Ask Andy: Millington Telephone Co.'s touch-tone fee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Millington Telephone Co.'s touch-tone fee

This one has a few of us giggling in the newsroom.

"Michael" of Millington, TN, e-mailed me to complain about his service with Millington Telephone Company.

There's nothing wrong with his service.  He just doesn't understand why he's charged $1.50 a month -- to use his touch-tone phone!

"Isn't it odd that phone companies (e.g. Millington Telephone Company) are still charging a monthly fee for using a "Touch Tone" telephone?" he e-mailed.  "Does ANYONE use an old style rotary dial telephone these days?"

Actually, yes!

Millington Telephone's Administrative Commercial Supervisor Murph Carver tells me less than 10 percent of its customers still use rotary phones.  She says even though the company has offered touch-tone service since 1968, it continues to bill customers for it to cover the cost of the additional equipment.

"It requires additional central office equipment to provide for touch-tone services," Carver wrote in an e-mail.  "Millington Telephone Company's customer billing process is billed with separate line items and touch-tone service is considered a separate line item.

"The touch-tone service did not replace rotary dial service. The new tone dialing made it possible to switch calls with more efficiency, and provide enhanced customer services as well."

Yes, but it's 1968 technology -- and it's costing each of your customers an extra $18 a year!

Millington telephone customers, you might want to consider the cost of dropping your land-line service and going to just a cell phone.

I'm not saying that is the way you must go.  I'm saying you need to start shopping cell plans that offer unlimited minutes either by area or by whom you call most often, then compare the cost of those plans to continuing your land-line service.

You can shop cellular phone rates from this one web site:

http://www.phonedog.com/cell-phone-shopping/default.aspx

If some of you decide to drop your Millington Telephone land-line for a cellular plan, let me hear about it, and keep me posted on any savings!

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