Posted Apr 16, 2013
2:44:44 AM
New Admin Fee?

I hear everyone is getting a brand new fee, called the "MOBILITY ADMINISTRATIVE FEE".

 

What is it, how much is it, and what is it for?

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Jun 3, 2013 9:36:55 AM
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Edited by Dorlese_D on Dec 12, 2013 at 9:24:45 AM

harryspar wrote:

I hear everyone is getting a brand new fee, called the "MOBILITY ADMINISTRATIVE FEE".

 

What is it, how much is it, and what is it for?



Everyone, 

 

Here is a link to definitions of all fees. Since this is such an active discussion, hopefully this will help. 

 

Additional Charges

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
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May 24, 2013 4:58:46 AM
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hojbjerg wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:

harryspar wrote:
Difference is, if I went to the other carrier I would be agreeing to the charge at the BEGINNING of the contract, which is OK.

I'm not putting words into anyone's mouth. I have no idea who does or doesn't think ATT is within thier rights to impose a $30 fee next month if they want to cover $30 of expenses. I'm simply sutting the question out for public comment: If
1) it is OK to add fees below the line if they are for business expenses rather than taxes, and
2) ATT has more than 61 cents od expenses per month then
3) what is the limit?

 


harryspar wrote:

If you think it would be OK for them to add a $30 "Business Expenses" surcharge on every bill, well, I think that's absurd. AT&T thinks that's fine.

I know where my limits are but do not know where yours would nor do I speculate, what is the limit for the cost of gasoline? What about electricity. If you feel that the .61 cents is your limit then change carriers, it is as simple as that.


Sorry - it is not that simple. The problem here is that you cannot simply change carrier because most people are still locked into their contract. 


You are not locked into your contract, there is a method to leave your current contract and go to another carrier, it just depends on how strong your conviction is to the issue that is causing you discomfort, if it is strong enough you hav the means, it just costs you financially. Have walked away from numerous contracts that cost me plenty - a lot more then the maximum etf of a cell phone becasue I disagreed with the companies policies and requirements.

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 6:35:59 AM
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Update: over the last 24 hours or so, the story of the admin fee starting getting coverage from news outlets and tech blogs. If there is bad publicity over this ATT might blink. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days and weeks.

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May 24, 2013 6:37:23 AM
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Arguing over what the fee is called or what AT&T claims is its purpose is irrelevant , the bottom line is that is just additional income for AT&T.  They came up with an amount per line that a group of corporate executives felt would be small enough to avoid the outrage similar to what Verizon experienced.  The fact that other companies do it does not make it right, but this is something that is not limited to phone companies.  I have had charges added to my cable bill, electric bill and city water/sewer bill to "allegedly" pay for things that used to be covered in the monthly base fee.  And airlines now charge for checking bags, printing boarding passes, etc. I'd rather they all just be upfront and say they are raising prices for their service and/or product.

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 8:13:34 AM
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Here is a Blog that I found that relates to this discussion - Enjoy!

 

Analyst Blogs

May 23, 2013, 8:35 p.m.
Joe Hoffman Principal Analyst

AT&T announces a heavy-handed imposition of an arbitrary 61¢ fee per user and sets the twitterati ablaze. Megabits of commentary angst like “worst outcome” “destroy net neutrality” “punish their customer” have been spilled over this.

But why would AT&T do this? Because they can, and it is all in the pricing strategy. Now that AT&T is comfortable with their shiny new pricing tools and flexibility that comes with them, looks like someone in the Executive MBA program has discovered Price Elasticity of Demand.

The mathematically challenged can skip over this, but elasticity simply indicates how much AT&T can jack up the price, lose some customers, and make more money on those that remain.

 

But why 61¢, why not $1 or $5 or $10? Because AT&T understands price elasticity of demand. When AT&T raises the price by 61¢, they know hardly anyone is going to bail on them, and so can impose this with impunity. $1 or $5 or $10 is just too much to swallow all at once, but give them time. For now, $500 - $600 Million will flow right to the bottom line. Brilliant! No fancy software tools, no focus groups, no high priced engineers and programmers, and no iPhone subsidies. Just a raw, brute force price increase. In six to 9 months, add another fee, then rinse and repeat a few more time. Marketing beats engineering every time!

