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
    RJD, 20 Sep 2004 @ 7:09am

    Can't have it both ways

    I'm not sure what you're grousing about Mike... The cost or the way it's being billed. We american's can't seem to agree on the best way to do things. If I hand you a bill for 30.00 and you think it's too much, you/we say "I want to see a break out of the costs..." yet with the costs broken out, we say this is BS.

    I won't defend the legtimacy of the costs much less the titles they are assigned, however, a business generally needs to coup some cost per customer to remain somewhat profitable (note that phone companies while great cash cows do not generate much profit consider their huge bottom line). As long as there's some competition between the companies the cost should be competitive. The phone companies pretty much have their hands tied by federal and local governments so they have to be creative when offering plans and in their billing.

    The alternative is to get out of the business and I don't think the country is ready to start letting their phone companies pack up tent.

    For the record; I curse, swear, and roll my eyes at the costs I see on my phone bill as much as the next person. I also know I can go elsewhere if I don't like it.

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