AT&T slaps customers with all-new Mobility Administrative Fee

AT&T Chicago store (interior 001)

AT&T fanboys, beware – as of May 1, your favorite carrier has instituted a new Mobility Administrative Fee which adds an extra $0.61 per line, per month to your wireless bill.

Yes, you’ll hardly notice the additional charge, but it does work out to an extra $7.32 per phone line per year, or nearly thirty bucks annually for a family account with four lines.

But multiply the figure by AT&T’s nearly 70 million postpaid customers and that paltry $0.61 per-line charge quickly adds up to an additional hundreds of millions of extra dollars for the telco, each year. Wait, what’s a Mobility Administrative Fee, you ask…

An AT&T spokesperson told The Verge that the new Mobility Administrative Fee will “help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance.”

As if it’s any consolation, the spokesperson explains the move is “consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers.”

While this is true – and Verizon’s administrative line charges are arguably the highest in the industry – I doubt AT&T’s unsuspecting customers will welcome the move.

AT&T also today launched the new AT&T Cruise Ship packages and AT&T International Long Distance Messaging 1000 package aimed at its customers setting sail this summer with Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises or select Celebrity Cruises ships.

Head over to the AT&T website for fine print.

And in related AT&T news, the telco recently launched its all-new prepaid AIO Wireless brand, confirmed it will enable FaceTime over cellular for all users by year’s end and has just rolled out its 4G LTE network to customers in Santa Cruz-WatsonvilleVentura-Oxnard, Outer Banks and Anderson.

By the way, why is it that these Soviet ministries – as Walt Mossberg once contemptuously called carriers – are able to get away with taking advantage of consumers?