Companies exist to maximize profit and are not charitable institutions. The entire goal of a pricing strategy is to get the various segments of their customer base to pay up to their willing maximum. The “punishments” spoken about are a psychological means to encourage people to willingly part with the maximum.

But why 61¢? Why not 99¢? That has some something to do with pricing psychology. Gasoline is priced in tenths of a penny as in $3.99 9 . Let the gas station on the opposite corner price at $4.00 and watch the line form across the street. And cell plans at AT&T are priced the same way - $39.99 and $69.99. Q.E.D.

Why a fee and not simply a price increase? Data usage is beyond mass market comprehension, so keep it simple - $30/3 Gigabyte. $50$/5 Gigabyte. And, don’t punish the customer and keep overages fair and reasonable - only $10/1 Gigabyte. After all, the mass market has no way of knowing how many Gigabytes they are consuming, though some might check after the fact. And how does AT&T count these Gigabytes?

Suppose AT&T decides on a direct price increase - how awkward do these sound?

$30.61/3 Gigabyte. Or maybe $30/0.980 Gigabytes? Or maybe $40.60/month? So, keep the plan and price simple, but goose the profits with fees. Now this sounds like an airline or a bank, not necessarily role models for sure, but it gets us to the point where everything of value is priced and monetized. Just wait until BigData Analytics reach full stride, “Would you like a Gigabyte of data with your fries, sir?”

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 11:12:13 AM
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Administrative Fee is nothing more than overhead cost and cost of doing business. BY ANY OTHER TERM A RATE INCREASE THEY ARE TRYING TO DISGUISE !

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May 24, 2013 11:14:31 AM
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By any other terms a rate increase disguised

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May 24, 2013 11:54:10 AM
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Edited by Phil-101 on May 24, 2013 at 12:23:01 PM

We have been on the phone with AT&T for about an hour and a half. They've been dodging questions, giving vague answers. Masking fees is not good business.

 

<Legal discussions are not permitted per the Guidelines>

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 11:59:55 AM
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Professor

Mobility adminstratiive fee my rear!!! Just another BULLCRAP fee as a revenue generator. 

$51.24 additonal cost a year on a account of 7 lines. 

 

Greedy AT&T. 

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 2:09:06 PM
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$14.64/year on our 2 lines. I really don't understand how this cannot be considered a breach of contract and grounds for dismissing the contract without prejudice or penalty.

 

I have no doubt AT&T will make it 4 years in a row now with the lowest customer satisfaction rating.

 

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 3:36:26 PM
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Edited by wingrider01 on May 24, 2013 at 3:38:40 PM

n1tr0 wrote:

$14.64/year on our 2 lines. I really don't understand how this cannot be considered a breach of contract and grounds for dismissing the contract without prejudice or penalty.

 

I have no doubt AT&T will make it 4 years in a row now with the lowest customer satisfaction rating.

 


becasue the only cost that pertains you being able to terminate a contract early with no etf is the cost of the voice plan - if you contracted for 500 minutes @ 39.95 for 2 years before fees and they raised it to 49.95 6 months into your contract then you can cancel with no etf, federal, state, local, recover costs, e911 costs regulatoy fees, features such as data or text plans do not factor into the contract, this is documented in your TOS, FUP and cellular agreement.

 

Guess 113 million wirless customers, the lowest churn rate in the industry for the last few years trumps the bolxed up CS survey's that rags like Consumer reports puts out. they mist be doing something right - oh almost forget the number 2 cellular carrier in the nation and giving verizon a good run for their money.

Re: New Fee?

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May 24, 2013 4:16:44 PM
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I signed up just to call bull on this. If my company started charging an administrative fee to cover the cost of, for example, our machines going down, our clients would switch in a heartbeat.

 

Competition. There is none.

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May 24, 2013 6:28:45 PM
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Mystiq wrote:

I signed up just to call bull on this. If my company started charging an administrative fee to cover the cost of, for example, our machines going down, our clients would switch in a heartbeat.

 

Competition. There is none.


If you are speaking of competition in the celluar business then you are really off base, counting MVNO's there are about 300 cellular providers through out the US.

If any other business, again I doubt it, if there is one company provideing a service then there are dozen's, little things like the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914, and the Federal Trade Commision Act of 1914.

