The good news: In 2006 the government ended a 3% tax on long-distance service, and you can claim a credit for back fees on your tax return this year. The bad news: For the most part, you're stuck with the rest, like these outrages identified by the Telecommunications Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C. consumer group:
13. Carrier cost recovery fee: You pay an extra $1.25 (at MCI/Verizon) to $1.99 (AT&T) any month you make a state-to-state or international long-distance call.
14. AT&T's tax-related surcharge: A percentage of your total state-to-state and international charges. You could pay 0.7% of your calls or up to $1.99 a month, depending on your plan.
15. Property tax surcharge: Subscribers on old MCI plans pay an extra fee of 2.5% on state-to-state and international charges.
What you can do Cut off any phone lines you aren't using. You'll pay many of these fees on your wireless plan too, but at least you won't pay twice.
Of course, your wireless plan has two outrageous fees you likely can't avoid:
16. Activation fee: $35 for a new plan
17. Cancellation penalty: $175 to $200 for getting out early