TheKey Chronicle

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Wednesday, October 6, 1999


Recently, my girlfriend noticed a few new charges on our phone bill.

I took a look at it and discovered that there were two new charges - one for $4.35 and another for $1.35. AT&T was kind enough to include an 800 number to call, should we actually want to know what we were being charged for - now, this 800 number was not the standard customer service line, this was an 800 number specifically designed for these two new charges.

Now, first I'll tell you about the cheaper charge. It seems as though the FCC has demanded that all long distance companies pony up a small amount of money to help pay for poor people to have phone service and internet access. It also seems that AT&T can't be charitable on their own, so they pass that donation on to their customers - now, it may not seem that $1.35 is that much money, but I was never asked or even consulted on this new charge - I frankly don't care about poor people getting a phone line anymore than they care about me having one. Why can't AT&T deal with this on their own? Why try to pass the cost on to us quietly with only an 800 number on the bill?

Because they are immoral bastards - that's why.

If that's not enough for you, let's explore that fun $4.35 charge. This is even better. It turns out that local phone companies across the country are charging LD Companies more to provide the services LD Companies provide. Does AT&T eat this cost? NO. WE do. The customers. Whatever happened to "The customer comes first?"

If I could survive without a long distance service, I would sever all contact with them, but alas, they are the best LD company in America.

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