Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Phone Company Is NOT My Friend

They probably made these go away
because they weren't expensive enough.

           Once upon a time, I had a landline for a phone and the bill was $14 a month. What the hell happened? I got the unpleasant reminder beeped to my phone today that I have to pay my mobile phone bill. OOF I always forget about that. This month is particularly lousy. You may be aware that I have a couple of good friends in Canada. This past month I splurged and I spoke not only to one but TWO of them via wireless phone. I had an 84 minute call with Ros that cost me $32.76. That’s about half of a tee-shirt from Anthropologie. 
            What I want to know is what is the phone company doing that I have to pay THAT MUCH to make a phone call to Canada? It’s not like I’m calling Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland or up in the Arctic Circle at Verkhoyansk, Russia. She just lives in Toronto. It’s practically upstate New York. I have to imagine that some little super athletic telepathic gerbil got the message that I was making a phone call and shot himself via cannon to a satellite in outer-space, hit some sort of phone switch that said “International Call” and then parachuted back down to earth, just so that my phone call would cost more than my call to my friend Debra out in Orange County, CA – which is significantly farther away than Toronto.
            And, just because the phone companies say “PAY UP,” we have to pay. They have us over a big barrel, holding rusty bread knives to our favorite facial features. The government gets in on it too…. OF COURSE. The taxes on those phone bills… laughable. Do we even know what half that stuff means? No. I don’t, anyway. Especially since it’s different in every state. My most recent frustration came about four months ago when I realized that Massachusetts’ mobile phone taxes are lower than Indiana mobile phone taxes. This is a HUGE shock, because ALL taxes are higher in Massachusetts.  They are trying to figure out how to tax air for breathing and dirt for treading on as we speak. So, I thought “Oh, well I must be paying Indiana state taxes because I have an Indiana area code.” WRONG. I was paying Indiana state taxes because the chuckleheads at AT&T are just that, CHUCKLEBUMBLEDUMB()$*%”n028s. The conversation went something like this.
            “Hi there, I noticed that I’m still paying Indiana state taxes on my phone bill, and I was wondering if that’s because I have an Indiana area code. I live in Massachusetts, and the taxes are actually a little less here.”
            “Oh no, the tax is based on where you main point of use is.”
            “Oh, I see. Well, I live in Massachusetts, as I said. My billing address is a Massachusetts address.”
            “Let me look! Yes I see your billing address is in Massachusetts, but, oh I see your point of use is such and such address Bloomington Indiana.”
            “I haven’t lived there for six years.”
            “Ooops! Well, I fixed it for you now. ”
            Oops? You overcharged me hundreds of dollars in state taxes over several years, and that’s your response? There’s a reason that these people are in call centers and not anywhere within a stone’s throw. It’s for their safety.
            You know what else I think is a huge scam? Gas prices. How do you set a price for something based on people’s ideas? That’s what speculation is. It’s just a bunch of guys sitting around saying, “Well, I think this might happen, let’s drive the price up.” And then those chums in DC and our state DC emulators all say, “Well, they’re asking for more, we want more too. OF COURSE we’re keeping the gas taxes!” There’s a theme in all of this… NO ONE is looking out for the little guy. It’s certainly not the government. And it’s DEFINITELY not the people we purchase services from. The solution? Amish country. Although, from what I understand the Amish have cell phones too… Is there no escape from the phone company?

No comments:

Post a Comment