PDA

View Full Version : Verizon DSL Bills - Short-lived Ecstasy



mommalina
08-19-2006, 02:00 PM
I was delighted when I read the first part of the email quoted below. Verizon will no longer add the FUSF fee (helps federal government support rural areas, schools, etc). That should really come out of the federal General Fund and was unfair because it did not affect other non DSL broadband providers.

My delight turned into rage when I read the highlighted portion of the email below.


Dear Valued Verizon Online Customer,

Effective August 14, 2006, Verizon Online will stop charging the FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) recovery fee. We will stop being assessed the fee by our DSL network suppliers. Therefore, we will no longer be recovering this fee from our customers. The impact of the FUSF fee is as follows: for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 768Kbps, the fee eliminated is $1.25 a month; for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 1.5 Mbps or 3Mbps, the fee eliminated is $2.83 a month (based on current FUSF surcharge amounts). On your bill that includes charges for August 14, 2006 you will see either a partial FUSF Recovery Fee or no FUSF line item at all, depending on your bill cycle.

Starting August 26, 2006, Verizon Online will begin charging a Supplier Surcharge for all new DSL customers, existing customers with a DSL monthly or bundle package, and existing DSL annual plan customers at the time their current annual plan expires. This surcharge is not a government imposed fee or a tax; however, it is intended to help offset costs we incur from our network supplier in providing Verizon Online DSL service. The Supplier Surcharge will initially be set at $1.20 a month for Verizon Online DSL customers with service up to 768Kbps and $2.70 per month for customers with DSL service at higher speeds.

On balance your total bill will remain about the same as it has been or slightly lower.
For more information, see the Announcement in the Help section of Verizon Central, located at http://central.verizon.net

We regret the need to add this Supplier Surcharge, but we thank you for choosing high speed Verizon Online DSL. We appreciate and value your business.

Sincerely,

Verizon Online
Broadband Customer Care Team

Where do they get the cajones? Makes no difference if it's FUSF (federal) or Verizon Supplier Surcharge.....we're still getting screwed. I can't fail to note that they decided to impose the Supplier Surcharge as soon as the FUSF was eliminated.

Except to deceive customers, why call the fee "Supplier Surcharge"? ..... because, like with the FUSF fee, they can advertise the cost at a lower figure when potential customers are comparing broadband costs. The customer gets hit with the full cost when he gets his first bill.

Well, those who opted for the 12-month contract, should be home free until their DSL renewal date. I wonder how many DSL users are going to think about going elsewhere, if possible, for broadband.

Grrrr. Sorry, am having a bad day.

Lina

RAK
08-19-2006, 02:47 PM
Oh come on, Lina, look at the bright side; they got that damn "Big Government" off your back and five cents change to boot.:rolleyes: OF course this is only the "initial" charge.
From Dsl Reports:

New Verizon DSL Fees
FUSF Fee ditched, 'supplier surcharge' added
Posted on 2006-08-15 12:47:47 by Karl
Users in our Verizon forum note how when it comes to below the line fees on your DSL bill, Verizon giveth, and Verizon taketh away. A notice being sent to DSL customers reads as such:

"Effective August 26, Verizon will charge a Supplier Surcharge for all DSL customers. The surcharge helps offset costs we incur from our network supplier. The Supplier Surcharge will be $1.20/month for 768Kbps service customers and $2.70/month for higher DSL speeds.

Verizon Online will cease charging an FUSF recovery fee, beginning August 14, 2006. The impact of the elimination of the FUSF fee is for DSL customers up to 768Kbps, fee eliminated is $1.25.month; for DSL customers of up to 1.5Mbps and 3Mbps services, the fee eliminated is $2.83/month. On balance your total bill will remain about the same as it has been or slightly lower."

The FCC recently ruled that DSL providers no longer had to pay into the USF, thus the change. To counter the estimated $350 million shortfall that move created, the FCC ruled VoIP providers must now pay into the fund.

As we've long discussed, these fees are not always government sanctioned, and are a way to push rate hikes on customers via below the line fees, not included in the advertised service price. Even the USF fee, some argue, was little more than a largely unmonitored, out of control slush fund.

Our users point out that other providers, such as Speakeasy, are performing a similar re-balancing act with their "unfees".

Here's a link on articles about those fees and who actually gets the money.
http://www.newnetworks.com/universalservicefund.htm

By the way, does anyone know if Phone companies are still collecting that surcharge that was initiated to pay for the Spanish American War?:)
"Thru this world I ramble
I've seen lots of crooked men
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
Others with a fountain pen" - Woody Guthrie

mommalina
08-19-2006, 03:16 PM
RAK wrote:By the way, does anyone know if Phone companies are still collecting that surcharge that was initiated to pay for the Spanish American War?

Here you are, RAK:

Feds cut off phone tax after 108 years
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/telecom/2006-05-25-phone-tax_x.htm?csp=34

BTW, Now will somebody tell me when they stop rounding our VA disability payments to the lower dollar to pay for Agent Orange VA care? It was bad enough when .50 became .00, but .99 to .00?

Same goes for Social Security payments, which are rounded down to the lower amount after deducting payment for Part A (which is never in even dollars).

The actual COLAs are thus not as advertised, and you will feel the cumulative effect as long as you collect these payments. Imagine taking away up to 99 cents a month from someone who collects $600 or less a month and has to live on that amount.

How about the same for Presidential and Congressional pensions?

