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Why I hate AT&T

August 18th, 2011 at 11:32 am

I've got to be one of the few remaining residents of the state of Connecticut to rely solely on my landline. I do this because, being out of work and trying to shave expenses, I gave up my prepaid cell phone last year.

So I was perturbed and frankly pissed to receive two new charges on the phone bill I received today:

1.Minimum Usage Charge: $2
2. Carrier Cost Recovery Fee: $2

The AT&T rep explained that because I made no long distance calls last month, I'm being charged $2. Say what???

AT&T is determined to make more money after losing customers left and right who prefer their cellphones. So someone in marketing came up with the idea of creating a new charge for a service people don't use. Brilliant! Give that person a raise!

The rep told me that the only way to avoid that charge (aside from making phone calls) is to sign up for a long distance plan which carries no monthly fee, but bills any long distance calls you make at .41 a minute, which is rather steep.

However, I remembered that I always use a prepaid calling card to make long distance calls from my landline (using a toll-free number to access it) so that's how I'll get around their stupid $2 minimum charge. I switched to the .41/minute plan.

The other charge is a federal fee they say they have no control over. Funny, I never paid it before.

Speaking of prepaid calling cards, I was very excited a few months back to find a very good card at a good price at Costco: It was a Verizon card for 700 minutes and the cost came out to 2.9 a minute. Now, Costco no longer carries the card.

UPDATE: I called Verizon, and he told me that yes, Costco carries their cards in every state except Alaska.

So then I called costco. While they don't carry them in the store anymore, I can still buy them online.

There's a 15% surcharge if you simply refill your existing card, so it's definitely better to buy a new card; shipping is free.

3 Responses to “Why I hate AT&T”

  1. Buckeye Says:

    You resent their charge while I resent the charge for Lifeline recovery. It seems I am paying for those who qualify have a cell phone-perhaps those who talk all through the grocery store. I do not have a cell phone because of the expense.

  2. retire@50 Says:

    Walgreens frequently has buy 1 get 1 free deals on phone cards. The cost usually works out to about .03 cents a minute. Watch the ads if you have a Walgreens nearby

  3. davera Says:

    Did you call the customer service number the back of your old Costco phone card to add minutes? I have an ancient MCI 700-minute 2.9 cent calling card from Costco and just tried it to see if it's still valid. Yup, 200 remaining minutes, with the option to add more.

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