How To Avoid AT&T's Connection Fee For A New Phone Line

An alleged insider for AT&T sent us the following tip on how to avoid a connection fee if you plan on getting both a regular phone line and DSL through AT&T. We don’t know if it works, but you may be able to avoid a $40 charge for what amounts to “flipping a switch” at AT&T HQ.

Hello. Love the site. Been reading it for years. I have been working at AT&T for a while now. While I have been working at AT&T I have always kept an eye out for ways that can save people money. i have found a way around the connection fee for new connections or transfer orders.

When you set up service set up Internet only, also known as stand alone fast access (STAFA) dsl. There is no fee for connecting StAFA dsl,but there is for hooking up phone service at the new location. Once your order has completed and your dsl is up and running, call us and then order your phone service. Since your dsl is connected we already have the connection needed for a phone line. Wwe flip a switch and your phone normally works by midnight. No connection charges are applied to the new phone connect or dsl if you order it this way.

Depending on what state you are in you can save between 40 – 46 dollars. I dont know if this works nationwide but I know it does for customers in the Southeast region (AL, FL, GA, MS, LA, KY, TN, NC, SC).

So will this work? Let us know in the comments if you try it out.

(Photo: qthrul)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ThunderRoad says:

    Save 40 bucks and share all you do with the NSA. What a bargain!

  2. xkaluv says:

    @ThunderRoad: Hate to break it to you… almost all internet communications travels across AT&T at some point… you are sharing everyhthing anyway.

  3. mariospants says:

    it worked for me years ago in Florida – at least there was no connection fee that I recall.

  4. JustaConsumer says:

    Best idea. Don’t use AT&T. Use Vonage.

  5. DeleteThisAccount says:

    @JustaConsumer: Vonage has internet service?

  6. Pizza_Guy says:

    @AngrySicilian: I think he was talking about using Vonage for phone service, not internet.

  7. rdm says:

    See: Brian Regan’s bit about waiting 8 days for them to “flip a switch.”

  8. semanticantics says:

    Thanks for the Brian Regan bit I’ve never seen. Love that guy.

  9. krispykrink says:

    I save my money by not using the NSAT&T.

  10. @xkaluv: yep, people seem to forget that or just don’t realize it.

  11. enine says:

    “How To Avoid AT&T’s Connection Fee For A New Phone Line “
    Don’t use AT&T. I finally talked my wife into dropping the land line now that our IP phone gives free long distance.

  12. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    $40 – $46? Wow! I had no idea it was that much to start up a landline. The last time I had a landline was 4 or 5 years ago with Verizon, and I don’t remember paying that much to start new service.

    And what’s with all the ATT hate? I think we should all know by now that all forms of communication are being monitored.

    Thanks GWB! I feel much safer from the terrorists now! //sarcasm

  13. myasir says:

    @JustaConsumer: Some of us prefer a phone service that still works during power and internet outages and would like a 911 service that won’t send emergency services to the wrong address.

  14. krispykrink says:

    @myasir: Keep up with the law. You can disconnect your landline and still have direct 911 service that registers your address.

    As for power outages, my local cell tower uses solar charged battery’s for backup. Pretty cool actually, I’d like to see these things standard.

    @LatherRinseRepeat: Of course all forms of communications are monitored now. But after the whole NSA/AT&T stink and “black rooms” in AT&T buildings, I choose not to give any of my money to AT&T. Especially with my iPhone, it works real nice on T-Mobile.

  15. RStewie says:

    Do I have to have a phone connection in the house already for this?

    We use cell phones, and don’t have a house phone, but can’t get cable broadband, so this is what we’re working on. I don’t want to call the phone company, though, and have them try to sucker me into something I don’t need.

  16. matthew_k says:

    Or just tell them you’re considering comcast. The entire “we have to charge you $40” was dropped immediately.

  17. chicotc says:

    Bellsouth/ATT SE does charge a connection fee. when i started up service they told it would be waive since i was a new/returning customer…

  18. smint says:

    Vonage and DSL makes me ROFL. If you’re going to be cheap, choose phone or internet, not both.

  19. woot says:

    @JustaConsumer: Better yet, look into Skype. Much cheaper.

    Note: If you want to use your existing regular phone with Skype, rather than being tied to the computer while you talk, you can get an adaptor like this one for about $55: []

  20. rochec says:

    Am I the only one noticing you have to sign up for DSL to avoid this fee? You aren’t really saving a whole lot if you do that.

  21. psychos says:


    “Almost all Internet communcations” do NOT travel across AT&T’s network. AT&T is only one of several large Internet backbones. Here’s the latest AS distribution representation from CAIDA for reference: AS Core map. As you can see, AT&T is just one of several large players.

  22. dottat1 says:

    working for a communications company.. I really have come to hate the term “flipping a switch”

    it’s probably the most ignorant statement I hear.

    Does the guy who cooks my pizza for lunch flip a switch??

  23. SJActress says:


    Then why don’t you tell us what you ACTUALLY do in order to activate a phone line?

  24. dlab says:

    @rochec: Sign up for 1 month of the $10 DSL and then drop after your landline is connected.

  25. Paytriot says:

    no land line or voip for me. As I type yet another Tropical storm is wailing around me and so far power has gone out 3 times in two days but my cell phone has been just fine, haven’t even experienced any 3g problems. Back in 2004 during the 3 hurricanes that went through Central Florida in a 5 week span the only reliable comms were cellular, except for nextel which went down like a leaf in a breeze…..

    as far as privacy is concerned, that went out the window long before most of us were born, you are fooling yourself if you think anything you say or probably even think doesn’t have the chance of “Being Monitored”

  26. stanhubrio says:

    I had to pay $10 to have AT&T disconnect my long distance.

  27. Heartless says:

    It’s not really just flipping a switch so to speak. I used to work for AT&T California, and for the midwestern region. It’s actually a pretty complicated process across a variety of different systems.Once the order is placed it is processed through, then into the networking systems to check availability, find the address, and rout the calling system. Finally a technician is dispatched – He may not come to your home, but he still makes the connection at the main switch in that community.
    This strategy should work across AT&T territories.

    As for paying $10 to remove long distance..unfortunately all local carriers charge that fee. It’s the local carrier’s responsibility to maintain the routing of LD carriers. Even if you change from one LD to another, and not the local carrier’s LD, this is a charge paid for by all customers to make those changes. Pic charges are to maintain the switches and routing networks, that carriers don’t get paid for to maintain by LD companies.

  28. Foneguy says:


    I work for Verizon, but not in customer service, so save the love….We flip a switch. Seriously, it is mostly an automated process, the order goes via software from the billing/CS systems, to the switch systems, and your service is usually activated in a batch process that runs overnight. It can be done manually, takes a few minutes for an experienced person to log into a switch and set up the line. Most issues are due to bad data that was entered to begin with. Wiring assignments that got fat fingered and are 1 digit off, etc. etc.

  29. Meathamper says:

    @ThunderRoad: You don’t know that.