‘Where on earth did this additional cost come from?’ you exclaim in frustration, and with growing puzzlement when you receive your final internet and TV package bill.
Too many times, we are so enticed by attractive internet and TV plan prices that in our excitement, we neglect to read the fine print alongside the package price, which mentions additional fees and taxes associated with the services.
But who bothers reading those, shouldn’t the customer service staff make that clear while we are ordering the services? As a prospective customer, you definitely should know all about hidden costs, so you are easily able to decide which service to exclude in your final purchase to tone down the cost and are better able to bargain with the support staff regarding pricing.
You don’t have to trudge towards your magnifying glass to read those teeny-tiny sentences that will help you calculate the actual final cost, we have done all the research and produced a single comprehensive document so you can know all about AT&T’s hidden costs from the inside out.
U-Verse Is Out, AT&T TV Is In
Before we move onto dissecting all the AT&T TV and Internet plans, as a prospective customer, know that AT&T has brought in a new entertainment service, known as AT&T TV. You will not find AT&T U-verse being offered by the ISP any longer. However, the existing U-verse TV customers remain untouched by the changes rolled out.
The new AT&T TV offers all that U-verse TV has to offer and more. The service offers Live TV, a larger variety of On-Demand shows and movies, voice remote with Google assistant support, search and switch apps at one place, access 5,000 apps including Netflix and Pandora on the Google Play Store, 500 hours of cloud DVR, and unlimited simultaneous recordings of your favorite shows.
AT&T TV shouldn’t be confused with AT&T TV NOW, which was previously called DIRECTV NOW and the service was rolled out last year. There are a few key differences between the two services in terms of a content type.
So before you sign up for all these perks, know accurately what they will cost.
AT&T TV Services Taxes and Fees
Apart from the introductory prices, additional fees and taxes are most of the time mentioned in fine print or you have to investigate it yourself via a customer service representative. Reps are only humans, sometimes they forget to mention a certain fee you could be charged, and then, you risk getting thoroughly riled up upon receiving the bill with an additional cost of which you weren’t informed before.
Before you get on a call with the customer support, read on to find about additional fees that you may be charged with after some time and plan how you can get out of them.
AT&T Taxes and Surcharges
As for taxes, there is no way you can evade those as all ISPs are charged regulatory fees by the federal government, and these expenses are passed on to customers.
The taxes and surcharges attached to your final bill vary across regions as per their federal, state, local laws, taxing authority, and physical address where the services are utilized, which may be different from your billing address.
Here are some of the charges that you may get on your bill:
Note: You will not get all of these charges, but some, depending on your state laws.
Federal Universal Service Fee (USF)
State Universal Service Charge
State Telecom Relay Service Surcharge
Regulatory or State Cost Recovery Charge
Sales and Use Taxes
Cost Assessment Charge
Other AT&T Charges
AT&T Late Fee
AT&T reserves the right to charge you a late fee if you exceeded the bill due date. The payment varies; it may be $10/mo. or higher, depending on which package you have subscribed to. You can see how much late fee you have been charged in the Account charges section of your online or paper bill.
AT&T TV Introductory Pricing
AT&T TV plans are available to US customers only, excluding Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The service requires high-speed internet connectivity with a minimum of 8 Mbps per stream for the optimal viewing experience, but AT&T recommends a minimum Internet 25 plan for its Choice, Xtra, and Ultimate plans. But you aren’t required to subscribe to AT&T internet services to be eligible for AT&T TV.
When you subscribe as a new customer, AT&T TV offers promotional packages in the first year of the services along with other perks. As the prescribed tenure ends, your bill is automatically charged with the regular price.
AT&T TV Standalone Packages Prices
ENTERTAINMENT — $49.99/mo. for 12 mo. with 70 Channels
CHOICE — $54.99/mo. for 12 mo. with 90 Channels
XTRA — $64.99/mo. for 12 mo. with 120 channels
Ultimate — $69.99/mo. for 12 mo. with 125 channels
OPTIMO MAS — $54.99/mo. for 12 mo. with Spanish channels
AT&T TV 2nd Year Price Hikes
In the second year, your chosen package price increases automatically on your bill unless you cancel or change the services before the end of the promotional period.
ENTERTAINMENT — $93/mo. with 70 channels
CHOICE — $110/mo. with 90 channels
XTRA — $124/mo. with 120 channels
Ultimate — $135/mo. with 125 channels
OPTIMO MAS — $86/mo. for Spanish channels
AT&T TV Activation Fee: A One-Time Charge
There is a zero AT&T installation fee for the TV service. However, you are charged a one-time $19.95 activation fee for your AT&T TV services.
