When 60% Of Your Phone Bill Is From Unadvertised Fees

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

We've had plenty of stories about phone companies and all of the additional fees they add to your bill, but the Miami Herald has a few examples where the situation clearly goes beyond any reasonable level. Take, for example, a simple plan from BellSouth, advertised at $11.04/month. What they leave is out the extra $16 in fees and taxes (BugMeNot required) that turn the $11 plan into a $27 one. Then, there are companies like Primus which is adding a $15 "low usage" fee for anyone who doesn't make $25 worth of long distance calls per month. The telcos come back with their usual refrain that they somehow "need" to collect this fee "to recoup normal business expenses." That, of course, is a ridiculous statement. Any normal business prices their "normal business expenses" into their advertised prices. This is simply a way for the telcos to advertise lower prices than they're really charging. Perhaps other companies should get into this game as well. Want a pizza pie? It's just $3, but there's a $3.50 "crust fee," a $9.38 "oven fee," a $4.50 "service fee," and a $2.18 "cleanup fee." Plus tax.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2006 @ 10:04am

    A lot of this is done because many customers will make a decision based on the advertised number and mentally lump any additional costs into the same category as sales tax. The companies rely on their customers to either be bad at math (which seems like more and more people are) or to not care.

    The advertised pricing of an item very rarely includes sales tax, with gasoline being one notable exception. This hasn't bothered people and companies view it as outside of their control. The trend continued with governmental fees not being included because the companies "don't have control over those". It has continued to increased with more and more costs being included in the "no control over these" category all in the name of convincing the customer that they're getting a great deal on the costs that the company can "control".

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