AT&T Adds New ‘Mobility Administrative Fee’ To Your Monthly Wireless Bill

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Starting in May, AT&T is introducing a new “Mobility Administrative Fee” to the bill of all postpaid customers. The new fee will cost AT&T customers an extra $0.61 per line, per month.

While the total cost of the fee is unlikely to break the bank on your next bill, it does mean that you’re going to pay an extra $7.32 per phone line per year on your wireless bill, so if you have multiple lines on your account, you’ll pay much more than an extra 7 bucks a year.

The new fee is crummy deal for customers, but AT&T is super excited to take more of your pennies because with over 70 million postpaid customers the new fee will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in extra revenue every year.

AT&T customers noticed that the new fee went into effect on May 1st. AT&T says that the Mobility Administrative Fee will help cover certain expenses, such as the charges AT&T or its agents pay to interconnect with other carriers to deliver calls from AT&T customers to their customers; and cell site rents and maintenance.

If you’re bummed out that your bill just got more expensive, AT&T argues that every other carrier is doing the same thing. In fact, Verizon and Sprint have a higher fee, so you should totally feel blessed AT&T is only taking an extra 61 cents a month from you, I guess.

  • FriarNurgle

    Almost 1/2 tempted to call and cancel. Should be able to get out of the ETFs due to fee change. Only problem is that the other carriers, besides Verizon, have poor service in the area.

  • joewaylo

    $1 a line isn’t much except to low income customers that have to count their pennies tightly. Sure it won’t break the bank but they have to tread carefully if they’re making $5 an hour.

  • LocalSEORaleigh

    There will come a time when the cost of cell phone service like land line service drops to 20-30 dollars a month. And when ti does any company that jacks up it’s prices like this will lose substantial customers. At 85.00 a month 61 cents is nothing.

  • rockarollr

    Could this company possibly get any more anti-customer? I mean, really? It seems every move they make is something to somehow screw over its customer base – whether it be withholding services that should be included in the exorbitant prices they charge, jacking prices up even further or adding random bull(sh)*t fees on a whim. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been one of their customers for 5 years now. It’s time the FCC reeled these telecoms in a bit. This kind of (sh)*t is getting out of hand now. This is nothing more than a straight MONEY GRAB with a fictitious name!

  • smanke

    Am I the only one frustrated that “postpaid customers” are singled out but postpaid is not defined? What is postpaid? It seems like something absolutely relavant to the story that should have been covered in this post. Is this all customers? All contract customers? A customers that are not pay as you go? Come on!

    Frustrated, I went to Google: Postpaid
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpaid_mobile_phone

  • rockarollr

    With the advent of messaging apps that use data plans (Blackberry Messenger, iMessage, etc.) AT&T isn’t able to rape its customers with the ridiculous SMS/MMS charges any more, so they do this to try to compensate for the reduced revenue they’ve been experiencing. This is nothing but a pure money grab. if this fee was necessary, it would have been there all along. This kind of crap just burns me a new one!

    I’m going pre-paid when my contract is up. Screw AT&T. I’ve had enough.

  • respire

    Bills with the new Administrative fee are being received by customers by now. Some momentum is growing at to have a mass of customers report to the BBB, FTC, and FCC, so I am posting easy links here, in case others wish to do so as well.

    It’s really quick and easy to make your voice heard.

    BBB: http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-reviews/telephone-companies/atandt-in-atlanta-ga-7935/file-a-complaint

    FTC: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en

    FCC: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

    You can base your info on the following but you will have to edit it to fit in the web forms:

    “AT&T has raised the price on every wireless line in service by $.61 a month by adding a new fee to every bill, which they explain as follows:”MOBILITY ADMINISTRATIVE FEEEffective May 1, 2013, the Administrative Fee will be $0.61 per line per month. 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.”

    This is a baloney way of saying “price increase”, and is a blatant violation of basic contract law which does not allow the changing of terms after the beginning of a bilateral agreement. The vast majority of ATT customers have 2-year contract agreements which prevent their switching carriers without paying a huge penalty clause.

    The ATT Wireless Agreement reads: “If we increase the price of any of the services to which you subscribe, beyond the limits set forth in your customer service summary… you may terminate this agreement without paying an early termination fee or returning or paying for any promotional items.”

    CTIA Consumer Code reads: “Carriers will not modify the material terms of their subscribers’ contracts in a manner that is materially adverse to subscribers without providing a reasonable advance notice of a proposed modification and allowing subscribers a time period of not less than 14 days to cancel their contracts with no early termination fee.”

    ATT claims that the price for the service remains the same and are only adding a “fee”. What’s from stopping AT&T from adding an additional $50/month fee and not letting customers out of their contract?

    $.61 doesn’t sound like much, but some people have multiple lines. In addition, multiplied by 115.78 million customers, AT&T makes an extra $847 million a year from this dishonest price hike.

    As it is not any kind of tax or government mandated charge, the new fee should be included in the basic price displayed in advertising and informational material. The new fee should only be charged on new contracts beginning after the increase, and existing contract customers must be allowed to either reject the price hike or be allowed to terminate their service without penalty, as the contract has already been breached by the carrier.”

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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