AT&T TV is easy to install by yourself, just plug in the TV box, switch it on, connect with the internet, and follow the instructions on the screen. No, you can stream the TV service anywhere in the US, excluding Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, via smartphone, tablet, laptop, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, etc.
However, when streaming on certain third-party devices, you are limited to your home Wi-Fi network, which you can change up to 4 times within a 12-month tenure as you relocate your AT&T TV device.
AT&T TV Equipment Fees
When you subscribe to any AT&T TV package, you get an easy-to-install AT&T device for your home and a voice remote for live TV along with 500 hours of cloud DVR. The voice remote comes armed with Google Assistant, which requires your own Google account to work. The box can act as your 4K streaming device for your Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus, and Pandora. The recordings on your DVR expire after 90 days.
If you require an additional TV box, you can pay a $10/mo. fee for a year or purchase the device for $120. AT&T allows you to stream up to three devices simultaneously.
Other smart home devices are optional services, which come with their own individual fees.
AT&T TV Premium Channel Subscription
AT&T allows you to opt for any number of premium channels along with all the extra sports channels in your TV plans. Here AT&T entices you with its 12-months of free HBO® and 3 months of free Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX®.
For the Entertainment, Choice, Xtra packages, the prices for these premium channels will auto-renew after the period of 3-months at a then prevailing rate, which is $39.99/mo. at the moment. The HBO subscription will auto-renew after 12 months at a then prevailing rate, which is $15/mo. currently. The total cost of all these premium channels after a year will equal $54.99/mo. unless you cancel them before auto-renewal.
For the Ultimate Package, you are only offered HBO®, CINEMAX®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX® for the first three months, after which, you are charged a $54/mo. fee unless you cancel.
Moreover, you have access to 5,000 apps such as Netflix and Pandora on the Play Store but require separate subscriptions for these apps.
Whichever premium channels or apps you are subscribed to, you can then access them all and switch between these apps via your AT&T TV device.
If you are fond of Premium content, consider going for AT&T Plus (AT&T TV Now package), which adds HBO to the package for a price of $110/mo. Or opt for AT&T Max (AT&T TV Now package), which is the boss of all packages as it includes all the premium channels and other sports networks at the price of $130/mo. The price after the end of contract tenure is not known, confirm from your customer service representative before subscribing.
AT&T TV Regional Sports Fee
You are charged an extra $8.49/mo. as a regional sports fee if you opt for the Choice, Xtra, Or Ultimate Package, which allows you to view regional sports networks covering your local sports teams as a part of the TV package.
AT&T TV Add-Ons
If you are a sports aficionado, you can add your favorite sports networks for a fee of $5/mo. to your basic TV package.
If you want Spanish telenovelas and sports programming included in your TV package, you can get it for a price of $15/mo.
You can even opt for international programming with your TV packages for a fee:
Vietnamese — $20/mo.
Korean — $30/mo.
Brazilian — $30/mo.
AT&T TV Termination Fees
If you want to terminate your services with AT&T TV, be prepared to pay $15/mo. for each remaining time in your contract. Once you have canceled your services with AT&T TV, you can continue watching AT&T TV for the remainder of the month.
AT&T doesn’t offer any refunds or credits for the remaining period of the month or for any unwatched content.
Moreover, return your AT&T equipment on time or else you will be fined for late equipment return.
Summary: The Hidden Cost of AT&T TV Plans
Regional Sports Fee (RSF)
AT&T TV Box & Remote (Included in the Package, charges for each extra set)
$10/mo. for 12 months or one-time $120
Premium Channels (HBO®, CINEMAX®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX®)
$15/mo. to $54.99/mo.
$5/mo. to $30/mo.
Early Termination Fee
Late Fee Payment
Up to $10/mo.
Taxes and Surcharges
Vary with location
The Hidden Cost of AT&T Internet Plans
AT&T Internet Cost
AT&T offers DSL across 22 states, standing as the 2nd largest DSL provider in the US, which is a popular option for rural residents. On the other hand, its fiber services are available to an estimated 25.1 million US residents, ranking 3rd in terms of coverage area in the US.
Moreover, AT&T fixed wireless service is available to some 2.7 million residents in the US.