 

You don;t expand on the comment of "Competition. There is none." pretty sure you are not referencing your company since the prior statement of "our machines going down, our clients would switch in a heartbeat." indicates there is another company that provides the same machines.  Curious on your exact meaning of the statement

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May 24, 2013 10:26:30 PM
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Edited by Mystiq on May 24, 2013 at 10:36:08 PM

wingrider01 wrote:

Mystiq wrote:

I signed up just to call bull on this. If my company started charging an administrative fee to cover the cost of, for example, our machines going down, our clients would switch in a heartbeat.

 

Competition. There is none.


If you are speaking of competition in the celluar business then you are really off base, counting MVNO's there are about 300 cellular providers through out the US.

If any other business, again I doubt it, if there is one company provideing a service then there are dozen's, little things like the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914, and the Federal Trade Commision Act of 1914.

 

You don;t expand on the comment of "Competition. There is none." pretty sure you are not referencing your company since the prior statement of "our machines going down, our clients would switch in a heartbeat." indicates there is another company that provides the same machines.  Curious on your exact meaning of the statement


I should think I wouldn't need to clarify but I will anyway. Disclaimer: Yes I know this is just anecdotal evidence.

 

There are a large number of cellular providers(*3) but there's also the fact that they all have degrees of coverage with different cell networks. I live about 45 minutes from New York City, which is occasionally notorious for bad coverage. Thankfully with AT&T it's been good. Where I live about 50 miles east, my phone has 4/5 bars. I remember when it used to be only 2 and I was iffy on using my phone for calls because it would occassionally drop or the first connection was difficult for one party. Out in the middle of nowhere farther out east, cell service is even spottier. When I went to California I didn't bother looking but I mostly used text.

 

Point is I find it hard to believe the carriers don't recognize that wireless bandwidth is a commodity and charge accordingly. If I did switch to T-Mobile -- and right now I'm considering it -- I have no idea where I won't be able to use my phone. I also have to unlock my phone, which I'm currently being charged for. Competition among carriers, yes, but the advantage of using the big ones is the larger coverage and with that, faster Internet access because spectrum is finite. That is where the difference lies.

 

T-Mobile can't possibly have the same coverage and speed as AT&T because they can't use the same spectrum, unless they license AT&T's towers. (Unless the providers were made to lease spectrum from a 3rd party, these are essentialy natural monopolies. Of course, that's another thread entirely.) If I want good coverage, I have to go with the company that has the most spectrum. My phone is useless if there is no coverage near my cousin in the boonies. It could be that I live in an area where T-Mobile has excellent coverage, and that would be awesome, but not everyone lives near a large city or in a heavily populated area. They have much less or no choice.

 

When my company buys new equipment, we don't start charging an administration fee for that equipment, or for the renting costs, or when we have to outsource jobs because some of our equipment goes down. We simply jack up the price if necessary to cover costs. And even then, there's a lot of price competition in our market so our costs tend to go up and down like a yo-yo. Or, dare I say, we simply eat the costs because of market pressure and our bottom line drops.

 

I don't think I would quite hate AT&T as much if they weren't trying to nickel and dime people at every turn. It isn't just this fee. It's everything they do that angers me: double charging for texts(*1), these stupid shared plans that cost more unless there are enough people using it, blocking apps based on which data plan you have, weaseling their way out of waiving the ETF by calling it a "fee" instead of a price hike, dropping unlimited data plans(*2), throttling people with unlimited data plans... the list goes on and on. The only good thing I have to say about AT&T is they reversed the charge by some company that was charging me for 3 months before I found out about it.

 

Not to mention the fact that I fully believe AT&T "materially" changed my contract by raising the price, which invalidates it. I also believe they're pretty arrogant for listing the reasons they did, and thinking nothing of it. That would probably be naive: they probably don't think nothing of it but know most people probably won't argue for $0.61. It will go up again. And again. And again. I should mention there are 3 people on my plan so my bill goes up by $1.83.

 

I shudder to think what would've happened if AT&T was allowed to buy T-Mobile; I would have nowhere good to go because I have a GSM phone.

 

There's a reason Verizon and AT&T make the consumers' most hated lists year after year. If people could switch, there would be no reason to hate them near as much. I don't like GameStop but I don't complain because I have plenty of other places to go. I wouldn't complain about AT&T if I could easily switch to T-Mobile and expect comparable or better service. For the reasons mentioned above, mostly due to spectrum, I can't.

