Goodbye AT&T

The June bill for our AT&T landline increased from $34.03 to $38.49. The difference was a $2.00 "minimum usage charge", a $1.99 "carrier cost recovery fee", plus a $0.47 "federal universal service fund fee." The ostensible reason for this was because we hadn't chosen a long distance carrier.

However, we didn't use the land line for long distance calls. Aside from the target it gave the thrice-damned money seekers, we used it for our security system.

We called AT&T customer service and the agent was of no help whatsoever. He was unable to answer the question why we had to pay for a service we weren't using. After several fruitless trips around the circle, we asked to speak to a supervisor and were put back into the interminable "wait for the next agent" state.

So I drove to the nearby AT&T store. The rep was very professional and, after being on hold with AT&T customer service himself, removed the charge and supposedly waived the fee on future bills. But it was not to be so. The fee was back on the next bill. This time my wife dealt with AT&T and, again, the charge was removed from our bill. When she asked if the charge was gone for good, the agent couldn't give any assurance that it would be.

So we asked our security provider to go wireless and then dropped our land line. I would have been happy to keep the land line, but not with a junk fee, and especially not with such incompetent service. I may switch to Verizon or Sprint for mobile service, especially since the iPhone is rumored to be available for all three in October.

Two days after canceling our service, Clark Howard came out
speaking against this fee.

More years ago than I care to remember, Lily Tomlin was in this Saturday Night Live skit about AT&T. The technology has changed, but corporate stupidity abides.


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