AT&T has just added a new hidden charge to wireless bills for all of their customers with post-paid accounts. As noted by The Verge, the new “administrative fee” amounts to just $0.61 per month (for a total of $7.32 per year), and is explained as a way to “help defray certain expenses AT&T incurs”.
The fee is listed in the above screenshot, taken directly from an AT&T Service page on “additional charges.” While $0.61 per month doesn’t seem like anything to make a fuss over, the reality is that once that fee is spread across AT&T’s base of 70 million post-paid subscriber accounts, AT&T is raking in over half a billion dollars from unsuspecting customers. That’s a lot of dough!
Here’s AT&T’s official description of the fee:
Administrative Fee (Consumer and Individual Responsibility User (IRU) lines only)
The Administrative Fee helps defray certain expenses AT&T incurs, including but not limited to: (a) charges AT&T or its agents pay to interconnect with other carriers to deliver calls from AT&T customers to their customers; and (b) charges associated with cell site rents and maintenance.
As if AT&T doesn’t already make money off their customers hand-over-fist, they feel the need to pilfer a few hundred million additional dollars from their customers – in such small increments that few customers are ever likely to detect the new fee on their bills. Shameful. I’ll just file this under the ever-growing pile of anti-consumer AT&T failures…