Take a look at your  latest phone bill. Depending on your phone company, there should be a section called Surcharges and Fees or ‘Taxes and Surcharges’. Add up the  total amounts and you’ll discover  that some carriers charge as much as 25% in taxes and fees.  That’s significant. What’s more it’s just as difficult to make sense of what those charges represent.

With the help of our agent peers across the country, RAM is now able to unlock some of these mysterious charges.  Here’s a breakdown of some items you should look for.

Access Recovery Fee

This is a fee levied by the carrier for network maintenance.  It is not, as some carriers claim, a federal or state mandated fee.  These revenues are kept by the carrier. There are several other names for this fee including: Access Recovery Charge, Federal Administrative Expense Fee and Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge.

Federal Excise Tax

As noted in previous RAM newsletters, this tax should only be applied to local service charges.  If you see this fee appear under the long distance portion of your invoice, contact your carrier immediately for a refund.

e911 Charge

This fee covers the cost of e911 call center services. The amount varies widely. If your business is located in the City of Chicago, your business will pay significantly more than a business located in one of the suburbs.

Local Infrastructure Fees

Some suburbs charge significant amounts in local telecom access fees. Other suburbs don’t charge a fee at all. Look for a line item with your local municipality’s name. “Village of Rolling Meadows Surcharge” is one example.  Some carriers will charge more for this fee than others within the same municipality for the same service.

Here are some tips on what to do if you have questions about your taxes and surcharges.

1. Contact RAM. We will review your invoice closely.
2. If the fee in question cannot be explained or resolved, we will compare the fee with other invoices for similar charges.
3. If there’s a large discrepancy, we will help you with a credit request with your phone company.

Contact RAM today at 847-358-0917 for more information.


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