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Comments on news posted 2010-01-22 12:20:47: If nothing else, it's pretty clear that both the FCC's national broadband plan and their network neutrality rules are going to focus heavily on transparency -- as in, making sure the consumer knows precisely what kind of connection they're buying. ..



MSauk
MSauk
Premium
join:2002-01-17
Sandy, UT

1 edit

Without a doubt

The advertised price should include all fees and taxes. I know it would help me make a better, more informed decisions.
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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Adertising practices is the FTC's responsibility

Why would the FCC get involved in the regulation of advertisements and billing practices? They can barely manage the technical aspects under their legislatively mandated responsibilities. They should leave advertising issues in the FTC where they belong and who has the legal authority to haul abusers in to court.


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to MSauk

Re: Without a doubt

You can't even get this information if you ask. You have to wait for your bill to arrive until you see what you're really paying.


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to FFH5

Re: Adertising practices is the FTC's responsibility

said by FFH5:

They should leave advertising issues in the FTC where they belong and who has the legal authority to haul abusers in to court.
That position could be part of an either/or recommendation. The FCC is absolutely interested in transparency and delivery of the broadband offering.

I can't imagine the FTC getting involved in wireline telephone service billing issues. So why treat broadband differently? (Except that the FCC has had no great luck with either.)
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Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42

1 recommendation

That position could be part of an either/or recommendation. The FCC is absolutely interested in transparency and delivery of the broadband offering.
If they're so concerned with accuracy is speed and connection quality, extending that desire for transparency and truth in advertising to billing only makes sense...Since we're talking about billions in junk charges and lost revenue, it won't happen. Would be too disruptive to the people in charge (If I recall correctly, their names are "AT&T" and "Verizon").


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to jjoshua

Re: Without a doubt

said by jjoshua:

You can't even get this information if you ask. You have to wait for your bill to arrive until you see what you're really paying.
Sprint does supply these estimates of fees added on to the advertised rates:
»nextelonline.nextel.com/en/store···up.shtml
Rates & Fees: Monthly charges exclude taxes, Sprint Surcharges [incl. USF charge of up to 14.10% (varies quarterly), Administrative Charge (up to $1.99/line/mo.), Regulatory Charge ($0.40/line/mo.) & state/local fees by area]. Sprint Surcharges are not taxes or gov't-required charges and are subject to change. Sprint chooses to collect Washington State B&O Fee of 0.471% of your monthly billed charges to recover its costs. Details: sprint.com/taxesandfees.
This gets you in the ballpark and when I signed up for Sprint this past summer, they gave me the fees Added on when I asked them.

USF fees constantly change and state & local sales taxes and excise taxes vary by location.
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cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to jjoshua
And that bill is usually for calls/service from the previous month up to, but including the next month.
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jb50

@exxonmobil.com
reply to Karl Bode

FCC = Facade for Company Control

I bet you are right, they will never do anything to hurt their booty buddies.

jus10

join:2009-08-04
Sterling, VA

Yes.

Naturally. I'm not sure what else there is to say.

Clearly away much of the ambiguity away from Cell Phones, ISPs, etc, etc would be much appreciated. What exactly am I getting and what exactly am I going to be charged for it.

You'd think that'd be standard.


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to jb50

Re: FCC = Facade for Company Control

said by jb50 :

I bet you are right, they will never do anything to hurt their booty buddies.
Says Mr. Anon from Exxon Mobile.

While I would like to see unfees tackled, Ms. Clyburn has pleasantly surprised me. So far, she is willing to ask, what up until now, should have been routine questions. If she can spearhead at least getting providers to correct "up-to" and "best effort" advertising while simultaneously disclosing how they manage and shape traffic, that's a damn good start.

Next up? Promoting a competitive infrastructure. (Yeah, right.)

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to jjoshua

Re: Without a doubt

I've not had that problem. Each time I've asked what my total bill will be, I've been given the numbers, at least within a percentage point or two.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Absolutely agreed

MetroPCS and some prepaid providers (Boost Mobile) are using this as a competitive differentiation but really all taxes and fees for internet and cellular service should be noted up front.

For example, my current cellular plan has about $6 in taxes and fees on top of the $30 that I pay plus $7 for insurance. Logically, my plan should then be $36 per month, not $30 plus taxes and fees.

On my internet things are more clear-cut. The only fee is for my modem, $5 per month at this point, and the only tax is sales tax on modem rental, about 40 cents per month. I'm still not terribly enthused about the rental fee, but at least it's straightforwarad.

What do you guys see on your cable or DSL bills for internet other than the advertised price of the service?

Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
reply to FFH5

Re: Adertising practices is the FTC's responsibility

said by FFH5:

Why would the FCC get involved in the regulation of advertisements and billing practices?
Actually the FCC is the part of the federal government that allowed (promoted?) these below the line un-fees in the first place. Saying that it's the responsibility of the FTC is ignorant since the FCC has been involved in the regulation of these very billing practices for some time now.


sholling
Premium
join:2002-02-13
Hemet, CA
kudos:1
reply to MSauk

Re: Without a doubt

Putting a stop to blatant false advertising and fraud should be job-1 at the FTC.

azstu

join:2007-05-13
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Comcast

The Biggest Scam of all is forced bundling

The biggest illegal practice still going on today is the "buy comcast HSI for 42 bucks".. !! a deliberate lie.

You need to buy at least comcast basic cable (20 bucks) to get it.. illegal..

if you don't its ~58 bucks..

this needs to be addressed by the FCC.

A nice lawsuit quoting FTC practices and pulling in the FTC should be the first action.

BB_Hunter

join:2008-05-16

1 edit
reply to iansltx

Re: Absolutely agreed

said by iansltx:

MetroPCS and some prepaid providers (Boost Mobile) are using this as a competitive differentiation but really all taxes and fees for internet and cellular service should be noted up front.

For example, my current cellular plan has about $6 in taxes and fees on top of the $30 that I pay plus $7 for insurance. Logically, my plan should then be $36 per month, not $30 plus taxes and fees.

On my internet things are more clear-cut. The only fee is for my modem, $5 per month at this point, and the only tax is sales tax on modem rental, about 40 cents per month. I'm still not terribly enthused about the rental fee, but at least it's straightforwarad.

What do you guys see on your cable or DSL bills for internet other than the advertised price of the service?
I do agree with you that it's bogus. A while back I had called Atlantic Broadband for my Grandparents because they were sick of Verizon and the rate hikes.

Atlantic Broadband advertised a plan at $29.95 a month. After calling they informed me they would have to get a different modem to use the service. I had no problem with this and asked what the price was for the modem. This modem couldn't be bought only rented for $5 per month. I even asked how could you advertise it at $29.95 a month when requiring a $5 modem fee without any option to purchase the modem. I could see advertising it at $29.95 a month if you could buy the modem but when you can't it makes absolutely no sense to advertise a price that isn't achievable before taxes.

BB_Hunter

join:2008-05-16
reply to azstu

Re: The Biggest Scam of all is forced bundling

It's not forced when you have the option to buy it separately for the $58 you stated. Durrr.....


Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

Souns great but I have yet to ever see

transparency in this area the last 10-15 years

Calling for it is great but doing it is 99% of the battle


Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
reply to sholling

Re: Without a doubt

said by sholling:

Putting a stop to blatant false advertising and fraud should be job-1 at the FTC.
The better question is....why do we need to get in their face to have this be the #1 priority?

Why in god's name has this not already been taken care of?

It is mind-boggling to me