Technology

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!

Moved my web hosting out of 1&1

1and1 (1&1) webhost is increasing the hosting fees by 40% from $4.99 per month to $6.99 per month. I made good on my promise to transfer my website out. I have moved the website to Arvixe Personal’s Class hosting which offers “unlimited storage and bandwidth” and includes one domain name registration. I made a one-time payment of $72 for two years, which averages out to be $3 per month. The new price is less than half of 1&1’s new fee.

The following is a review of the process in moving this website (www.indextown.com) together with another of my domain away from 1&1’s webhost.

  1. 1&1 : Unlocked the domain from the 1&1 domains control panel (select the domain and click on Transfers -> Lock/Unlock).2009-08-06_unlock
  2. 1&1 : Take note of the Authorization Code (select the domain and click on “Info”).2009-08-06_auth_code2
  3. 1&1 : Made sure the email address under Contact -> Show Contact Details is reachable by test sending an email to this address. As long as this email address is reachable, there is NO need to disable private registration on 1&1 if you don’t want to. Note: some other registrars’ whois protection does not forward emails to the listed contact; in which case the only option is to disable the whois protection.
  4. Arvixe : Signed up for the Personal Class hosting at Arvixe.com and specified that I am transferring a domain over. Provide the transfer authorization code obtained in Step 2 to Arvixe.
  5. Arvixe : An authorization for transfer email will be initiated by Arvixe (eNom, Inc). This is sent to the contact information listed in Step 3, so a reachable email address in Step 3 is essential. Approved the transfer by following the instructions in the email.2009-08-21_Universal Registrar Transfer
  6. 1&1 and Arvixe : I installed the latest version of WordPress and created an empty MySQL database on Arvixe. I then exported the WordPress MySQL database from 1&1 and imported into Arvixe. I then transferred the site-specific files (images, theme files etc) over.
  7. 1&1 (this step is optional) : I changed the DNS away from 1&1 (e.g. ns57.1and1.com) and pointed it to those provided by Arvixe (e.g. ns1.bee.arvixe.com) (select the domain and click on DNS -> Edit DNS Settings). What this does is that while 1&1 still has my domain name, any request to the website would now go to the new Arvixe servers). It takes about 24 hours for this change to be propagated throughout the internet.
  8. Five days later, the domain name was transferred successfully.
  9. 1&1 : Finally, go to cancel.1and1.com to cancel the 1and1 hosting. If you don’t do this, 1and1 will continue charging you, and if your credit card doesn’t go through, they will send your account to collection.

Keywords: review of domain transfer, 1&1, 1and1, Arvixe.

1and1 web hosting hiking fees by 40%

The current web hosting service that this blog is hosted on (1and1.com) has given me notice that they intend to hike the fee by 40%, from $4.99 per month to $6.99 per month. They were even pleased to announce this to me:

We are pleased to unveil the new 1&1 Home Package with more web space and unlimited traffic coming in September 2009. As a result, starting September 2009 your Home package will cost $6.99 per month*.

By listening to our customers, we’ve made this important change to allow us to offer the worry-free hosting environment that your site needs. Regardless of the amount of traffic your site generates you won’t have unexpected charges at the end of the month beyond your monthly fees. And with more web space, you can take your site even further.

As of September 1, 2009 you will be able to enjoy unlimited traffic and more web space. The new price for the Home package will be applied at the start of your package’s next billing cycle after September 1, 2009.

If you have any questions regarding the changes to the Home package, our support representatives will be happy to assist you.

I don’t need the additional bandwidth nor the storage space. Besides, the prices of hosting services are going DOWN, instead of UP. So I sent them a request politely to let me stay on my old plan, hoping they would listen to me and assist me in this matter. Here’s their reply:

Unfortunately, this is applicable to all Home packages that we had. There is no option to stay to the old $4.99 per month.

Looks like I am off shopping for a new web hosting service!

Keywords: 1&1 webhoster, 1and1.com web hosting, increasing fees, raising fees, monthly fees, problems, issues.