Marge sent in this question: I recently noticed a monthly $10 fee on my AT&T phone bill. I think I've been paying this forever. What is it and how can I get rid of it?
There actually is no Marge. Ken made the question up: he heard the story recently on the radio about people who had been leasing their phones from AT&T inadvertently for the past 30 years.
Those of us who are of a certain age will recall paying the phone company monthly fees to rent a phone. Ken recalls very clearly the first time he was able to buy a phone and connect it up to the phone line. Anyone under 50 probably won't recall the previous situation, in which renting your phone was the only option.
It was a big deal, but a lot of people never did that, and continue to pay AT&T terrible, usurious fees of $10.00 or more per month, month after month, to cover that rental.
If you find an undisclosed fee on your bill that you don't understand, make sure and ask the phone company about it. If it is a rental fee, get rid of that phone and purchase a $10.00 phone yourself and be done with those monthly fees on your phone bill.
This issue only only applies to land lines, and many people no longer even have a land line. If you do, take a moment and check for the fee: You don't want to be Marge.