Long Distance Charges

I received my monthly phone bill today.

Does anyone else think Bell Canada’s savings breakdown is absurd? This month, I saved $114.40 on my $135.60 phone bill! Wow, I feel priviledged that Bell is giving me such a deep discount!

Well, they’re not. Not really.

I’m on their basic (First Rate) long distance plan. A minimum fee of $4.95 gets me up to 60 evening/weekend minutes. The rest are 10¢/minute, but with a maximum total fee (including the minimum) of $20.00 for the first 800 minutes.

Fine, so far. But the report they generate compares this plan with the _maximum_ I could have paid for the call. This is misleading two ways:

1) It ignores standard time-of-day discounts, which are applied across the board to everyone, even poor schmoes who don’t have a Bell long distance plan. (It doesn’t apply to operator assisted calls, though :-). So I’m not really _saving_ on those, am I?
2) It ignores the fact that everyone with two brain cells to rub together purchases a long distance plan from _somebody_. The actual going rate for long distance is well below 10¢/minute, not the 38¢/minute or 43¢/minute they are comparing my rates to…

I’m not sure why they’re allowed to do this. Ah well; laugh at the poor sucker who would have paid the whole $135.60, I guess…

posted at 1:38 pm on Monday, April 12, 2004 in Random Thoughts | Comments Off on Long Distance Charges

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