The fine print

I was reviewing my monthly cell phone bill the other day. I receive it online so I usually take a quick peak at the charges and make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on. I came across the “Sprint Surcharges” listing and thought I’d click the “Show Details And Explanation of Charges” link. Good night. And I quote …

Sprint Surcharges are rates we choose to collect from you to help defray costs imposed on us. Surcharges are not taxes or amounts we are required to collect from you by law. Surcharges may include: Federal USF, regulatory charges, administrative charges, gross receipts charges, and other charges incurred to recover costs associated with governmental programs. The amounts, and the components used to calculate Surcharge amounts, are subject to change.

Seriously. No euphemisms? No fancy technical terms? Just one notch away from “We are being effed by the man, so we are now effing you.”

If you review your SMUD bill, you may also come across the “Monthly Service Charge” of $5.00. You know, a charge to bring you electricity or gas which they charge money for and receive a profit from. Who couldn’t use $5.00 extra a month for funsies?

Have a deeper look at your monthly bills and let me know if you come across any similar charges.

P.S. Simply by calling a few of my regular service providers and inquiring I was able to reduce a few monthly charges. Remember, they won’t come to you to offer you a savings. It takes work, but is worth it in the long run.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

7 thoughts on “The fine print”

  1. When you move, don’t tell the utility providers the real reason you want a final bill and to shut off the service- tell them you aren’t using [electricity/gas/phone/water, etc] any more! The SMUD rep’s reaction was hilarious.


  2. You are now charged an additional $9.50 “state surcharge” on parking tickets. I think this started up pretty recently.


  3. i hardly ever used long distance (on my landline) so i switched to a no-name offering cheap service … my bill was usually $3 a month. then they came out with a new fee – if your bill was under $10 a month, you got a $10 surcharge.

    i tried to cancel – called their customer service, sent faxes, sent a letter, even a certified letter – nothing.

    they kept billing me for the service, months after i stopped using their firm and had switched to another long distance carrier. they just sent the $43 bill to collections. i’m not paying it.


  4. Corporations rule the world. Technically, the wireless spectrum is a public owned resource. The FCC rents it out -supposedly on our behalf- to companies for a fee, then that fee is passed on to us. So basically we’re paying for the wireless companies rights to use the spectrum we already own to profit off us.


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