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Understanding your first wireless bill

Learn about charges that may appear on your first wireless bill and why it may be higher than expected.




Why your first bill may be higher than usual

Here’s why your first bill is typically more than your average bill:
  • Your first full month of service is billed in advance.
  • There are prorated charges for a partial month of service if you start service in the middle of a bill period.
  • One-time activation fees and equipment charges are billed in arrears. 

First full month of service (billed in advance)
Your monthly recurring charges are billed one month in advance, so your first bill includes a charge for your next month's plan. Here are some of the charges billed in advance:
  • Rate plan charges for data, voice, and messaging services
  • Data and/or messaging packages
  • Additional services, like mobile insurance
  • Taxes, surcharges, and fees. Learn more
  • Any applicable discounts also apply to your advance bill 

Partial month of service (prorated)

If your service starts in the middle of your bill period, your first bill will show partial-month charges for the number of days from the start of your service to the beginning of your first full bill period. For more information on how partial-month bills are calculated, view understanding partial-month charges for plan changes.

Charges billed in arrears
One-time charges are billed in arrears (afterwards). Your first bill may include one-time charges for equipment or activation.

Bill videos
To help you understand your first and second wireless bills, a personalized video will walk you through charges and fees. We might also send you a video to explain any changes you make to your service or plan. Learn about video bills

Important resources

Last updated: July 2, 2020

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