State of Minnesota
More about
Attorney General
Lori Swanson

Minnesota Attorney General's Office

1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353
(800) 657-3787

M - F 8 am - 5 pm

TTY:(651) 297-7206
TTY:(800) 366-4812


The Phone Handbook

The Attorney General’s Office answers questions about consumer issues. If you have a consumer question or complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Office in writing, by phone, or check out our website:

Minnesota Attorney General's Office
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-3353 or 1-800-657-3787
TTY: (651) 297-7206 or TTY: 1-800-366-4812
(TTY numbers are for callers using teletypewriter devices.)

The Phone Handbook is written and published by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. This edition was published in May 2009.

The Attorney General’s Office is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity.


Table Of Contents:

Local Service
Do I Have A Choice For My Local Telephone Service?
What Is The Cost Of Local Phone Service?
How Can I Reduce The Price Of My Local Phone Bill?
What Are The Charges On My Telephone Bill, And Are They Required?
Is Inside Wire Insurance A Good Deal?
Is There Any Assistance Available To Help Pay For My Telephone Service?
Telephone Assistance Plan (“TAP”)
Link-Up America
Telephone Equipment Distribution (“TED”)
Telephone Service For The Deaf
What If There Is A Delay In Obtaining My Telephone Service?
How Can I Prevent Disconnection of My Phone Service

Long Distance
Which Long Distance Company Is The Best Company?
Do I Have To Sign Up With A Long Distance Carrier?
A Long Distance “Subscription”
How Can I Choose The Best Company?
Combined Billing Or Not?
Hidden Fees: A Word Of Caution
What Are The Added Fees And Surcharges On My Long Distance Bill?
Alternative Methods For Making Long Distance Calls
Pre-paid Calling Cards
Dial Around
Can I Save Money Using 10-10 Companies?
Wireless (Or Cellular) Phones For Long Distance
Voice Over Internet Services

Phone Fraud
Protect Yourself From Fraud
Why Is My Phone Bill From A New Long Distance Company?
What Should I Do If I Have Been Slammed?
How Can I Prevent Slamming?
What Is Cramming?
What Can I Do If I Get Crammed?
How Do I Prevent Cramming?
What If I Get Billed For Unauthorized Calls To An Adult Entertainment Service?
How Can I Prevent Pay-Per-Call Charges?
Can I Block 1-900 Numbers?

Making Calls Away From Home
Things To Consider When Evaluating Whether To Purchase Wireless (Or Cellular) Service
What Should I Know About Wireless Contracts?
Where Will My Phone Work?
Are Rebates On Wireless Phones And Equipment A Good Deal?
The Customer Service Representative I Talked To Wasn’t Helpful
Why Are There Charges On My Wireless Bill For Third Party Services?
What Are My Options When Using A Pay Phone?

Telemarketing And Privacy
How Did They Get My Name?
Will Placing My Name On The Do Not Call List Stop Telemarketing Calls?
How Else Can I Stop Telemarketers From Calling?
Can I Use Caller ID To Stop Telemarketers?
Calls From Pre-Recorded Messages
Telemarketing Disclosures
Clues To A Con


Additional Consumer Information