What Is Pro Rata: A Simple Explanation

Pro Rata

You’ve gone into a store and upgraded your phone and everything went great, fast forward 30 days and your bill is double! we’ve all been there, and typically pro rata is the cause. So what is pro rata? In this article, we’ll provide some knowledge on what it is, and how it works.

When upgrading a mobile phone or Internet, consumers may encounter pro rata charges on their bill. These charges reflect the cost of a new or modified service calculated from the effective date of change until the end of the billing cycle.

Hence, when a customer changes their mobile plan or adds a feature to an existing service, the bill may include partial charges for both the old and new plans. Understanding pro rata charges helps in anticipating expenses and avoiding surprises on the next bill.

Pro Rata

Telecommunications companies often align all services to the same billing cycle for consistency. So, when a new service is initiated or an existing contract is upgraded, pro rata billing ensures that the customer pays only for the portion of the service used during that billing period.

This prorated amount is determined by dividing the total monthly cost by the number of days in the month and multiplying by the number of days the service was active.

So these prorated charges reflect a fair billing practice, ensuring customers don’t pay for a full month’s service when the service was only used for part of the month.

It’s essential to read the details on the bill carefully or check the provider’s policy on changes made during a billing cycle to fully understand how pro rata charges are applied.

Understanding Pro Rata in Mobile Phone Upgrades

When upgrading your mobile phone, a customer encounters prorated charges to align their billing with the service change partway through a billing cycle. This process adjusts fees fairly based on the actual time the new service is used.

Definition of Pro Rata

Pro rata is a Latin term that translates to “in proportion,” which in the context of mobile phone upgrades means billing customers only for the portion of the new plan they use during the initial billing cycle following an upgrade.

Calculating Prorated Charges

To calculate prorated charges, one must first identify the daily cost of the new plan by dividing the monthly charge by the number of days in the billing cycle. Then, multiply this daily cost by the number of days the service is used to arrive at the prorated charge.

When Pro Rata Applies During Upgrades

Prorated charges are typically applied to a bill during the billing cycle in which a customer upgrades their phone. This ensures the customer is only charged for the upgraded services rendered from the day of the upgrade to the end of the current billing cycle.


  • Michel Elijah

    Tech expert and strong interest in telco. I've worked in the tech industry for 4 years and have always had interest with mobile and internet providers.

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