Earlier this week, former employees called out AT&T for unethical business practices that pushed customers to sign up for various streaming TV packages, sometimes without their knowledge or explicit consent. But now, it seems things may have gotten even worse thanks to a sneaky tactic that could allow AT&T to rake in an extra $800 million a year.
Discovered by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk (via Fortune), it seems AT&T’s new strategy to increase revenue is by upping the “administrative” fees tacked onto monthly phone bills from 76 cents to $1.99. While that might not sound like much, when you take into account AT&T’s 64.5 million monthly wireless customers and then multiply that by 12 months a year, you’re suddenly looking at a lot more than a simple chunk of change.
Piecyk says that anyone on a traditional post-paid plan will be subject to the increased fees, while pre-paid accounts will be spared, for now.
According to Fortune, AT&T may be under pressure from investors to bring in more money after Moody’s Investor Services recently reported that AT&T was “weakly positioned” to support its debt, while also urging the company to find new ways to bolster its finances.
In addition to AT&T’s new increased administrative fees, last week, the company also introduced new “unlimited” wireless plans that were first to take advantage of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner (renamed WarnerMedia) by offering free subscriptions to its new WatchTV service.
However, hidden among the fine print for AT&T’s new Unlimited &More plan was a $5 monthly price hike for customers with a single line when compared to AT&T’s existing Unlimited Choice Enhanced plan.
And even though other versions of AT&T’s Unlimited &More plans feature rates that stayed the same, all these sneaky little changes mean that anyone on AT&T should take a real close look at their bill right now to make sure figures haven’t jumped up without your knowledge.