AT&T Hits Customers with a New Administrative Fee

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AT&T Wireless added a new US$0.61 a month administrative fee in May its customers will pay as part of their regular bill. The fee may be new to AT&T, but it's already standard practice at Verizon and Sprint.

AT&T bumps up cell phone bills $0.61 a month through administrative feeAT&T bumps up cell phone bills $0.61 a month through administrative fee

According to the cell service provider, the fee will cover company expenses like cell site rentals and maintenance, and interconnection costs. The new fee will add a little over $7 to subscriber's annual phone costs.

While AT&T is calling it an administrative fee, some subscribers are seeing it as a sneaky way for the company to increase profits without directly upping the price of service contracts -- and since it's a fee instead of a rate increase, AT&T can start charging all customers now instead of waiting until their contracts are up for renewal.

AT&T notified customers before the fee went into place, but apparently many didn't pay attention. For those that have noticed and want to jump to a different carrier to avoid the extra $0.61 a month, they can expect to pay at least as much at Verizon or Sprint since both already have similar fees in place.

Regardless of whether the fee really is needed to cover legit expenses, or is a clever way to boost profits, customers are stuck with it no matter which carrier they choose.

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Like it or not, cell service providers can add "administrative fees" and consumers will have to pay. At least AT&T didn't try Verizon's short-lived $2 fee for paying your bill by phone.



But despite this, in fact no matter how deceitful and underhanded AT&T might someday be. No matter what horrible things they may do to their customers, they’re still better to do business with than Rogers.


Does T-Mobile charge an admin. fee?

John Dingler, artist

I think that the administration of fees should be a two way street; If the corporation can impose a fee, for whatever reason, then the person can too. This is an aspect of democracy.

Pashtun Wally

WAY PAST time for the carriers to present an improved, customer-oriented rate plan:  shareable data pools for multi-line phones, w/  tablet/iPad access to existing paid datastreams, competing on speed, quality, uptime, AND PRICE.

I think $40/mo for talk, text and data is a plan whose time is coming fast.  Everybody’s trying to LOOK different w/out having to, y’know, BE different…and that will end - and that end is near.

Lee Dronick

“Hit” seems a bit to strong a word for a 61¢ fee, more like a tap, if that. smile

Anyway, no matter which service you may have take a look at your bill, there is usually several nickels and dimes in there.

Lee Dronick

Nice Death Star graphic!


In Re to John Dingler,
If you are offering a service to AT&T you most likely are free to add a fee to the service if you want. Of course, they may jump ship to a competitor of yours.


Now if we as customers could charge our Telco(s) when their network is offline or or when data speeds fall below a certain minimum then that’d be fair !

And we could add a service fee for having to put up with their c%@p too!

John Dingler, artist

To Thomas,
That’s old paradigm thinking.


T-Mobile does not charge the fee. Further, in a recent Internet speed test T-Mobile was neck in neck with AT&T in terms of Internet speed. Verizon came in at third place, and Sprint at fourth.

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