AT&T to Make $500M ... by Charging You 61 Cents

New administrative fee went into effect May 1

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2013 8:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're an AT&T wireless customer, your May bill will feature a new charge: a 61-cent monthly administrative fee. Before you pooh-pooh it as small potatoes, consider this: The Wall Street Journal reports that the move could tally up to an extra $518 million for the company in 2014. And the charge is far from an unusual one; Sprint and Verizon levy $1.50 and 90-cent administrative fees, respectively.

But just because they're routine doesn't mean they're easily swallowed: AT&T says the new fee covers "certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell-site rents and maintenance." But the research director at Free Press complains that those administrative fees are just the "cost of doing business." And by imposing this new fee, AT&T's top line will look a little prettier: One analyst expects the fee will boost the company's 2013 revenue growth by 0.3 percentage points.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, an AT&T logo is displayed on an AT&T Wireless retail store front, in Philadelphia.
In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, an AT&T logo is displayed on an AT&T Wireless retail store front, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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