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Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 19, 2017 04:59AM
Base bill for family plan $110, less 25% legacy corporate discount, (-$27.50), equals $82.50 net for service. Taxes/surcharges total $25.74.

My remedial math skills infer that's a 31.2% hit for taxes/surcharges based on the net paid for service. Sounds like a Burger King Double Whopper been shoved back in where in usually comes out AFTER it's been digested. Even on the non-discounted rate, my calculator implies something like a 23.4% hit, which is still a bit of a poke in the eye with a dull, rusty fishhook. The abundance of ads for "all fees, taxes, surcharges included" are starting to grab my attention.

I'm leaning towards switching.
Any thoughts/best practices these days?
Maybe throw in some consideration for a tablet, too.
Thanks.
==
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: Michael
Date: August 19, 2017 06:00AM
We have 3 cell plans:

1. My wife is on PagePlus with an $80 per year, pay per minute thing. It actually works well because she doesn't use the phone much. It's Verizon 3g and she uses an iPhone 4s. That phone is getting old but we can't use a more modern iPhone.

2. I'm on Boom that is a Verizon MVNO. I pay $30 per month (out the door) for 2 gb data and unlimited talk and text. It's Verizon 4g and I use an iPhone 5s. They don't have a family plan. They do activate hotspot with the iPhone so that would work with your tablet as long as they are near each other.

3. We have a Project Fi phone that is $20 per month for unlimited talk and text and has $10 per 1gb data. It costs $33 with taxes. They do have a family plan that reduces the cost of the second + phones. Unused data is refunded for the next month and you can "pause" service for 3 months. They use Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Three. They have a couple of specific phones that have to be used. The phones are designed to default to wireless whenever/where ever they can. We bought their cheap phone (Nexus 5x) for $250 and activated the service. They also will give you 6 SIMS to put in other devices that share the data (but don't have a separate phone number). That would work with your tablet--it wouldn't be based on a hotspot. The magic part of this, for us, is that the phones work in something like 133 countries. So, when we went to Europe we took the Project Fi phone and an iPhone 5 with an extra sim. We were able to communicate using Google Hangouts without any problem and we each had internet access. I know I could have bought separate SIMS for the iPhone but we went to 5 countries so I would have had to buy SIMS everywhere and it was easier (and I was more confident) just buying the Nexus and starting Project Fi. There are reports that you can activate the service using a Nexus or Pixel and then put the SIM in an iPhone and it will work on T-Mobile. My wife likes the Nexus way more than she likes her iPhone 4s so she wants to just shift to the Project Fi service when she spends down the PagePlus money, so we'll do that.
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: gabester
Date: August 19, 2017 08:20AM
I pay pretty close attention to taxes and fees, and I'd say that - from memory mind you - 18% is the lowest I ever remember paying, probably with Sprint in the early days of my first cell phone. Nowadays the average is about 25%... for example even on the super-low cost Comcast Xfinity Mobile "family" plan I just switched to, 3 phones for $45+$12x2 (one unlimited and two by the gig) our monthly bill nets about 17.8%. My two Fi phones are at 22%, but I don't use much data so my monthly rate should really be $35-$38 instead of $55 (two lines + 2x$10/gig) which means at the higher rate we're looking at 32%!

Unfortunately, there's almost NO transparency in the taxes and fees, some of which the telecoms basically use as revenue enhancement - and they're allowed to by law because the FCC grants them permission to charge "regulatory compliance costs" via such fees.
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: August 19, 2017 09:03AM
Prepaid.
[www.prepaidphonenews.com]
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 19, 2017 09:17AM
I switched my iPhone to PureTalk a little more than a year ago (my wife and adult kids stayed on our T-Mobile Family Plan). While I realize that most if not all the prepaid plans simply incorporate the taxes and fees into their rates, at least I don't have to see how ridiculous those taxes and fees are. I pay $14.95 per month for everything I need my iPhone to do at the moment and I'm very pleased with that.
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 19, 2017 09:40AM
Quote
wurm
I switched my iPhone to PureTalk a little more than a year ago (my wife and adult kids stayed on our T-Mobile Family Plan). While I realize that most if not all the prepaid plans simply incorporate the taxes and fees into their rates, at least I don't have to see how ridiculous those taxes and fees are. I pay $14.95 per month for everything I need my iPhone to do at the moment and I'm very pleased with that.

What plan is that? I looked and I see $10 and then $24, no $14.95 that I can see.
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 19, 2017 01:09PM
Ah...sorry. I should have been more clear. First of all, I took advantage of their Senior Advantage Plan (60+). At the time, I think it was either $4.95 for talk and text, and $10 for 400MB data. Or it was $9.95 for talk and text, and $5 for 400MB data. As I said, it's not much, but I haven't come close to using up my monthly minutes or data yet. And you're right I don't even see that as an option any more.
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Re: Massive math test... cell phone taxes/surcharges.
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 21, 2017 09:27AM
That's why I only do prepaid.

TMO's data coverage wasn't the best here, so I went with 3 lines on Cricket's base plan (unlimited talk/text, 4GB/month LTE data before throttling) for $90/month.
($100/month for 4-5 lines)

Easy to switch any line at any time for higher amounts of data.

Switched one line to unlimited for a month while our oldest was across the country on an internship.
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