 

(*1) Once for sending, once for receiving. I don't understand the ridiculous price for 150 bytes + overhead data, which is probably the reason for this. Are people dropping texting plans in favor of apps? iMessage!

(*2) I still have mine, and refuse to let it go on sheer principle.

(*3) I would argue this is false. 100% of the people I know (more anecdotal evidence!) only have AT&T or Verizon. If there was healthy competition, more people would be on other carriers. Competitors, yes. Serious competitors, no.

Re: New Fee?

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May 27, 2013 6:10:33 AM
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Edited by BeSkepticalOfAll on May 27, 2013 at 6:14:09 AM

I encourage everyone to file at least an FCC complaint.  Bolder customers should consider filing for arbitration.  Unfortunately, though, the arbitrator is paid by AT&T, which may significantly sway her/his judgment.

 

A customer would almost certainly win in small claims court, but some states make such filing quite expensive, difficulty, or time-consuming.

Re: New Fee?

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May 28, 2013 5:23:35 AM
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Teacher

>> "I have no problem with a company choosing to increase its prices, just not in the middle of a contract.
The fact that they are breaching a contract by making up a baloney name for the fee, is the crux of the matter"

 

I agree, this is a legendary level of sophistry. 

Re: New Fee?

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May 28, 2013 8:57:07 AM
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cmeisenzahl wrote:

>> "I have no problem with a company choosing to increase its prices, just not in the middle of a contract.
The fact that they are breaching a contract by making up a baloney name for the fee, is the crux of the matter"

 

I agree, this is a legendary level of sophistry. 


you need to read your contract, terms of service and the other paperwork that was given to you or who ever pays for the account when it was signed. There is only one section of all your service that will allow a termination without an etf - or as you claim, breach of contract.

 

The only cost that can allow you to get out a the contract with no etf is the cost of the voice plan, if you sign for 700 minute 2 line family plan at 59.95, if that cost goes up to 69.95 3 months later you can cancel without an etf. Regulatory fees, federal, state, local taxes, recover fees, extra features such as texting and data plans going up are not part of the set that allows you to get out of jail free - aka breach of contract.

 

 

the simple fact that very few people read and understand what they sign is the promary cause of the diagreement.

Re: New Fee?

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May 29, 2013 10:52:52 PM
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I'm on a $15/mo tablet data plan so this $.61 represents a 4% increase on my bill. Like most everyone else here, I know bull hockey when I smell it and calling this an admin fee stinks to high heaven.

 

Instead of filing a complaint with some bureaucracy that will go nowhere, I plan to make it hit them in the pocketbook. I'll call their toll free support number every month this appears on my bill and tie up a customer service rep for way more than 61 cents of their time.

 

I suggest everyone else do the same. Do it while driving in your car or somewhere else where it doesn't take up any more of your day. Maybe when they realize people are upset they'll reconsider.

Re: New Fee?

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May 30, 2013 3:24:27 AM
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Edited by ATTJulieCS on May 30, 2013 at 1:36:07 PM

irontoby it still pays to file with BBC, FTC, and FCC. The complaints don't go nowhere, AT&T takes them seriously.

Re: New Admin Fee?

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May 31, 2013 12:42:26 PM
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I have filed a complaint on the FCC's website. 

 

AT&T asserts that their customer contract allows them to make up new fees because they feel like taking more money (rather than by government mandate), that customers are required to pay (or pay the ETF to leave). 

 

This practice, if it isn't illegal, is certainly unethical, and anti-consumer.  I don't care who else does it.  If all of their true competitors are engaging in the same practice, then what is required are laws that prevent the abuse of the practice.

 

I think T-Mobile is on the right track with their no-contract BYOD option.  Hopefully this will spread to the rest of the market, and we will be able to purchase our phones, and pay an un-subsidized non-contract price for mobile service.

Re: New Admin Fee?

