If you’re an AT&T wireless customer, you’re going to want to check your bill closely. There’s likely a mysterious fee on there that’s quietly being raised.
And while the hike only represents pocket change to you, AT&T stands to rake in nearly $1 billion from its vast base of more than 60 million subscribers!
AT&T Wireless’ administrative fee increased by $1.23
Hot off the heels of its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T is raising the “administrative fee” on many of its wireless customers.
The administrative fee is one of many that’s buried on your bill that you pay each month without thinking about it. Others such fees that fly under the radar include the state telecommunications service tax, Universal Service Fund fee, 911 charge, regulatory charge and more.
We’ve got a complete rundown of these mystery fees on your cellular bill here.
But with AT&T’s latest move, the administrative fee is going up from 76 cents to $1.99 — an increase of $1.23. That works out to be a whopping 161% jump in what you’re paying for this fee, which wireless providers aren’t even required by law to collect.
The hike was first noticed by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk, according to Fortune magazine. Piecyk says the hike is likely part of AT&T’s attempts to shore up its financial ship now that the telecommunications giant binged on some $60 billion in new debt to acquire Time Warner.
In its defense, AT&T says the administrative fee helps cover the costs of “cell site maintenance and interconnection between carriers” and notes that the fee has not been raised in several years.
This fee increase only affects post-paid AT&T Wireless plans for now. It does not impact pre-paid plans at this time.
Meanwhile, in other AT&T news, the company has agreed to pay $5.25 million to the Federal Communications Commission after two 2017 outages hamstrung some 15,000 callers trying to place emergency 911 calls.