AT&T adds 61 cents to its monthly wireless bills

AT&T adds 61 cents to its monthly wireless bills
Little change sure adds up. AT&T is adding a 61 cent charge to its monthly wireless invoices for all of its subscribers on contract. The charge is being listed as an "administrative fee" and started on the first of this month. The move will add half a billion dollars to the revenue of the nation's second largest carrier, which collectively means that its customers will have half a billion less to spend. These fees are called "below-the-line" fees because they are usually found near the bottom of the monthly bill.

Many consumer agencies are opposed to these charges. According to Derek Turner, research director at Free Press, "Below-the-line fees are nothing more than a way for carriers to stealthily increase their prices. AT&T's administrative fees are no different than the hundreds of other components that go into the cost of doing business," he said. An AT&T spokesman noted that the company gave its customers 30 days advance notice and said that the fee covers "certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell-site rents and maintenance." In addition, AT&T charges an additional "regulatory cost recovery charge" which averages 50 cents per line and covers the cost of complying with government regulations.

Other carriers also add these charges to their bill. Verizon Wireless charges 90 cents a month for administrative fees which is actually a drop of 10% from last year's charge. It also adds a 16 cents administrative charge. For more than five years, Sprint has charged a per-line monthly administrative fee of $1.50 and a regulatory recovery fee of 40 cents. While T-Mobile doesn't charge an administrative fee, it does charge a regulatory programs fee of $1.61 per line.

AT&T's administrative fee charge will help the company's top line growth by adding .30% to what is expected to be a gain of 1.5% in revenue growth for 2013 according to Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins.

source: WSJ



1. jcarrigan unregistered

I guess its not the amount there charging thats the issue, its the principal. Be upfront in your pricing. If your plan is supposed to be 169.99 plus tax then leave it at that and stop trying to rack up more money by deceiving people. How about you guys stop giving yourselves up in corporate all these annual raises and bonuses taken from the company's assets and redistribute it into the company to improve signal and offer better prices for people to switch or maybe give some of that money to your sales people, increase their commission that way they will work harder and receive more therefore they will be happy. If your people on the lowest tier are happy, then your company can and will thrive.

2. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Hello boys and girls, can you say, " nickel and diming"?

4. jcarrigan unregistered

lol hell yeah, its okay I have Verizon so at least I know up front that every single month til my contract is up...I will be bent over the fence while verizon rapes my wallet pretty much. oh is it October 2014 yet so i can switch! lol

7. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Same thing here. I moved last summer to the one spot in the area that seems to get no VZW service so now It's time to start looking elsewhere. By no service, I don't mean just bad, I mean I can't even get 3G/EVDO signal - phone becomes a brick in my home. Hate to lose my grandfathered unlimited plan, but... not really like it's doing me any good now anyhow.

19. jcarrigan unregistered

I understand what your going trhough, but for me it wasnt signal. Verizon is the only carrier that works here consistently in every nook and cranny of my area. There just stupid expensive.

25. andynaija

Posts: 1264; Member since: Sep 08, 2012


3. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Doesn't that violate your original contract and you should be able to break your contract since that's what you don't agree to.

10. Hemlocke unregistered

Yes, that qualifies as a "material change," I do believe. Considering breaking mine with all 5 lines, then turning around and signing with them again for 5 upgrades.

16. Beholder88

Posts: 86; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

If $0.61 per line is a material adverse change then there is more to your financial life you may need to look at. Yes, technicaly a material adverse change is something you can break your contract for, and everyone will have a different opinion on what that would be. As for increasing profit, not so much. The fees that carriers have to pay for upkeep of towers, rent on the towers not directly owned and other things is going up too, it has to come from somewhere.

21. theSAINTjohn

Posts: 17; Member since: May 06, 2013

^ nailed it

26. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Please expalin how Straight talk/Cricket/ PAY GO/ get around this fee?, they are the true MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) carriers. Jusy say, "Hey guys I don't want to lose my job verse this junk about upkeep of towers, rent on the towers not directly owned and other things is going up too". We would respect you more....smh

11. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I don't think so. These fees fluctuate on my bill from time to time. But they should.

5. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Why stop at $0.61. Why not per line or per device. SUCK IT!!!!! Administrative fee my a$$!!!!

8. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I can be corrected if I am wrong, but IIRC, it is per line. On VZW I have a dumbphone(mother) line that adds 9.99 a month. Well, it actually ends up being close to 15 dollars after taxes and fees. I don't know how ATT will go about this, but the VZW method is per line.

6. papss unregistered

Bastards! I'm not leaving but still.

12. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I left. so glad i did too save myself 70.61$ after buying a pre paid SIM CARD

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Not surprising. The carriers have to find new ways to increase revenue and profit. Companies must always grow in the stock market, or see investors drop them. Just look what happened to Apple's stock when for the first time ever their monthly earnings didn't break "ALL the records!"

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Apple has nothing to do with this article.

15. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I was using them as an example, an example you should like, actually. I was pointing out that even with Apple still doing really well, their stock price was sliced in half and hasn't recovered since.

14. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Screw this. We or money back

17. tomn1ce

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

.61 cents at the end of the year it will turn out to be hundreds of millions of dollars into their coffers and yet their customers complained about the service...What are they doing with their profits instead of improving their network....

22. theSAINTjohn

Posts: 17; Member since: May 06, 2013

I agree with improving their network. I work for Verizon and we see their growth as a company almost daily, which is not expansive or improving at all, and with Big Red rolling out complete coverage of 4g in all of 3g areas in as little as a few months AT&T is soon not even going to be able to hold a candle to the competition. My guess is that the millions of dollars they will receive from this will help keep the AT&Titanic afloat.. for some time anyway... *biased alert* :p

18. jordanetodd

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

after dealing with ATT for 5 hours on the phone this morning regarding this fee, and my options as a customer, I have now resorted to a class action attorney. If you are an att customer, there may soon be a band-wagon to jump on. Email me for information (more info to be available after the holiday this monday) at imapillowhugme@gmail(dot)com

23. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

You can't resort to a class action attorney. Read your Customer Service Summary (Contract). There is an arbitration clause. All disputes regarding your contract are dealt with by an arbitration attorney. You cannot file litigation against the company for charges related to your plan. All U.S. carriers have an arbitration clause. I've sold for all four.

20. miles16852

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

i hope people respond like they did when bank of america tried to rape everyone for that $2 fee stunt they tried to pull !

24. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

If people want to put fees like this on the company, let's just stop maintaining towers, not build new ones, or pay for the land the current ones are on. Let's also stop paying the employees that work for the company. They don't need to pay their bills, feed their families, pay for medical expenses, or any of those things. They're not like you. They aren't human. I don't understand why people are so up about this. You get what you pay for. You want to pay $40 a month to have your unlimited everything, have fun not being able to use your phone when you need it most. I'd rather pay for a reliable, nationwide network.

27. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Oh yes must feed his family poor ATT CEO of AT&T totaled $20,240,457, including a base salary of $1,450,000, a cash bonus of $5,850,000, options grants worth $75,834, stock grants worth $11,999,991, and other compensation totaling $864,632.[8] Att Customer Service Representative in Ocala, FL $29,000 ATT lapdog

28. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

Cry if you want about what you make being a CSR, but as a rep in DMDR my salary is pretty decent. Aside from that, having cancer last year, AT&T shelled out around $1 million in medical expenses for me, with my total out of pocket being less than $1000. People can hate this company all they want, but I essentially owe my life to them. AT&T has been good to me.

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