Wireless phone company Verizon said this week it intends to raise a little-known tax on most customers starting next month.
The tax, which Verizon calls an administrative fee, will increase to $3.30 per voice line for Verizon’s postpaid customers. Business customers with smartphone and data lines will also see an increase to $2.20 per line, though business customers with basic phones or data-only devices will only see the fee increase to 98 cents per line.
On Monday, a Verizon spokesperson said the fee increases were necessary to offset rising business costs associated with providing customers their services.
“From time to time, we review and make adjustments to fees to defray some of Verizon’s administrative and telco expenses and costs of complying with regulatory requirements,” the spokesperson said.
Postpaid customers on consumer (not business) accounts who have additional data-only devices like tablets or smartwatches will not see fees increase for those services. Prepaid plans, like those offered by Verizon’s subsidiary Visible, will also not see a fee increase.
Verizon is currently named in a class action lawsuit over its administrative fees, with plaintiffs alleging the phone company “baits” customers with lower advertised prices only to incorporate the fees onto accounts once a customer signs up for service.
The class action lawsuit was brought by a Verizon customer in California and seeks to represent millions of Verizon consumer and business customers there.