The AT&T internet prices differ depending on the broadband type, location, standalone, or bundled plan option. Their availability differs as per the location, to determine the internet package or bundle available in your area, insert your zip code in the BuyTVInternetPhone zip tool or contact the customer service for accurate price quotes in your area.
Meanwhile, here is the pricing of basic AT&T internet plans.
AT&T DSL Internet Cost
AT&T DSL plans offer the fastest speed they can deliver in your area, ranging between 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps, but at a fixed introductory price of $49.99/mo. for 12 mos. taxes on all addresses.
So wherever you live in the US, its internet speeds will vary as per its network capacity in the region, but the AT&T internet rates will remain the same. After the first 12-months, you would be charged then prevailing rates, which is currently $59.99/mo. taxes.
AT&T Fiber Internet Cost
AT&T Fiber plans work in the same manner, the provider offers maximum possible speed i.e. up to 1000 Mbps as per the network capacity in the coverage area at the price of $49.99/mo. taxes for the first 12 months. In the second year, the AT&T internet cost for fiber hikes up to $69.99/mo. taxes unless the customer cancels the subscription before the end of the first-year contract.
Internet Only Plans
10 Mbps to 100 Mbps
AT&T Internet Installation and Activation Fee
When you subscribe to internet services and opt for professional installation, your initial bill would include a one-time $99 AT&T installation fee. However, AT&T waives your installation fee for select Triple play packages.
If you opt for self-installing, your bill will only include a one-time $35 activation fee.
AT&T Internet Equipment Fees
AT&T Internet plans include a monthly $10 fee for its equipment. A Wi-Fi gateway, which is a combination of modem and Wi-Fi.
AT&T Internet Cancellation Cost
AT&T doesn’t charge you a cancellation fee for its internet-only and bundled plans.
However, if you have signed up for its Fixed Wireless Services, upon terminating your contract early, you are charged up to $120 on a pro-rata basis i.e. $10 for each month.
Upon canceling your contract with AT&T, make sure to return equipment within 21 days or risk paying $150, which is deemed as an equipment non-return fee. The non-return fee can later be refunded if you manage to return the AT&T internet equipment within the 90 days of the termination of your services.
Data Overage Fee
AT&T residential internet plans allow you to purchase unlimited data separately for a fee of $30/mo. If you bundle its TV and Internet services, then you can enjoy unlimited data at no additional cost.
However, the fixed wireless plans include 250GB data allowance/mo. For an additional 50GB of data, you will be charged an extra $10. AT&T prescribes that all the additional purchased data must be used up within the monthly billing period as the remaining unused data will not be merged with the next month’s data allowance.
Summary: The Hidden Cost of AT&T Internet Plans
Full professional installation and activation
Self-install and activation fee
Internet equipment rental
Late payment fee
Up to $10/mo.
Data Overage fee (Internet-only)
$30/mo. for unlimited data allowance
Data Overage fee (Bundles)
Equipment non-return fee
Taxes and other surcharges
Vary with location
Vary with location
Up to $1.50
AT&T TV and Internet Bundled Pricing
After reviewing stand-alone AT&T internet and TV plans, you may consider bundling its services as the cost of TV — AT&T TV or DIRECTV — service is reduced by $10 per month for 12 months.
For AT&T TV customers, the introductory internet and TV bundle pricing is:
ENTERTAINMENT Package — $79.98/mo.
CHOICE Package — $84.98/mo.
XTRA Package — $94.98/mo.
ULTIMATE Package — $99.98/mo.
OPTIMO MAS — $84.98/mo.
After 12 months, the TV prices will hike up to then prevailing rates unless you cancel or change your services before the end of the first-year contract.
ENTERTAINMENT Package — $132.99/mo.
CHOICE Package — $149.99/mo.
XTRA Package — $163.99/mo.
ULTIMATE Package — $174.99/mo.
ULTIMATE Package — $174.99/mo.
The internet pricing throughout the first and second year remains $39.99/mo. The AT&T bundle subscribers are offered unlimited data allowance without any extra charges and their $99 AT&T installation fee is waived. Meanwhile, all the other aforementioned charges remain the same.
All in All: Is AT&T Worth It?
AT&T is among the top Internet service providers of the US, offering stable and fast internet connectivity along with plenty of entertainment avenues for the entire household.
Sure, it’s a hidden cost for standalone services that raise your bill by a good amount, but now you are well-informed about all extras and services that add to your AT&T bill.
Therefore, you can be smart in your purchases when opting for standalone AT&T internet or TV service, or simply go for AT&T bundles with their discounted pricing.