Reverse the Charges

reverse the chargesReverse the Charges
How to Save Money on Your Phone Bill
Simon and Waz

In 1974, the government filed an anti-trust suit against AT&T and by the early 1980s, the phone company was broken down into the “Baby Bells”. New competitors came on the scene and were offering long distance options for consumers. (Personal aside: my father often remarked that the only people that came out ahead in the breakup of AT&T were the lawyers that billed obscene amounts for the Bell reorganization.)

In the 1980s, this would have been an excellent choice for a public library. In 2020, this book is ridiculous unless you are putting together a telecommunications history archive. I actually couldn’t believe it was sitting on a shelf in a public library.


For those who remember the old days before the Baby Bells came into being, check out Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine from Saturday Night Live.

back cover

phone companies

phone equipment

geographic charges


  1. Whenever the subject of phones comes up, people are amazed/horrified that I still have a landline.

    However, it’s cheaper by half for my internet connection to be via a landline, and I use it and its answering machine as a “spam catcher” so that our family cell phones receive virtually zero robo calls.

    Works for me.

  2. (This one came up several years before, but w/e) Why would the phone company want to charge you _more_ for using dtmf/touchtone? And, for that point, why would they be billing differently depending on the dial method (pulse/tone)? Anyone from then remember?

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