should have looked more closely at the paperwork given to me AFTER everything was completed, but the rep casually mentioned it, charged my credit card, and then gave me the paperwork.  I guess I was thinking it was an initial $20 towards the phone, as I've never been charged any additional amount on top of a phone when purchasing and I've been with TMO for almost 15 years.

50 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

It was achange that happened roughly 2 months ago. Over the phone and in store sales there is a fee for upgrades.

Userlevel 5

‌I went to buy an iPhone SE from a T-Mobile authorised resseller and they didnt mention to me about an upgrade surcharge at all. I was concerned with them charging me $20 dollars for a sim card,  so i explained and showed the customer service rep that i have 5 sim cards right here so please dont charge me for $20 dollars for a sim card. She laughed and explained to me that they do not charge $20 for simcards if you are upgrading your line. I was relieved they didnt charge me for a simcard I already have. Well anyway she gave me the phone and told me how much it would cost today $56 dollars. I paid it and I walked away.... but wjile i was sitting in the mall reviewing my receipt and i noticed a $20 charge with abbreviated symbols and words next to it with a statement displaying that i did not qualify for a discount. I quickly went back to the customer service representative approximately 25 minutes later and confronted her about the charge. I asked "Why was I charged $20 Dollars for a simcard when You told me because I was upgrading my phone the simcard was free?" her reply was, " you werent charged $20 for the sim card, thats a $20 upgrade fee" 😈GOTCHA 😈.

SHe never explained about this upgrade fee, she did not show me the receipt until after i paid and signed the electronic display panel. I felt like i was tricked. And as @tidbits stated if you purchase a phone through the Tmobile 1-800 number you will be charged an upgrade fee or whatever else name they call it "UpCharge" or whatever..... They charge you this fee because you are getting help from an actual representativ, your best bet in the future will be to order it online yourself without chit chatting with a customer service representative. but if you purchase your phone through the website you will not be charged this fee. I see this fee as a way of making extra money.... i needed the phone and I didnt wanna return it because of the $20 fee... because if i ordered it online it would take a week or so to get it.... so im just $20 dollars lighter now....

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Thank you tidbits and barcodeable.  I honestly think this is a complete BS charge and it seems TMO is starting to act more and more like the typical "Carrier", than the "Uncarrier".  I've stuck with TMO through thick and thin and stuff like this from companies to their most loyal customers is very irksome.  And companies wonder why there is no loyalty anymore.

Off my soapbox now. 😀  Live and learn.  Thanks again!

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Have to consider this too. They need money and throwing all these perks isn't helping.

Userlevel 5

‌Throwing all these perks at the consumers does help T-Mobile make money.

#1. By getting a free phone or tablet over 2 year credit deal locks you to T-Mobile for a full 2 years.... so you won't be jumping ship to no other carrier anytime soon without losing all those free credits. And If you are happy with your plan and services there is no real reason to depart from T-Mobile.

#2. T-Mobile will be stealing so many customers from their competitors.... this is a Carrier War and T-Mobile has an unbeatable strategic plan that is working. The other carriers have to scramble to come up with a solution before all of their subscribers leave them.

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

barcodeable wrote:

Throwing all these perks at the consumers does help T-Mobile make money.

#1. By getting a free phone or tablet over 2 year credit deal locks you to T-Mobile for a full 2 years.... so you won't be jumping ship to no other carrier anytime soon without losing all those free credits. And If you are happy with your plan and services there is no real reason to depart from T-Mobile.

#2. T-Mobile will be stealing so many customers from their competitors.... this is a Carrier War and T-Mobile has an unbeatable strategic plan that is working. The other carriers have to scramble to come up with a solution before all of their subscribers leave them.

Let's consider this.  Let's say that "free" promotion they make over the 2 year period $100 total.  Do that to 50K people who took advantage of it that's $5,000,000 they got gross.  Now factor in how much ut costs to put up a single tower (range can go as high as 5M to do so.  The one near my house costed $7.6M the company I work for help build and get licensing for that tower, and is probably the best/strongest tower on the islands).  Was it completely worthwhile?  They yielding a marginal profit far less than Verizon's $33 per $100.  They are making little to no money right now.  This $20 fee is more than likely to help compensate the fact they make marginal gains.

Competition is getting cheaper sure, but if you notice the bigger companies are still more expensive and less perks because they know it isn't sustainable.  There's only so far you can go with a 1-5% profit gains especially when new technology is around the corner.  Legere knows it'll burn him later if he doesn't find ways to increase that profit margin.  A lot of us talked about this over the past few years.  We are starting to see it with the One Plan.

