We all get them. The bills. The phone, while sometimes annoying, is a reality of modern life that we say we need. So why is it that when someone seeks peace and relaxation on vacation the first thing they mention is , “…and there were no telephones!”
Isn’t a bill usually a page or two of explanations for charges? When did bills arrive in envelopes bursting with eight page analyses of your gabby habits? Every time a new bill arrives, the poor postman practically herniates his back managing the weight of it.
With all the effort the telephone company made to get this treatise they call a bill into my hands I dutifully read it. Not just write out a check and mail it, as I usually do, but to try to understand the phone company’s billing system. What is in these pages? What makes this bill so outrageously bulky? And why is the phone company destroying the environment by killing all the trees it takes to produce the tons of paper for simple bills?
First is a quick bill summary on one page and then a breakdown of charges on the next. Quick summaries are perfect: fast and uncomplicated: to the point. The breakdown has me almost having a breakdown of my own.
Here is the line charge. That seems to be to be akin to paying a restaurant bill for the food and then having an extra charge for the grocery bill. How can a telephone work without a telephone line? Yet they expect customers to pay an extra charge for use of the line. Can I put up my own line and eliminate that charge?
The monthly access charges appear next. Does that mean that first I pay for the phone, then for the line to connect it and a fee to access the line I’m paying extra for with my telephone that I bought and paid for?
I’m surprised they don’t tack on another extra fee for listening. Can you imagine the bill reading, “Charge to think of picking up the receiver: $.25, charge for speaking, $.50 a millisecond, and if you also want to hear what the other person says, there’ll be an additional charge of $1.25 per comment.
Make way for the taxes: federal excise tax, State tax, Federal Universal Service Fee (don’t ask!) followed by a list of six more federal and state taxes of all sizes, colors and sounds. These are added on the bill so the poor telephone won’t get lonely appearing in print all by itself.
And I haven’t started on the wireless phone bill, which is attached to the other bill, and added on is the computer charges and other conveniences without which we cannot live.
My conclusion is that it is far better not to read or try to understand the particulars of your phone bill. It’s way too much money for everything, anyway, and you have to have it regardless.
Either that, or take the remaining days of your life vacationing in a location that doesn’t have telephones.