Mysterious charges. 22 extra fees on your phone bill?

Have you really looked at your phone bill lately? I mean, really looked at it.

All of those extra charges and taxes can add another 50 percent to your bill. But where does the money go?

Here's a look at two fees we found. 

The Federal Access Charge is usually one of the most expensive. It may be called something close to this on some provider bills. The government limits it to $6.50. But it's not a government charge, it's a phone company charge to recover costs, and there's no requirement it's passed on to you.

You should find the Federal Universal Service Fund charge on cell phone and landline bills. That money is used to help people in rural or high-cost areas get access to services. While phone companies have to pay into this fund, they are not required to pass it on to you.

The Arizona Corporation Commission controls two charges: The Arizona Universal Service Fund for school broadband, and they regulate the 80-cent facility relocation fee that pays phone companies for having to relocate lines or facilities.

Click here to look at the Federal Communication Commission's explanations of common phone bill charges.

For Century Link's explanation of fees, click here.

Click here for Verizon's explanation of fees and taxes

Click here for Cox Communications explanation of fees.

Here is Sprint's explanation of fees and taxes.

Print this article Back to Top

What is Let Joe Know?

Let Joe Know protects YOU the consumer. We expose scams and hold businesses accountable for their contracts and agreements. Most important, we share consumer red flags before they hit your wallet!

ABC15's Let Joe Know reports air every weekday during ABC15 News at 6pm and online at

Want to help Let Joe Know? Become a volunteer! Call 1-855-323-1515 and leave your name, number to start helping us help others.


How do I erase info from electronics?
Where does my charity money really go?
Is that a real check I got in the mail?
Do I need flood insurance; how can I get it? 
What should I do before hiring a contractor? 
What are the best ways to prevent ID theft?
Do I have 3-days to get out of my contract?
Debt collectors harass me! What are my rights?