Telephone service is regulated in part by the FCC; however, it is the state's public utility commissions that primarily regulate telephone companies. Although choosing a phone company is not a simple task, reading a phone bill requires even more work on the part of the consumer.

Telephone bills are confusing because they contain a myriad of fees, taxes and charges that most consumers do not understand. Under FCC's Truth-in-Billing rules, phone companies are required to describe charges in clear, nonmisleading, plain language and identify the service provider associated with each charge.

Sidebar: For a specific list and description of charges and fees, go to the FCC's Web site.

How do I dispute charges on my phone bill?

The telephone company must provide a toll-free number for you to call regarding any disputes or complaints. The number is located on your bill. You can also complain to your state public utilities commission.