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T-Mobile Will Charge $35 Activation Fee for Online Transactions

Prepaid activations could be excluded for now.

T-mobile logo
James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile's $35 activation fee will soon apply to almost every device transaction. It will prevent people from avoiding the fee by using the carrier's online system for upgrades and activations, as reported earlier Monday by T-Mo Report citing internal company documents, some of which were posted on Reddit.

The purported internal documents say T-Mobile is replacing its assisted support charge (ASC) and upgrade support charge (USC) with a "one-time $35 device connection charge for all mobile and broadband devices."

T-Mobile confirmed the change in an emailed statement to CNET, saying it will apply to broadband devices from Nov. 3 and mobile devices from Nov. 15. It will apply to all activations and upgrades across mobile and broadband devices made in store, online, via chat and over the phone.

Previously, the ASC/USC charges didn't apply to online transactions as they didn't require customer assistance workers, T-Mo Report said.

Prepaid activations are excluded from the fee right now, as are any transactions that don't include a new device being connected to the network, like a SIM, according to the report.

Verizon and AT&T charge similar activation fees.