How many of these do you recognize on your current phone bill?
Access / Line Charge – What is local phone service, if not access to the company’s network so you can make calls? That might sound logical to you and me, but the FCC allows local companies to charge extra to use their network. Your phone company may call it a “Federal Access Charge,” “Customer or Subscriber Line Charge,” or “Interstate Access Charge,” but it’s just a way to pad the bill after the sale.
Universal Service Fund – The FCC collects from phone companies to subsidize service to rural and high-cost areas, schools and libraries. The FCC permits providers to pass this on to you as an extra line item, adding another charge on top of the advertised price.
Local Number Portability (LNP) Fee – Your phone company is allowed to levy yet another extra fee to pay for number portability, which lets you keep your phone number when you change companies. This, like the access charges, is not a tax, it’s just an extra fee.
Enhanced 911 Service Fee – Yet again, this is an extra fee your provider is permitted to tack on for every phone line (for a residence) or every extension in an office – for a life-saving service.*
Telecommunications Relay Service – Here’s another extra fee, to pay for the relay center that transmits and translates calls for people with hearing or speech disabilities.
Directory Assistance – Your phone company is allowed to charge for calls to 411 for directory assistance, even though you can get the same service for free.
Features Charges – You can be charged extra for features like call forwarding, three-way calling, call waiting, voicemail, and Caller ID – all of which are built in to every modern telephone system.
Single Bill Fee – Some companies charge to combine your local and long distance onto one bill.
Minimum Monthly Charge – Some long-distance providers charge when you don’t use their service.
Federal Excise Tax – a 3% tax on local service, added when billed separately from long-distance.
At Capalon, the Price We Advertise is the Price You Pay!
*Certain jurisdictions, e.g. counties in New York State, require a separate E911 surcharge. Most States impose sales tax upon VoIP services, and these must also be listed separately.