CUB: AT&T customers should avoid costly rate hikes

January 17, 2011

Emily Wilensky

(Flicker/Nannette Turner)

AT&T's recent $3 rate hike for home phone users has caught the attention of a utility watchdog group that says consumers shouldn't have to pay more. Jim Chilsen is a spokesman for the Illinois Citizens Utility Board. He said Illinois has safeguarded options to protect customers from overpaying.

“The consumer’s choice plans actually include the line charge and their prices are frozen, and that is the line charge that’s going up,” he said. “So by going with the consumer’s choice plans you’re actually protected from these rate hikes.”
 
The watchdog group recommends customers choose one of three Consumer Choice plans to avoid costly rate increases. The plans are subject to a legislative rate freeze that mandates prices on the plans stay fixed through 2012. AT&T said in a statement that despite recent rate increases, Chicago still has one of the lowest phone rates in the nation.