AT&T has almost tripled the cost of the “Administrative Fee” featured in its wireless service bills. “Up until early this year, that ‘fee’ was typically assessed at $0.76 per postpaid line — not nothing, but over the course of two years of service, it ends up being a little over $18,” reports Android Police. From the report: Most recently, subscribers getting their statements for June are finding an Administrative Fee charge of $1.99 per line every month. That brings the two-year cost of this “administrative fee” to almost $50 for each line on your account. The fee was raised earlier this year incrementally in March (by $0.54), but this new hike comes just three months after the first one, and it’s not even clear why.
AT&T is likely hoping subscribers just won’t notice their per-line bill is going up $1.23 a month versus where it was a few months ago, and in the process, could net almost a billion dollars in additional revenue according to one analyst. This could allow AT&T to finance up to $10 billion in new debt to expand its ever-broadening media empire. The fee is being assessed against all postpaid subscribers, regardless of their service plan or any grandfathering. AT&T says the fee is related to its cost of doing business, in terms of interconnect fees with other operators and cell site rents.
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