What's the solution?? Is there one??? according to the article "In the end however, the inclusion of business costs in unofficial "fees" is a tactic that works because consumers allow it to work. "
So, what option do we have? I could always cancel my service but then I would have to live without a phone, internet, cell phone, satellite, or cable.
What can we do about it? I could call and complain, but does anyone really think they would take all this crap off my bill??? They add these charges so gradually that sure, we complain about the first one for a while...then we get used to it...as soon as we get used to it, BAM!!! They hit us with another one...before we realize it, we have 3 or 4 of these "fees" tacked on to our bills and by that time we can do absolutely nothing about it.
What's the solution???
Government, not business charges All of those USF, FUSF, and the new charges come right out of Washington, D.C., and the people you put in office there. The FUSF is "allegedly" to provide Internet connections for schools. Why? You might ask. Why aren't the parents paying for their children to surf the Internet along with the teacher, when they should be reading books! The 911 charge should be paid by the police that are tapped into the phones, not by the people being surveilled.
And all of the other charges are mandated not by the companies, but by the federal government, both by law in Congress and by regulation, which is just bathroom Washington legislation with a different name.
The phone companies list those charges to let you know how the government is collecting more taxes without calling them taxes.
That BS story had to come out of some DC crony's head.
| |KrKHeavy Artillery For The Little GuyPremium
Re: SBC is Rediculous
said by SanJoseNerd:Dude! Shhhs man! You're giving them ideas!
This is crazy. If you go to the supermarket, they can't add a "trucking surcharge", a "refrigerator electric cost recovery charge", a "bag boy health insurance fund charge", and so on. They have to add all that in to the cost of business and advertise an all-inclusive price.
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)
Miami Beach, FL
Not to be the devils advocate.... (but) Although the bells may be abusing this privilege, it seems that the idea of itemizing these charges on your bill is well intentioned. Best I can tell, these fees come about from the actions of the government, be it state federal or local. It would seem the original intention of itemizing these on your bill would be to add some degree of regulatory/legal transparency. When these charges come up as separate items on your bill, the bells are basically trying to say, "we didn't want to raise your bill but the government is now requiring to do xxx." There remains much to be said about how the bells are managing the USF or regulatory service fees though. At this point it's almost certain that the regulatory recovery fees are padded for the profit of the bells.
One outcome is quite certain, you're not going to get rid of random regulatory fees by complaining to the bells; doing that will more than likely prompt them to absorb said cost into your standard monthly fee. As long as these remain itemized charges on our bills, we can write to our elected officials or relevant government agencies questioning said fees and/or requesting that they be dissolved all together.
All things considered, there ought to be a sunset provisions at which point the bells are required to consider said fees part of their published rates and moreover, they ought to include the actual end cost of services when advertising.
I know this is probably an unpopular point of view, but this is something to consider when some people on this site start complaining about the lack of broadband in rural areas and that the government ought to intervene. I can't imagine what the "regulatory recovery cost" for providing every nowheresville USA, pop. 21 with broadband internet access would be. Furthermore, I would have preferred that FCC have transferring wireless subscribers pay the actual cost of local number portability. This would have been more effective at actually representing the cost of portability and wouldn't have been a free-for-all for wireless companies to tack on additional fees.
It's got to stop Unfortunately, this is going to continue as long as the FCC and FTC let companies get away with it. It's not just the phone companies. Hotels are now adding "energy surcharges" or "resort fees" as unadvertised add-ons to their bills.
The government should insist that:
All non-optional fees other than direct taxes (cash forwarded directly to a taxing agency) must be included in advertising. Quotes directly to a customer should include taxes.
I'm letting them off for the advertising as the rates can vary as low as the city level, which would make regional advertising impossible. Since all of their competitors would be subject to the same taxes, omitting them won't be an advantage either way. (They should still note "plus taxes".)
Including the "regulatory surcharges" should be a wash, as their competitors have to comply with the same regulations. If the competition is more efficient in complying and can provide a lower price, that's the way the market works.
With the current game, anyone who doesn't play is at a disadvantage. Take two equivalent hotels, one quotes $60 and one quotes $65. You'd go to the $60 hotel, right? Well, they add a $10 "resort fee" when you check out, but the $65 hotel doesn't. The $65 hotel will lose business for being honest.