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Things We Just Accept

I have to admit I am a little bit of a sucker when someone prices something as $39.99, in that I think of it more as in the high-thirties, and not as $40–which for all intents and purpopses, it really is.

But I am not so stupid as to think of $39.99 as being very close to $45.29.

We’re talking about bare-bones, cheapest Verizon Mobile plan. They call it their $39 plan (not even mentioning the extra 99¢). But when I get the bill it’s $45.29.

Hey, what happened to my $39 plan?

That’s 13.25% higher than they quoted me. Yeah, yeah, I heard them mutter in really fast, hushed tones “notincludingtaxesandothercharges.

What are the other charges besides taxes?

Look at this image of my Verizon phone bill extra charges.

A Usage Fee? Well, what the heck is the $39.99 for? I thought that was for using the service. So I can limit my bill to $39.99 if I don’t use my phone? Why have a phone, then?

I can just hear the conversation:
Me: Hi, I just wanted to ask why my $39.99 per month phone bill is higher than $39.99 when I didn’t do any text messaging, video or picture trading, or calling Directory Information, or anything…
Verizon: Well, did you use the phone?
Me: Well, yeaahh…
Verizon: There is an additional charge for using your phone, sir.

Taxes and Usage Charges amount to 13.25% more. That’s insane. It’s robbery. If you bought, say, a new Ford Escape for $30,000 and they charged you an additional $13.25% on the spot—that’s $3975—you’d sure have something to say about it.

Ford: Well, are you planning to use it?

1 Comment

  1. We’re in the same muttering phase here but over our landline charges. We’re getting set to dump our landline carrier and go “all in” with our cable company. When discussing the differences in charges, I noticed that Verizon (!!) our landline carrier charges more than $3 for 911 service; meanwhile, Cox, our cable provider, said they would charge just 88 cents for 911 (which isn’t an option, but companies are allowed to charge for it as allowed by the FCC, it’s not a “tax” but a surcharge, it goes to keeping the service maintained and operational). I asked them to double check. “yes sir, just 88 cents.”

    I’m being robbed by Verizon; I thought about calling 9-1-1 then thought better of it…

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