Like AT&T, Sprint has raised the “administrative fee” it tacks on to the bills of its wireless customers, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal. The fee is supposedly meant to cover payments to local telephone companies, property taxes, and other legal expenses, Sprint claims. Users on Reddit and other forums report seeing the fee increase — from $1.99 to $2.50 per month — on their bills as early as March of this year.
The Verge previously reported that AT&T more than doubled its administrative fee, from $0.76 to $1.99 per month just a few weeks ago. It’s a move that could add $970 million to AT&T’s annual revenue, as well as help pay for the $85 billion the company spent acquiring Time Warner.
It looks like Sprint did the same, but it managed to avoid much of the public outcry AT&T has endured this past month. When applied to the more than 30 million post-paid wireless lines that Sprint has on its network, the spike could lead to an additional $200 million in annual revenue for the company, the WSJ reports.
This past April, Sprint agreed to an all-stock merger with T-Mobile to combine both wireless carriers. There’s no word yet on how this price hike might affect the merger. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has long touted the company’s adherence to a no hidden-fee policy. We also don’t know how it will affect the $32 billion of net debt the company was swimming in as of this past March, but charging customers more money for the same service could certainly help.