AT&T Says They'll Charge $25 "Activation Fee" To Move SIM From A Broken Phone To A GoPhone

Does AT&T really charge a $25 “activation fee” when you move your SIM card to a GoPhone? A father had to replace his child’s broken cellphone over the weekend, and the rep at the AT&T store told him the only way to avoid an ETF or plan extension was to buy a GoPhone and pay an activation fee, even though the SIM card was the same. Online, you can buy a new GoPhone and have the activation fee waved. Way to treat your current customers, AT&T.

My daughter’s AT&T phone went bust yesterday. We went to the AT&T store in Palo Alto, CA to either fix it or get a new one. Apparently the only option open to us (according to the sales rep) without either canceling her plan for $175 or extending her plan another 2 years was to buy a “GoPhone”.

However, even though we just needed to swap the sim card from the old phone to the new phone we would still need to pay the $25 “Activation Fee”.

Either the information we received was inaccurate or AT&T is again playing monopoly. But it really doesn’t matter. I still smell a rat and I’m glad I personally made the switch to Verizon.

To the father, we’d suggest you contact AT&T and explain the situation in detail and request that the fee is waived—point out the fact that they waive the activation fee for new customers.

Your other option is to bypass AT&T and buy your daughter an unlocked phone—I can move my SIM to any network-compatible phone I like as often as I like, and AT&T is cut out of the loop. Of course, freedom like that comes with a price, and it’ll probably be more than the price of a GoPhone and a $25 activation fee—but AT&T won’t be able to tell you what to do with your phone anymore.

(Thanks to Dave!)