I was told $50 bucks a POTS line, here’s what I paid

I contacted an AT&T rep. We were busy moving off of Lumen, the worst carrier we’ve ever had to deal with and cause of 70+ hours of fiasco that still has not ended due to them not picking up equipment or fixing the billing. Still.

POTS – plain old telephone service. Landline. Works if the power goes out. The stuff you want in an elevator emergency phone and a fire/security system.

We needed 3 POTS lines. One for an elevator and two for a fire system. Ours were incorrectly provided by Lumen’s previous company via a non-POTS route and that was a no no.

I discussed the absolute “these are never going to be used for anything other than a security system” and was assured that was going to be about $50 a line with some sort of multi-line discount that would make it less and then taxes wouldhit. There would be taxes, I was assured, but that was probably in the 15-20% range. I wish I’d recorded this.

Our first bill was over $600. I spent a little over an hour going through line by line with the rep what was up and determined that there was an install fee, the billing statement covered more than two months, there were 14 days on a partial month here and 12 days there for the same basic timeframe, got transferred to different departments, spoke with a couple of people who agreed the bill was complex and covered different dates in different areas and was confusing.

They broke the $500 monthly that was being listed down and showed how the thousands became hundreds here and what each month was. Took two people to decipher. Whatever.

Finally I asked straight up what our next bill was going to be and was told that going forward. I was told about $128 going forward. That was better than expected. I was told it might vary a little due to taxes being unpredictable by the reps.

I was not told that $128 didn’t include the taxes. Huh… me asking “what are we going to pay next month” and being told $128 I expected the variation to be a few dollars. I expected when they said that it was $128 but might be a bit more or less depending on taxes I should have had a tape recorder handy.

Our $230 bill arrived today. It included a $132 base and.. $98 in fees. Cost assessment charge, federal subscriber line charge, federal universal service fee ended up being $70 (in one section). The federal excise tax, state/local tax, E911 service fees packed on another $24.61 in another.

AT&T tacked on to their long distance part of the package (which has to be there for the multi-line discount I’m told,) another Federal universal service fee, a federal regulatory fee, and a state regulatory fee. coming in at $4 more for a service (long distance,) that will never be used. The state slapped on an additional $2.30 to that.

75% taxes and fees per POTS line.

I talked to another rep, we walked through this, I told her the two quotes I was given and that I was told maybe 20% and yeah, wish I had a call recorder… literally could get 3 free iPhones with T-Mobile/Sprint and have them running data for $150 a month.

But POTS man…

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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