This week we learned that for the second time in 12 months, AT&T is raising its price on U-verse TV, AT&T Phone and AT&T Internet busniess customers but this time it is to cover AT&T’s property taxes. Recently AT&T started to notify customers that it will be raising its “Cost Assessment Charge” on their TV bills from 2.92% to 7% in California. This price hike means that even though the advertised price of the DIRECTV and U-verse TV package remains unchanged, the final price you pay is going up over 4%, according to Ars Technica.
Update: AT&T sent Cord Cutters News the following statement about this price change: “Like others in the industry, we regularly evaluate and adjust our prices based on the costs to deliver our services, as well as costs associated with government and regulatory mandates. We communicated these changes to our customers and will continue to work with them to best meet their needs.”
Here is an example of the message AT&T sent to U-verse TV customers:
Effective October 1, 2019, there will be an increase in the AT&T Cost Assessment Charge used to recover AT&T property taxes. The monthly rate will change from 2.92% to 7.00% of your total AT&T Business Internet, Phone and/or U-verse TV monthly charges. This charge is not a tax or fee that the government requires AT&T to collect from its customers.
This price hike is on top of the price hike AT&T put on its TV packages and fees back in January 2019 that could have added up to be as high as $10 a month. When you add this new price hike on to the average TV customer’s $107 a month bill, it would mean you are now paying over $16 a month more in 2019 for TV with DIRECTV and U-verse vs. 2018.
AT&T’s “Cost Assessment Charge” varies by market from 0% up to 7% and started to appear on AT&T bills back in 2017 at just 1.27% but in just the last few years that fee has now jumped up to 7% on some AT&T customers bills.
This fee does not stop with just DIRECTV or U-verse TV as AT&T is also putting this fee on AT&T Internet and AT&T Phone. So that $16 more on TV could quickly end up being far high if you bundle AT&T phone or internet with your TV.
The tough part here for potential DIRECTV and U-verse TV customers is that AT&T is not raising the base package cost of its TV packages. This means when you see an ad for the cost of TV, phone, or internet from AT&T, you need to raise that price by 7% just for the “Cost Assessment Charge” fee. To make this even more painful even if you think you are under contract sadly, you will find that your bill is still going up as this is not a price hike on the package but the fees like this is something not covered by any price lock.
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