Lina

Terry Hanushek
08-19-2006, 04:36 PM
Lina

I know that this looks like Verizon is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. The thing that I focus on is the bottom line. In that regard, Verizon has been very good. A little over two years ago, I moved my office and realigned my telephone service. I have two lines, unlimited long distance, DSL and two cell phones on the same bill. Over this time my total charges have actually gone down by about five dollars a month. :cool:

If I looked at individual line items I would go crazy. Recently, I received an unsolicited Summary of Service from Verizon with two and a half page, single spaced list of my 'services'. One column had their service billing codes and the other had equally cryptic 'descriptions' of what I am using. Perhaps this notice was triggered by the elimination of the FUSF and their imposition of the Subscriber Surcharge. I have no idea what it all means.

OTOH I use Comcast for cable service at home. During the past several years my service (channels) and my total bill have been going in opposite directions. One month they reduce the number of channels for my plan and the next they adjust (up) my bill. :eek:

Terry

PS I am glad that we have now completely paid off the Spanish American War. :) Unfortunately, I fear that our great great great grandchildren will still be paying an Iraq surcharge on their utility bills well into the next century. :hurt:

PeteF
08-19-2006, 07:45 PM
I know that this looks like Verizon is giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

Yeah got the same notice from verizon. I believe the strategy
by Verizon is to take advantage of the government cost reduction
by adding their own new charge becasue most people will never
even read that notice, they will see that their total bill is about
the same and even a few cents less and never know the diference
or think to complain. Verizon comes out ahead by millions of dollars.
We the customers, comeout as losers.

Next time Verizon telemarketers call me I'll throw this back
in their face and let them know how I'm looking for alternate
services who won't screw me at every chance they get.
If more people did this, Verizon wouldn't be s quick to do these
kinds of things. People have become too passive anymore and
as a result, fees keep going up and up a few dollars at a time.

I say give them hell when they pull stuff like this rate increase.

---pete---

Dan18960
08-20-2006, 07:47 AM
Pete,

Maybe you should read the last line of RAK's post again - EVERYONE is doing this!

The fund was setup any way as a way to fund Libraries, schools, and other public access buildings. Since it is out of the "federal" hands - the costs are STILL there and NO ONE GETS A FREE LUNCH!

I am just glad I don't have to worry about the overall costs.

Well, I guess it is time to raise my rates to $150.00 an hour :eek: You know I have that FUEL charge thing (and I want to take a vacation to the French Rivera like my congressmen do!)

PeteF
08-20-2006, 10:47 AM
Maybe you should read the last line of RAK's post again - EVERYONE is doing this!


Not everyone but even most others do the same, I still throw it
back in their faces when their telemarketers call me tring to sell me
services. One example is how I dumped Verizon as my LD carrier
for how they got me to sign up and screwed me once they thought
they had me as a permanent customer. Now when any other LD
carrier calls me to join their service, I tell them how Verizon screwed
me, so now I won't join thier company either becasue they all operate
the same way. They seem so surprized that I'm punishing them for
what another company did to me. I have great fun with the way
they react. :D

My point is simple, if most consumers did as I suggested, companies
like Verizon would not add new fees as quickly as they do now and
fees would actually go the opposite direction. See, the power is
always with the people. Unfortunately, the people have lost what it
takes to to use their power.

---pete---

Dan18960
08-20-2006, 02:53 PM
Pete,

What you guys miss is that the fees were always there. I worked for the power company back in the 70's and 80's and there were fees attached to everything on the customer bills. But unless you were in the accounting department you didn't know that.

There was ALWAYS a customer charge - but not until '76 did that become a separate issue on the customer billing.

There was ALWAYS a fuel charge - in '74 when the oil crisis that was a separate issue on the customer billing (only the ADDED charges though - the "usual" fuel charge was still hidden).

In the later '70's (about '78 or '79) the inverted rate became a norm - the more you used the less per kilowatt in that "range" you no longer got a discounted rate for using 1000 kilowatts (and up) you paid for the first 250 one rate, the next 600 a different rate, and so on. So for the first 250 you paid a customer charge, fuel charge, and X number of cents per kilowatt, then the next group after that you paid the customer charge, fuel charge, the 250 charge, and x number of cents for the amount over up to 600 kilowatts. At 850 kilowatts you paid another X number of cents onward plus the customer charge, fuel charge, 250 charges, 600 charges, and the remainder of the bill.

OH an added to the WHOLE shooting match were TAXES that were never seen itemized on the billing.

So you have ALWAYS paid for utilities (phone, electric, gas, water, etc) to do business. You just know now WHAT those charges are.

Seems there was a lot less b!tch!n when nobody knew about all these additional charges in their billing. But they are, were, and always will be there.

PeteF
08-20-2006, 07:00 PM
What you guys miss is that the fees were always there. I worked for the power company back in the 70's and 80's and there were fees attached to everything on the customer bills. But unless you were in the accounting department you didn't know that.


Yeah but that's like me writing an invoice for computer services
and charging a gasoline surcharge. That would just be a way for
me pass of the blame of higher prices towards the oil companies
but put th money in my own pocket. The truth is, all expenses are
figured into my hourly rate so I don't need to itemize surcharges.
I could but it would be more of a deception or manipulation on
my customers. Same principals apply to the phone company,
gas company or whatever.

What verizon did with adding an additional Supplier Surcharge
was take advantage of an opportunity to sneak in a new fee
at the precise time another charge was eliminated. They made
sure the total bill remained the about the same so most people
would not even know what happened. This is very manipluative
on their part. It works like a charm though. :)

---pete---