Just As I Thought

Paying for privacy

Another pet peeve of mine is the huge number of fees we’re all subjected to, from ATMs to telephone companies.
Today in the Washington Post, a story tells about the “accidental” publishing of thousands of unlisted telephone numbers by Verizon. At the end of the article, they talk about the fee for having an unlisted number:

Consumers pay a fee to have their telephone numbers omitted from local phone books. The fee varies from region to region. In the District, the fee is $5.16 a year. In Virginia it costs $12.72, and in Maryland the charge is $13.20. West Virginia residents pay $16.68 to keep their numbers out of telephone directories.

$16.68?! That’s as much as the phone line itself (is supposed to) cost!
The telephone companies are huge, money-grubbing behemoths who are bleeding us dry with fees. $8 for caller ID. $6 for call waiting. Fees to recover their FCC obligations. Fees, fees, fees. That’s how your $14 phone line becomes a $60 bill every month.
I think that unlisted telephone numbers should be free, and you should have to pay a fee to have it LISTED, instead.

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