Recently I read an article in Money magazine that describes the fee structures of the 3 major carriers, and several smaller carriers like Excel, Qwest, and others.
One part of the article that really shocked me was that AT&T, MCI and Sprint have recently jacked up their Universal fees, fees that are paid to help build lines in rural areas. For MCI and Sprint it is called a Universal Services Fund/Fee. For AT&T it is called a Universal Connectivity Charge. This fee is generally a flat fee charged per customer to the carrier.
Well, when the 'Big three' lowered their rates recently to 5 and seven cents, they jacked up the Universal fees to an amount equal to approximately 8.4% of your phone bill, instead of a flat fee. So say you had a $100 bill, you pay an extra $8.60!!
This obviously was done so that these guys could recoup the margins of the price reduction and hide it from we the consumers.
Shame on you!
The article also pointed out that some of the smaller companies, like Excel, offer the same services and pricing but charge a flat $1.32 for the Universal services fee.