As a local telephone subscriber, you are automatically a member-owner of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company (FMTC). Your cooperative's mission is to provide you with state-of-the-art communication services that meet & exceed your needs.
Each time you subscribe to one of FMTC services, you are not just becoming a customer; you are making an investment in a company you and your neighbors actually own!
As an owner of a cooperative company, you are entitled to certain benefits that are not available to customers of big name telephone companies.
A couple of those benefits include:
- You elect each representative on the Board of Directors. Their job is to oversee the operation of your cooperative & protect your investment.
- Once the operating costs & reinvestments in your co-op have been met, the Board of Directors refunds the remaining money to the members in the form of Capital Credits. The amount refunded varies from year to year. Over the past several years, Capital Credit returns have averaged about 20% of what the customer has spent using FMTC services.
It's quite amazing, each time someone makes a call using Bright Long Distance, or subscribes to services like Caller ID, they're investing in FMTC's future as well as their own.
Think about some of the big name companies, whether they're credit card companies, long distance companies, or even some big name department store. How do they respond to your needs? Do they ask what your needs are? Do they let you have a say in how they do business by letting you choose a representative to attend their meetings?
Have you ever met any of the people you talk to or are they just some nameless voice on the other end of the phone? What do they use your hard earned dollars for? Do you ever see any money returned to you just because they made a profit?
When FMTC shows a margin, that means you receive allocations and later refunds. Cooperatives are truly a unique business. Everyone has a stake in the success of a cooperative.
What is this Patronage Notice?
Each year, during April, anyone that did qualifying business with Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. receives a Patronage Notice.
The Patronage notice indicates how much money has been allocated, or set aside, and will be returned to you at a later date, in the form of a Capital Credit check.
Why do I have to wait for the money? Why can't I receive the actual money or have the credits applied to my telephone bill now?
In order to operate the business, capital credits remain with the cooperative for a certain amount of time before they are returned to the members. Rural cooperatives, like any other business, must have some money on hand to provide current operating funds and to invest in facilities.
The members have agreed through the cooperatives' By-Laws to use the margins to support operations for the co-op. The bylaws also stipulate the money will be returned after a number of years of successful operations as determined by the Cooperative's Board of Directors.
Capital credit refund checks are issued approximately 8-10 years after they were first allocated. The next Capital Credit checks to be issued will be a percentage of your patronage from the year of 1994.
My refund amount is different than my neighbors - WHY?
Capital Credit refunds are calculated based on the total amount of Patronage each account has done with Farmers Mutual.
Basically, if one account did more business with FMTC than another, they'll receive a larger refund since they did more business with FMTC.
Is there something I can do to increase my Capital Credit refund amounts without spending lots of money?
Sure, take a look at the business you do. How much of it are you spending with other companies? Do you really know for sure if the other company is giving you a better deal? If you don't know, it might be time to do a little investigating.
Yes, they may be giving you low long distance rates but take into consideration the extra things. You are probably getting more than one telephone bill, having to write more than 1 check, and paying postage twice, plus if you have a question on your bill you are probably getting to play the push-button game, press 1 for this, 2 for that, etc.
Over the past several years FMTC's Bright Long Distance has become more competitive than ever, plus we have great local customer service & all calls appear on your local telephone bill, leaving you just one bill to look at & one bill to pay. PLUS we will take time to discuss your calling habits to determine which of our money saving plans will actually save you the most money. We'd be happy to tell you about our services, just call us.