When touch-tone dialing was new, the Bell System charged a small fee for the service. It was actually cheaper to provide touch-tone (the registers that hear dialing were freed-up much quicker). The Bell system figured out that customers liked the faster dialing, and were willing to pay a premium to get it.
Extra fees are the passion of carriers (telecom and airlines) and banks. It requires creativity to come up with all these fees. Another good example is fast food – places like Taco Bell continue to invent new foods on a regular basis all without adding new ingredients. This creativity of invention is, in an odd way, something to respect.
AT&T; now has a fee for not having long distance. Long ago, back in the days on a monopoly, AT&T; charged businesses higher rates so Grandma could have cheap basic service. But now, cheap basic service comes with a fee for being cheap.
Karl Bode wrote the following insightful post:
AT&T; Now Charging You For Not Using Enough Long Distance