I added a new line in August and bought a sim card only (no phone) thinking of buying Note 3 when it will be released. In oct, when Note 3 was released I bought the phone from AT&T with 2 year contract. Now the problem is they had already charged me 36$ for the activation of the line when I bought a sim in August and used it my own mobile (unlocked not AT&T) and they have again charged me 36$(shown as upgrade fee) when I bought the phone. I
On the site it says "The upgrade fee is a $36 one-time charge that applies when you purchase a new wireless device at a discount to replace an old device." I did not have a AT&T cell phone in the first place to upgrade. And when I talked with the customer care representative, she rudely cut the line saying that we cannot waive that fee.
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The activation fee was the charge to activate the line. The upgrade fee was the charge related to the Note 3. Both charges are valid in this situation. If you separate the two actions, AT&T will charge for each action separately.