Yeah I just got hit with it also.  My son's G4 which is owned and out of warranty just got the dreaded boot loop issue so needed a new phone for him. It is just him and me with no land line so going online and waiting a week wasn't an option since I can't have him without a way to call me or 911 god forbid.....

I used T-Force and got them to give me a credit for the $20.  Argued I have been a customer for 13+ years and this was a little nit picky when I needed a phone immediately for which I was already paying a $40 premium because there was a web only sale that I couldn't take advantage of.

If you purchase online, it doesn't have upgrading fee. Try to avoid T-Mobile retail store. Such a scam place, always pushing you for useless item. If you call T-Mobile, and told them online purchase does not have upgrading fee. They will waive that 20 dollar for being not honest.

The Upgrade Support Charge issue happened to me as well. My Linkzone hotspot failed so I visited the local TMobile store to buy a replacement. After the sales rep checked the warranty and reported it had expired, he produced the replacement and rang up the charges. I immediately noticed and questioned the additional $20 fee. The rep explained that it was a normal fee and that was that. I bought the replacement but wasn't a happy camper. Considering I have 2 phones lines and 2 Linkzone hotspots supported by TMobile, you'd think they'd discount the fee or give me a better explanation. I hope they get a handle on this issue and billing practices or customers will start looking for other service providers.    

Userlevel 5

I have been a customer with T-Mobile for approximately 9 years, I kept me cellular plan with them since 2009 eventhough there wasn't even fair coverage in my area (the price was awesome / service was terrible) My phone worked in many cities near my home except for the inwhich i lived. Well anyway, I took advantage of the FREE Alcatel A30 Tablet promotion yesterday and was faced with a $40 upgrade charge because I bought two (2) tablet devices. I am happy about getting 2 FREE tablets that retail for $144 each, but im disappointed in having to pay $20 per tablet for a simcard I don't actually need because I have several valid sim cards already I can use.

$40 Bucks wasted 😥

From what I've read if you pay for any of their Jump plans this fee does not apply when you get a new device on the the same line, but if you don't, then you'll pay the "upgrade" fee.  So either way they'll get their money, whether up front if you deal with a rep over the phone or in store without Jump, or over time from the additional Jump charges.  I was told in store recently that they were able until recently to manually waive this charge, but not any more.

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

I did the LG V30 bogo plan over the phone with a rep and they waived the upgrade fee and

tossed in next day shipping for free.

Also my call was routed to the Chicago team which made it local so I could understand their accents. 😜

A similar thing happened to me when I switched to T-mobile. The agent told me there were no charges the day I got the 2 phones. I find out a month later they charged me around $150 and T-Mobile won't do anything about it because I "willfully" signed the tablet when the agent told me the signature was just for future billing purposes.

I walked into a T-Mobile store today to upgrade my mom's phone. I was surprised to be asked to pay $20 upgrade support charge. Both TMo associates told me there's no way for them to wave this cost. I just don't understand then why there's a store available in my neighborhood? As it seems a little unfair to punish me, a customer, walking into a physical store, talking to someone in front of me, and simply asking to upgrade a phone which that is part of the job??

I walked into a T-Mobile store today ready to buy a phone full out and was told about the "Upgrade Charge" of $20.

To claim that this "Upgrade Charge" helps support brick-and-mortar stores is a poor excuse. T-Mobile: you're taking advantage of people walking into your stores and slapping them with this absolute farce of a fee. I cannot believe that a $20 fee is anything but a meager chunk of change. Not only is it barely something to talk about but it's ridiculous and insulting to your customers. A $1/mo increase in every new plan will outweigh the stupid $20 Upgrade Charge any day. I've been a T-Mobile customer for about 13 years now and I've never felt like I was being taken advantage of than in the last 6 months. I'm sorry T-Mobile but you're making bad decisions and hoping that people stay complacent. Figure it out because people will vote with their wallets and go elsewhere.

I tried to purchase a OnePlus 6t at a store last night and was floored when they tried to tack on the charge. I can see why they'd charge someone without T-Mobile service this fee. It doesn't seem to make sense for customers. They are losing out on on keeping your roped into TMO service through EIP though. TMO doesn't charge the fee online for purchases outright, but they do charge shipping. OnePlus sells without fees or shipping charges, so maybe best to just order through them.

