Junk fees in AT&T landline service

Like many people, I find myself using less and less of the land line phone. A few years ago, I reduced my land line with AT&T from the “unlimited local” service to “measured” service. The current AT&T bill amount is $15.01 a month.

When I examine the bill closer recently, I find lots of fluff and taxes in the bill. Of the $15.01 bill, $7.28 is the cost of the “measured” service (I do not pay any additional toll charges) and $7.73 is the cost of taxes and all the other fluff, including

  • federal subscriber line charge,
  • rate surcharge,
  • state regulatory fee,
  • federal universal service fee,
  • CA high cost fund surcharge-A,
  • CA high cost fund-B,
  • CA advanced service fund,
  • California teleconnectFund surcharge,
  • CA relay service and communications devices fund,
  • local government fee,
  • 9-1-1 emergency system,
  • federal fees and tax, and
  • local fees and tax.

That’s right, 51.5% of my payment went towards paying taxes and junk fees; only 48.5% is the actual payment for the service. Except for the 9-1-1 fee of $0.04, I consider the rest junk fees. Something is wrong here.

I have identified my land line replacement and I am now testing out the service. The replacement is essentially a VOIP (voice-over-IP/internet) service. Once I am happy with it, I would port my existing number over and rid myself of these junk fees!

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