It's been a long time since I looked at anything on my telephone bill except the Total Amount Due by line. I gave up the long distance part of the service long ago, and we just use our cell phones for long distance so I no longer have to check those calls to make sure they are legit.
I don't know if I've ever had a long distance call charge that wasn't legit but I always checked anyway. My mother, on the hand, has charges monthly for calls she swears she didn't make. She calls the telephone company, and they credit her. I think it's a little unlikely she has that many bogus calls but if they want to take them off her bill, I don't care.
So with only unlimited local calling on our home phone ($16.26) and automated voice mail ($6.95) plus the Inside Wire Maintenance, whatever that is, ($6.99) my "voice services" total is $30.20.
So how come my Total Amount Due is $42.28?!
There's another section of the bill called Total Taxes, Fees & Other Verizon Charges which totals $12.08. That's a 40% tax! Where am I? Sweden?
Let's go over these taxes, fees & other Verizon charges, shall we?
Federal Excise Tax ($ .89) An excise tax is a type of tax charged on goods produced within the country. It's often levied on the producer who passes it onto the consumer. Okay got that.
Rhode Island State & Local Tax ($2.62) This year's budget in Rhode Island had a $65,000,000 shortfall. What else is there to say?
Federal Universal Service Fee ($ .81) As I said I'm only making local calls certainly not universal calls but whatever. It's less than a buck.
911 State/County Charges ($1.00) This is the only charge in the bunch I really understand and have no problem with. When we need to dial 911, we certainly expect someone to be there.
Dual Party Relay Charge ($ .09) What??! Can't you picture a bunch of ad exec types sitting around a table bouncing ideas off each other trying to come up with the most vague term imaginable for yet another fee to add to our telephone bills? I figure the guy who came up with this "fee" got a big bonus.
School and Library Fund ($ .26) I'm certainly in favor of funding our schools and libraries, and I pay my property taxes faithfully every quarter. In the 29 years as a homeowner, I have never missed a payment, never been late. Isn't that in there? Is it really necessary to sneak another tax into our phone bills?
There it is, $12.08 for an additional seven fees and taxes I don't understand nor do I expect anyone at Verizon could explain adequately. I'm thinking it's time to give up the land line.
And don't even get me started on my cell phone bill.