Back in the early 2000s I had Southwestern Bell local service and that was the only company I could have back then. About $15 month for land line. In 2001 they merged with Bell Texas and things went haywire. Now their goal was to add fees for anything extra they could upsell a person.
Part of the upsell scheme was they split up long distance to where it was a totally separate service. That came from AT&T so i'd get a separate bill every month for $5.00 or there-abouts for the long distance "service". I NEVER called long distance. Got to thinking why am I paying 5 dollars a month for nothing. The $5.00 flying out the window really burned my hide but I also didn't want to mail a second check every month. So I decided to put a long distance block on the line.
No problem but the fee for a long distance block was $6.00+/month.
It actually costs more to do that way and I would still have to mail a second check every month which is.
I paid AT&T their $5.00/month for a couple of years....... )&*(%)^*$^)_&
Then they started offering the Bell long distance again [like before] only it was set up to where it was still like doing business with a separate company. I could however, send one check per month if I dropped AT&T and went with the "new" Bell long distance service. The only thing new was the way it was charged.
That was OK with me but through all this crap the bill was now $25/month, up $10 from back when the phone bill was simple.
I chalked it up to inflation and went with that for a couple years. The main thing is I wasn't dealing with AT&T!!! I vowed to never deal with them again.
Then in late 2005 Bell bought out AT&T and I became an AT&T customer again. Immediately the monthly bill went to $45/month for no other reason than to pay for the millions spent on the purchase. How that helps any of us I'll never know. I suppose the share holders liked the way it looked on paper.
About a year ago now i finally got my employer to [consistantly] pay for a cell for me and the MRS was tired enough of me griping about the land line, where all I got from it was Rachael from Card Holder Services robo-calls and a $49.67/month bill, so the land line was shut off. I don't miss it one bit and wish I'd have shut it off long ago.
Gosh I'm long winded!