Understand your first AT&T bill

Learn about charges you may see on your first AT&T bill—and why it may be higher than you expected.

Charges on your bill

Why your first bill may be higher than expected:

  • It may have activation, installation, equipment, or one-time fees.
  • It may include installment billing. This splits some one-time charges into equal monthly payments. Taxes and surcharges for these items aren’t eligible for installment billing and must be paid up front. Examples of items that may be billed in installments include:
    • Equipment fees
    • Full installation by a technician
    • Service activation fees
  • We bill your first full month of service in advance.

Want to see an estimate of your next bill? Learn how to check your customer service summary

Other charges billed in advance

  • Wireless rate plan charges for data, voice, and messaging services
  • Miscellaneous services, like device protection
  • Taxes, surcharges, and fees

FYI: Any discounts you qualify for will be applied to these charges.

Partial-month service charges

If your service starts in the middle of your bill period, your first bill will show partial-month charges. These are the charges for the days from the start of your service to the beginning of your first full bill period. Learn more about partial-month charges

Taxes, surcharges, and other fees

Taxes may apply to charges for products and services in your bill. Specific taxes vary by state and locality. These charges are required by law and may include state-specific surcharges or regulatory fees.

Keep tabs on your bill

Your monthly bill period starts and ends on the same date each month. To keep track of your charges, learn how to:

Last updated: March 8, 2024

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