The Phone Handbook

Table Of Contents:

The following is a table of contents for the Phone Handbook. You may click on the headers for more information on that topic.

The Phone Handbook is intended to provide Minnesota consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions in a rapidly changing telecommunications environment. State agency contact and other resource telephone numbers are listed here.

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?
  • How Can I Prevent Disconnection of My Phone Service
  • Is There Any Assistance Available To Help Pay For My Telephone Service?
    • Telephone Assistance Plan (“TAP”)
    • Lifeline
    • Telephone Equipment Distribution (“TED”)
  • Telephone Service for the Communication Impaired
  • What if There is a Delay in Obtaining My Telephone Service?
  • Complaints

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
    • 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?
    • Charges for Downloadable Adult Access
    • 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


  • Referral Guide
  • Clues To A Con

Related Posts:

The Do Not Call Registry and Unwanted Calls

Many people are bombarded by unwanted telephone calls - even though they are on the Do Not Call Registry. The problem is difficult to stop because the scam artists increasingly use modern technology - including caller ID spoofing and throw-away cell phones - to conceal their identity and location and evade law enforcement.

Calls from Your Own Phone Number

Scam artists now use technology to make a person's caller ID show their own name and phone number. These scam artists are falsifying - or "spoofing" - caller ID information.

Reducing Unwanted Calls and Mail

The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for reducing telemarketing calls and unwanted mail, including placing your number on the National Do Not Call List and how to "opt out" of mailing lists.