AT&T landline customers face rip-off charge


RIP-OFF ALERT: AT&T is imposing a base rate long distance charge on landline customers to offset the fact that most people use cell phones for long distance calling. But there is a way for you to get out of this rip-off fee.

AT&T landline customers in select territories received legal notices with mice-type announcing the fee last month. The fee works out to be just under $5 a month or about $50 annually.

The concept of long distance calling is an anachronism. The cost to call across the country is no greater than to call across town. That’s why it’s the same rate for either kind of call on a cell phone. So I’m calling foul on this rip-off charge.

Fortunately, you can opt out of this fee. Simply call 1-800-288-2020 and tell them you want to remove long distance service from your bill. Ask for a credit for the charge that’s already been posted to your bill last month while you’re at it.

When you opt out of long distance service, you won’t be able to make long distance calls from your home phone — unless you use something like Pingo. But at least you’ll save you $50 a year!

Even better, why not assess if you really need a landline anymore in your life? My family and I moved in the spring. My wife has not picked up the landline in our new home since we’ve moved in. Finally, I got the good news from my wife that she’s ready to let me disconnect our home phone. That will save us almost $400 a year. 400 bucks! That’s real money!

So check your AT&T bill. If they’re charging you the fee, put the block in place.

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