. Thanks reader Kory for screenshot
AT&T started this month charging an administrative fee of $.61/month/user for its mobile customers in addition to its current fees. While the fee may be small, as the Verge notes it adds ‘up to hundreds of millions of dollars’ over 24 month contracts and millions of customers. What gives? An AT&T spokesperson told us:
Consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers, the monthly fee of 61 cents per line will help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance
The fee applies to consumer mobility lines as well as IRU lines – the kind of business lines where the employee pays the bill directly.
AT&T isn’t alone in this endeavor. Verizon charges admin fees of $0.91 and Sprint charges $1.99. (Plus more for regulatory fees.) T-Mobile’s combined regulatory programs fee is $1.61. On this basis, AT&T’s is still the lowest of all carriers. It still sucks though. “expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance” seems like it should be part of the current fees and that fee is easier to raise because it isn’t part of the publicized rate plan.