Well T Mobile is becoming Time Warner cable to me. They are nickel and diming all there loyal customers. For those who do not know Time Warner Cable went under and got taken over by Spectrum, now Spectrum have gotten thrown out of NY State for not doing the right thing..

What upsets me is that there are two T Mobile stores one is a real T Mobile the other is a partnership. The True T Mobile stores are more apt at not charging you any fee's but the Partnerships stick it to you. So be careful they all say T Mobile on the store front but they all are not true T Mobile stores. Also to add I place a lot of blame on T Mobile for this, since they never let there customers know of the change in policy and second they do not openly tell there customers if the store you are in is a true T Mobile or not.

Userlevel 5

Not too many people are aware of this little fact..... but Time Warner is owned by AT&T now... it’s been renamed to Warner Media, LLC

I pay for the JUMP plan and was not able to purchase the new XR online using account as I am having issue with the account not being noted as the 'primary account holder' (its the only account - this makes no sense).   After a few hours on calls and a ticket pushed through that has yet to be addressed I had to go into the store to get the phone as I was leaving for work travel for a few weeks.  

Unsure of why I was charged this $20.00 as again I have paid for the monthly 'JUMP' program over nearly 3 years and am unable to upgrade and order online as there is account problems within their system that they are aware of and are trying to resolve.   Anyone else have that same issues and is their a quick and effective way to receive a credit for this?

Charging a 'upgrade' charge when I am ordering a new phone through them - which means a customer guarantee for a further two years - is hardly the way to maintain customers.  Are they going to manually 'sync' my new phone up and swap over the sim card to get it up and running - no.    Is this charge trying to justify the two minutes the Employee in a store had to place the order - and should this not be covered as part of the service offerings you provide to Customers?  This is by far a pathetic cash grab and will make existing Clients re-think who to go with as a provider.

Userlevel 5

i like myT-Mobile service... i just refuse to purchase any more phones if i don’t need to.

1. The cost of phones are crazy

2. An upcharge is crazy

3. If i do buy an expensive phone just because it’s the new latest and greatest... then i’m crazy.

I also did not notice the Upgrade Support Charge for $20 plus tax until I got home after buying two iPhone XR phones and transferring to T-Mobile from Verizon.  I signed for a credit  card charge that the service manager informed me was for the taxes on the two phone,  He did NOT mention the Upgrade Service Charge.  I had to request a receipt as it appeared he was not going to offer one.  The only "perk" one gets for buying a new phone is to allow one to pay for it in installments over two or three years with no interest.   

Badge +2

And that's not really much of a "perk" anymore since Apple and other phone makers offer free installment plans now too.  Thumbs down for TMO on the "Upgrade Support Charge".

Same thing happened to me but worse. My wife and I have been with T-Mobile for about 3 to 4 years .I always pay my bills a few months ahead of time and right now I have about $404 credit with T-Mobile .But anyways 3 days ago I bought a phone at the T-Mobile store and paid the entire amount adndalso bought their overpriced case and screen protector. I knew I could of bought the accessories onlie at half price online so I wanted to do my part to boost the local economy. After I went home and looked at the receipt there was a 20 upgrade Support fee. wtf!! They did not even tell me about it and that is not   they just charged me for itiob my debit card and i had no idea. I a

    isn't that illlegal?

Next I checked the new phone and the screen protector they instaains was misaligned and 2 corners and part of one side was coming off the phone. The protector came with an alignment tray but they did not give it back to me

I just purchased a phone at a TMOBILE store and the rep couldn't explain to me what the Upgrade Support Fee's purpose was or what it's for. She said it wasn't her doing and it was just part of the billing. WTH! Part of the billing with no explanation? Are you kidding me? I asked her if buying the phone online had the same fee added and she said yes. I just looked and it does not. WTH! I didn't have them change out my sim card or do anything except process the payment and hand me the phone. No Support there and she didn't even have the courtesy to say 'thank you' for the purchase. Poor. poor, poor service and a charge that can't be explained by a T Mobile rep! WOW! Time for me to look for another provider that has a trained staff and isn't gouging customers.

Oh Boy. I like this chat group. I just bought two Iphone XRs and didn't see the upgrade charges until I downloaded my receipt just now.

I thought I was happy with Tmobile until I saw that! The sales associate did not tell me of these charges. I thought I was just paying for the taxes and a partial down payment on the phone. But now I know what kind of shenanigans they pull on you for just buying a new phone so I won't be buying any more phones for a long while. I'll be keeping my eye out on the way they do business!