It is well-established that digital phone service is much more affordable than conventional landline service. Most businesses that switch see immediate savings of 25% per month, though many enjoy savings of 50% or even more. Getting more for less is always a good strategy — especially these days with tight budgets and relentless competition.
However, it is important to keep in mind that not all digital phone service companies offer the same value. Some advertise low prices, but behind-the-scenes they tack on all kinds of extra fees. Is this unethical? Absolutely. Is it illegal? Probably not. In most cases, the details are buried somewhere deep in the contract.
What’s more, most customers don’t even KNOW that these various fees are optional instead of mandatory. Sometimes digital phone service companies just make them up and give them official-sounding names. Again, this is unethical, but not illegal (at least, not now — hopefully this will change in the future).
Your goal is to get maximum value from your digital phone service investment, and not pay a cent more than you should. To help you do this, here are seven fees that you should NEVER pay:
Additional County and Sales Taxes:
Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, digital phone service companies are not required to charge county or state sales tax on monthly fees. If you see this in a quote, contract, or invoice, then it’s a red flag.
Telecommunications Sales Tax:
This is a real tax. But digital phone service companies are not required to pass it on to their customers. Make sure that you choose a company that covers this vs. makes you pay.
Regulatory Recovery Fee:
This fee goes towards overseeing and regulating the telecommunications industry. This is necessary. But you shouldn’t be paying for it — your digital phone service company should! If they don’t, then it’s another red flag.
Regulatory, Compliance, and Intellectual Property Fee:
Again, digital phone service companies should pay for this — not their customers.
This is money that the FCC uses to pay for projects like helping under-serviced communities and schools improve their telecommunications infrastructure. This is worthwhile and important. But digital phone service companies are not required to pass this fee on to their customers. However, many of them do — and you should avoid them.
This is a real tax, and all digital phone service companies will charge for it. But the amount they charge for E911 access varies widely. The minimum required is $1.50 per month. However, many digital phone service companies charge significantly more.
E911 and Information Service Fee:
This is bogus, and there is absolutely no reason why you should pay this.
Also, you should pay very close attention to see if a digital phone service company is charging you excessive setup fees. Here is what you should know:
If you sign-up for an annual contract (2+ years), then you should pay NO setup fees of any kind.
If you sign-up for a 1-year contract or month-to-month contract, then you should only pay a one-time setup fee, and the amount should be minimal.
The Final Word
You will save money when switching from a conventional landline phone service to digital phone service. This is a foregone conclusion. However, you want to MAXIMIZE your savings. To do that, avoid companies that want to charge you any of the above (including excessive and unjustifiable setup fees). They are trying to take advantage of you. And if they are willing to do that, ask yourself: what else are they lying about?
Carolina Digital Phone: Always Low and Transparent Pricing
At Carolina Digital Phone, we do not charge ANY of the fees discussed above, and our E911 tax is only $1.50, which is the lowest allowed. Plus, we do not charge setup fees for customers who sign-up for annual contracts (2 to 5 years). For customers who sign-up for a 1-year or month-to-month contract, our one-time setup fee is very low. It is actually below our cost.
Get More for Less!
Ready to get “more for less” from one of the most experienced and reputable digital phone service companies, while also getting the industry’s BEST LOCAL SERVICE? Then contact Carolina Digital Phone today to schedule your free consultation and demo of our all-in-one digital phone service. We can visit you on-site, or connect with you over the web if you prefer. Call us now at (336) 544-4000.