Clear Rate is committed to our customers and the services we provide for you. Even though we strive to present our bills in a simple and straightforward format, telecommunication charges can be confusing. Here you will find a guide to the charges on your local phone bill. For information on the various taxes, surcharges, and fees on your bill, please click here. Or, you may view your bill online.
- Your local phone bill includes a monthly charge for the plan and features that you have selected, the dial tone that maintains the connection between your home and the telephone company’s central office, and the ability to make or receive calls. These services allow you to be listed in the telephone book, if requested, and receive a copy of the telephone directory.
Local Calling Charges
- You may have a “flat rate” or “unlimited” Local Calling plan. The type of plan you choose will determine your Local Calling charges. With an Unlimited Local plan you have the ability to make an unlimited number of calls to areas located near you for one monthly rate. The size of the Local Calling area varies from company to company.
- If you have a “measured service” or per-call rate, you are allowed a limited number of calls per month. If during that month you make more calls than your plan allows, an additional charge for each call over your limit will apply.
- To determine if a call is Local, you may view our Local Calling areas here.
- Sometimes called “Local Long Distance”, Local Toll calls are made to places that are not close enough to be in your Local Calling area, but not far enough away to be handled as Long Distance calls. These are generally calls that you have to dial the area code or “1” before dialing the telephone number.
- The Local Toll calling area and per-minute charges may vary depending on the plan you have chosen. Clear Rate charges the same rate for Local Toll and Long Distance service.
- There are many ways that you can make Long Distance calls. Choosing a Long Distance provider determines your “pre-subscribed” inter-exchange carrier. When you dial “1”, the area code, and the phone number, each call is routed via the access code for the pre-subscribed carrier. Each call is then billed at the plan rates you selected.
- In most parts of the country there are a large number of Long Distance carriers competing for your service. Calling plans and geographic areas can vary widely between companies. There are many plans that you may sign up for depending on the company that you are using. Some companies also charge a monthly fee in addition to the rate that you pay per minute for each long distance call. Clear Rate charges one flat rate for all Long Distance calls, and there is no additional monthly cost.
- Another way to make Long Distance calls is by using a “dial-around service.” When using this service, you manually enter another company’s access code (such as 10-10-123), then “1”, the area code, and the phone number. That company will then bill for the call based on their rates. Dial-around services must be checked carefully before using them – the prices quoted may only apply if you talk for a certain number of minutes, or the rates may vary depending on time of day and where you are calling. There may also be a monthly fee added.
- Calling cards, which are like charge cards for telephone calls, are available from many companies. You can use them from your home phone, a pay phone, a phone in a hotel room, or just about anywhere else. The charges are billed through the phone company that issued the calling card. You may also purchase pre-paid calling cards and use the minutes allotted for the amount of the purchase. Depending on your calling card company, the cost of some calls could include a surcharge in addition to the per-minute rate. There may also be a monthly fee. Be aware that some phone companies may not accept calls made with cards issued by other companies.
- Collect calls are charged to the bill of the person whose number you are calling. These calls can be made through a Local or Long Distance operator or through a third party company. The rates vary according to which company provides the service. For instance, if you call collect through an operator at a pay phone, the cost is set by the company that provides service to the phone you’re using. If you make a collect call from the same phone through another company’s 800 number collect call service, the call is billed at that company’s rates. Check your carrier’s rates before making these calls.
- These calls are used for information and entertainment services provided through 900 or 976 numbers, some 800 numbers, and certain international phone numbers.
- The rates vary from as little as a few cents to several dollars per minute. Some pay-per-call services are billed at a flat rate for each call.
- The service providers, not the telephone companies, set charges for pay-per-call services provided through 900, 976, or 800 numbers. You may be billed directly by the service provider, or additional charges may appear on a separate page of your phone bill.
- Miscellaneous services can include features such as: Caller ID, Call Waiting, Voicemail, Paging, Internet, and other non-telephone services. Your local carrier or other telephone companies may provide these services. Depending on which company provides the service, miscellaneous charges may appear on your bill.
- Before you pay your bill, please read it carefully and make sure that you are only being charged for services you have authorized.
Taxes, Surcharges, and Fees
- In addition to the monthly plan or service charges, you will find various taxes and surcharges on your bill. Taxes are paid to the government, while some fees and surcharges billed by telephone companies cover the costs of carrying out government-mandated programs. Others are intended to recover portions of a company’s operating expenses. Companies may use different terms to describe these charges. For a detailed description of these, click here.
- There is a per-call rate for Directory Assistance calls. This may vary depending on your calling plan.
- Any Long Distance Directory Assistance calls may include an additional charge from your Long Distance carrier.
- Many Local and Long Distance companies provide nationwide Directory Assistance services. These rates vary from company to company. You may be allowed to request more than one listing in a single call to Directory Assistance. It is important to know what each company charges for Directory Assistance before placing the call. If the Directory Assistance operator offers to complete the call for you, please be aware that there may be an additional charge for this service.
- Some states collect a Lifeline Surcharge to assist low-income consumers. As of July 1, 2000, low-income consumers who subscribe to Lifeline service may not be billed for the subscriber line charge or the universal service fee.