Telecoms Take Recurring Monthly Revenue Too Far

They now charge a recurring monthly fee to unlisted phone numbers. Imagine if you could charge for the courtesy of doing nothing.

Jason Knott · September 8, 2010

I know CE Pro has been making your ears bleed talking about how integrators need to get into the recurring monthly revenue (RMR) business, either via security systems, home health tech or service contracts. But the telecom companies now appear to be taking it way too far.

According to an article in the L.A. Times, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon are now charging customers a recurring monthly fee to not have their their name listed in the phone book. In other words, they are charging the client every month for doing nothing.

Time Warner recently doubled its monthly fee to $1.99 per month. Verizon charges $1.75 per month. AT&T charges $1.25.

There is some logic behind it. The telecom companies sell their listings to telemarketing companies, so it actually hurts them when the list is smaller because there are fewer numbers to sell.

But I love this ... when asked by the L.A.Times reporter why the fee is monthly vs. just a one-time charge because the phone book is only printed once per year, a Time Warner spokesman said, “It’s a recurring service that you’re provided throughout the month.”

In other words… they are charging customers every month for the courtesy of doing nothing. 

Think of what it would be like if you could do that for every prospective customer you never had!

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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  Article Topics

Business · Service & Recurring Revenue · Blogs · · Phone · Service Contracts · All Topics
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