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May 31, 2013 2:30:06 PM
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The new fee's been featured in Time Magazine: http://business.time.com/2013/05/29/atts-new-61-cent-fee-highlights-wireless-nickel-and-diming/

 

The monthly fee they quote stays the same, so they can still compete on price, but customers wind up paying more... It defended its action with the “everybody else is doing it” excuse...“below the line” charges aren’t bundled into the base rate of your plan, and since they’re all lumped in with the regular sales tax you pay and given confusing, vague names, carriers hope you won’t really notice them, or will assume that they’re all taxes that go to government coffers, not their bottom line... “We really feel good about our wireless position. Revenues continue to grow with expanding margins,” AT&T CFO John Stephens told investors on the company’s conference call last month. (This, keep in mind, coming from the same company that says it needs customers to contribute to costs like renting and maintaining its cell towers.)

 


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Jun 1, 2013 11:48:23 AM
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So this will be used by ATT for maintaining its cell towers? Does this mean that they'll be putting gas in their generators after the next big storm so we can have cell service for more than a day after the storm?

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Jun 1, 2013 8:52:25 PM
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No, that'll be the Fuel Surcharge - coming soon!

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Jun 2, 2013 5:16:31 AM
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harryspar wrote:

No, that'll be the Fuel Surcharge - coming soon!


Fuel surcharges are already in place - next

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Jun 2, 2013 11:02:35 AM
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Coming soon - a Fuel Surcharge and a Fuel Administration Surcharge.

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Jun 2, 2013 10:06:41 PM
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I noticed the raise in my otherwise very regular AT&T bill this month and started looking in to it.  I found the Administrative Fee they snuck on there.

I have filed a complaint with the FCC regarding this practive, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.  The more complaints the FCC gets, the higher priority it will become for them to investigate this defrauding of customers.

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Jun 3, 2013 3:20:15 AM
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Gldrush don't forget the FCC. BBB. and your state's attorney general.

Re: New Admin Fee?

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Jun 3, 2013 8:31:23 AM
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Here is what I did and recommend everyone try this.  If you are still under contract, add up your months left in the contract and muliple by .61.  Call AT&T and ask for that much money back or for your fee to be waived, as you are under contract.  They should be able to add fees to people going month to month or to a new contract but NOT to people in a contract. 

 

They gave me $25 credit on my current bill.  This more then makes up for the extra money the fee will be in the rest of my contract with extra for the trouble of having to call them. 

 

I'm not saying you will get this, but I think its well worth the phone call.

Attempt This Unless You Enjoy Paying More

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Jun 3, 2013 9:19:24 AM
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bald_guy wrote:

Here is what I did and recommend everyone try this.  If you are still under contract, add up your months left in the contract and muliple by .61.  Call AT&T and ask for that much money back or for your fee to be waived, as you are under contract.  They should be able to add fees to people going month to month or to a new contract but NOT to people in a contract. 

 

They gave me $25 credit on my current bill.  This more then makes up for the extra money the fee will be in the rest of my contract with extra for the trouble of having to call them. 

 

I'm not saying you will get this, but I think its well worth the phone call.


regulatory and cost recovery fees are not part of the get out of etf free senario, they part of your contract that would casue a get of etf free is if they alter the price of your voice plan, like from 39.99 to 42.99 then you have a out. Period. So those fees can be added, increased, decrease, state, federal, local taxes can be increase the the rumored E911 cost recovery charge increase are all valid.

Re: Attempt This Unless You Enjoy Paying More

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Jun 3, 2013 9:36:55 AM
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Community Specialist
Edited by Dorlese_D on Dec 12, 2013 at 9:24:45 AM

harryspar wrote:

I hear everyone is getting a brand new fee, called the "MOBILITY ADMINISTRATIVE FEE".

 

What is it, how much is it, and what is it for?



Everyone, 

 

Here is a link to definitions of all fees. Since this is such an active discussion, hopefully this will help. 

 

Additional Charges


Rethink Possible

For account specific help, please send a private message to ATTCustomerCare

Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions here.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: New Admin Fee?

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Jun 3, 2013 10:50:21 AM
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Well, we will just have to agree to disagree.  This isn't no manadory fee that is going to the goverment.  Just one they added for there own bottom line.  Be like me saying I decided to pay 1 dollar less each month.  If they put it on top of the bill or bottom, there is no real difference.

 

But anyway, not arguing with you about it, if you are a company kiss up, so be it.

Re: Attempt This Unless You Enjoy Paying More

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