Understanding Hidden Fees in Your AT&T Wireless Bill

If AT&T Wireless is hiding fees in your bill, you may have legal options.

Did you receive your bill from AT&T this past month, but saw hidden fees? 

Maybe you looked over your AT&T bill for the last several months and found the same hidden fees suddenly appearing. Now you want to know why they are on your bill, what your legal options are, especially if you have been charged for something unnecessarily. We go over your options.

When you use a service like AT&T Wireless, it is important that you review your AT&T Wireless bill every month. A regular subscription will come with monthly charges that should stay the same but there might be hidden fees when you cancel a service or change your Wireless plan. You might also find hidden fees for simple services like using a live agent to pay your monthly AT&T Wireless bill. Knowing what is forthcoming helps you locate hidden fees and figure out when AT&T Wireless is charging you in cases that they shouldn’t.

Your First AT&T Wireless Bill

In some cases your initial bill when you first signed up with AT&T Wireless will be higher because you might have purchased a phone at full price as part of your service package. It might also be higher if you are combining services and you have the final months of your previous wireless service added to the first month of your new wireless service.

First month payment

Part of your initial AT&T wireless bill will include paying Upfront for the first month. When you sign up for a new phone service whether or not you take out a new phone, you still have to pay for the first month in advance, just like paying rent. So, your first bill will be a little bit higher. It might also include taxes, surcharges, and any additional fees.

Extra fees, taxes, and surcharges

In addition to the first month, every subsequent month will likely have extra fees, taxes, and surcharges. This might include things like a 911 fee every month, as well as federal, state, and local fees for mobile phone services. 

Remember, if you have a package or bundle with AT&T, your wireless bill will list the fees, taxes, and surcharges just for the phone service while other parts of your bill might list the fees, taxes, and surcharges for things like your internet or cable bundle. The amount of extra fees and taxes are based entirely on where you live.

Hidden Fees in Your AT&T Bill

After you get your first bill, the rest of your AT&T Wireless phone bills should look the same and it is here that you can find any hidden fees in your AT&T Wireless bill.

Account summary

When you look at your AT&T wireless bill, the account summary will explain when your last statement was, how much your last payment was, and what balance remains. There might be situations where you have a remaining balance from a previous month which has been added to the current bill. This can look like a hidden fee from AT&T when in reality it’s just a remaining balance.

Service activity

All of your service activity will be listed on your AT&T wireless bill. It is important to note that if you have an AT&T wireless service as part of a bundle package, your bill will contain information on your wireless account as well as any other accounts. This should list the charges for each plan and device you have under your account with individual sections for things like:

  • Data overage charges
  • Prorated monthly charges
  • Charges beyond your initial plan
  • Rollover minutes or data
  • Hotspot charges

If you purchased a new phone as part of your AT&T wireless service, or you are on any type of installment plan for your phone or service, that will show up in a second section listing exactly how much is remaining for your installment plan and how much is due in the current month.

Are there other hidden fees I’m being charged for that I’m not aware of?

The only other hidden fees beyond these items can include unexpected taxes or price increases. You should receive warning when these will be applied to your account.

Can I refute incorrect charges?

If you are looking at your AT&T Wireless bill and you see hidden charges that you shouldn’t have been charged, you can always try to refute the charges that are duplicates or incorrect amounts. In these situations you need to contact customer service first and go over the details of the bill, explaining politely why it is incorrect and asking how it can be fixed.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If you are incorrectly charged a fee, start by contacting AT&T customer service to get it fixed. But if that doesn’t work, you have two other options.

  1. The first option is to sue AT&T in small claims court. You have to make sure that your case qualifies because not every case does. What’s more, there are limits to how much money you can get in compensation.
  2. The second option is to pursue an easier legal route:consumer arbitration. When you use consumer arbitration you have more flexibility as to what situations qualify and it’s much easier and faster to get a resolution for incorrect charges.

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