Sneaky! AT&T Just Doubled Admin Fee for 64.5 Million Customers

Updated

While you weren't looking, AT&T may have increased its revenue by almost $1 billion.

Fortune reports that the company has doubled the "administrative fee" on the bottom of its monthly wireless bills from 76 cents to $1.99. AT&T has 64.5 million monthly customers, meaning it could raise its revenue by $800 million a year.
Credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty ImagesCredit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty ImagesSome customers have confirmed that the charge is on their bill. 

 

AT&T recently acquired Time Warner for about $108 billion, so it may be cash-strapped. Its stock price is also down 16 percent this year.

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“This is a standard administrative fee across the wireless industry, which helps cover costs we incur for items like cell site maintenance and interconnection between carriers,” AT&T told Fortune.

In documentation, the company claims the fee is used to "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.”

These costs haven't gone up much lately, according to Fortune, which means the cost is probably going to be used more generally to fund the recent acquisition.

Sprint and Verizon charge similar vaguely defined fees, while T-Mobile stopped adding them last year.