Long Distance Charges

Many years ago, I worked at a mid-sized company. It was at a time when alternative long distance carriers could first be considered; I was tasked with investigating options. A common prospecting method among the providers was cold calling via the phone. They would share a baseline of general information, followed by the query, “So, about how much do you spend on long distance a month?”

Seeking to have some fun, I would be evasive, saying, “Oh, it’s in the twenties.”

There would be an awkward moment of silence, before they’d timidly seek clarification.  “Ah, do you mean twenty dollars?”

“No,” I would deadpan, “twenty thousand.” At that point, they would hurriedly set up an appointment to meet with me in person.

That was then. Today is different; my long distance usage is in the twenty-dollar range.  What bugs me is that my bill is substantially higher.  Here’s a breakdown:

Long distance:                   $29.31 (it was a high month!)
Reoccurring charges:       $19.95
Other fees/surcharges:    $15.11
TOTAL:                             $65.92

So, my “long distance” bill is only 44% long distance; 56% is for various taxes and surcharges – courtesy of our politicians. Therefore, my 5 cents a minute rate, effectively becomes 11.25 cents.  Even though this expense is a fraction of a percentage of my annual costs, it is one that causes great angst.  For my own piece of mind I must do something about it. However, my usage is not going to garner me any attention or interest. I’ll be lucky if anyone will even talk to me about it.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!