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tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA
reply to DrTCP

Re: SBC DSL and the FUSF

said by DrTCP:
First it is not a tax. It is a fund charged by FCC to the Carriers (ILEC/CLEC) and Carriers pass it down to ISP and ISP pass it down to the consumer. There is not a requirement to pass to the consumer but for providers it is a convenient way to recover (actually make some money on it as well)

The money is not actually passed to federal goverment. The Telco keeps it in a fund which provides free service to underserved communities and to people that cannot afford basic service (so they say) and to shools and libraries.

The collection of funds varies from Telco to telco. It is based on some perfectage of their revenue or something though they can perfectly collect more.

There is very little oversight by FCC on how the funds are used. It has been claimed that while Telcos blame federal government for it they make good money from the funds collected.
I'd like to see some references for where you're getting this information. From looking at the FCC site it appears to me that the telcos may not collect more than they contribute to the fund.
»www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/un···ice.html

In addition, the telcos do not retain the funds collected, they are turned over to an entity that the FCC set up for this purpose, the Universal Service Administrative Company. »www.fcc.gov/eb/usfc/

Look, I don't like paying it any more than the next guy, but it seems to me like many people are blaming SBC for this fee. Some people seem to forget that SBC has been eating the fee since it had to begin paying into the fund in 1996. So economic times are tough and they finally decided they could no longer do that. Ok, I can understand that. I suppose they could have buried the fee in the prices of the service but from a competitive standpoint that isn't a good idea.

For those that are really unhappy with this fee, stop whining about SBC and start lobbying your congresscritters to change the law!


tymfdc

join:2003-06-19
San Leandro, CA

1 edit

I rather they bury the fee in the price. At least we don't end up paying 10 to 20% more.


thebboss

join:2004-02-20
Modesto, CA
reply to tonydi

Its on SBC's services page...all the way down, first *

»www01.sbc.com/DSL_new/content/1,,90,00.html?


tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA
reply to tymfdc

said by tymfdc:
I rather they bury the fee in the price. At least we don't end up paying 10 to 20% more.

Say huh? I'm saying they're charging $29.95 and the fee is $1.84, but they could have just charged $31.79 by burying the fee in the price of the service. You pay the same amount either way!

tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA
reply to thebboss

said by thebboss:
Its on SBC's services page...all the way down, first *

»www01.sbc.com/DSL_new/content/1,,90,00.html?

I see what you're referring to but I don't get your point. Sorry.

thebboss

join:2004-02-20
Modesto, CA
reply to tonydi

said by tonydi:

I'd like to see some references for where you're getting this information.
my bad tonydi....

I thought you were wondering where this fee was stated.


tymfdc

join:2003-06-19
San Leandro, CA
reply to tonydi

I wouldn't call this consumer friendly marketing strategy.



en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

I definately wouldn't call this consumer friendly...
Especially if the following is true:

It is unclear to us how customers on faster speeds should be required by SBC to "contribute" more to USF than the slow speed customers, when the back-end USF cost is fixed per circuit.

This would state that since I have one line into my house, I pay one price, regardless of DSL speed. I would obviously pay more for say a physical T1, as it is physically considered to be multiple lines.



DonChicago
Copper-Free Last-Mile

join:2002-02-10
Lincolnshire, IL
reply to tonydi

said by tonydi:
said by tymfdc:
I rather they bury the fee in the price. At least we don't end up paying 10 to 20% more.

Say huh? I'm saying they're charging $29.95 and the fee is $1.84, but they could have just charged $31.79 by burying the fee in the price of the service. You pay the same amount either way!

Don't forget that the $29.95 packages are for a one-year term only. After that, higher rates apply. Also the $29.95 "Pricing available if SBC Yahoo! DSL is ordered online or if purchased as part of a qualifying SBC bundle that includes available SBC local toll or SBC long distance service(s)"
"You will also be charged a monthly FUSF cost recovery fee to help cover charges from our data transport supplier pursuant to state and federal telecom regulations. This fee is not a tax or government required charge. Must be new subscriber to order online. Offer requires a one-year term agreement. After the expiration of this term agreement, the then-current month-to month or applicable term price will apply. The regular monthly price for the service and a separate activation fee of $50.00 will appear on the first bill along with any corresponding and offsetting credits. Offer is available for a limited period of time and is subject to change without notice. Early termination fee of $200 applies if service is cancelled before expiration of term. Pricing is based on customer self-installation on an existing line. Minimum additional charge of $150-$200 applies if subsequent technician install is required or desired. Further details provided during enrollment and registration. Billing begins on service activation date."

So how much does it really cost after you pay for the required (but probably under-utilized) toll or long distance service packages ???
--
My network is 98% copper-free

caliprince

join:2002-12-12
Riverside, CA
reply to thebboss

Surcharge, special assessments, bonds, etc....are nothing more than ways of collecting revenue without having to call it a "tax". But the effect is the same because it's money coming out of everyone's pockets and filtering back to be spent as if it were tax money...only it may be ear-marked for special use. The sugar coating just makes it easier to swallow and allows everyone to claim..there's no tax on the Internet. The ISP's may have chose to hide it before in the cost, but it's now beneficial for marketing to advertise a lower price then attach the surcharge on later. Just like a $15 mo. single phone line ends up costing $20 mo. when you get the bill. Call it what you want, they're still getting the money out of you.



lakino
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Campbell, CA
reply to tonydi

said by tonydi:
said by tymfdc:
I rather they bury the fee in the price. At least we don't end up paying 10 to 20% more.

Say huh? I'm saying they're charging $29.95 and the fee is $1.84, but they could have just charged $31.79 by burying the fee in the price of the service. You pay the same amount either way!

This is precisely why it's so unacceptable! I am fine with $49.95 or $54.95 or whatever the price. It's not the actual price that bothers me, it's how it's sold to us. I was actually willing to accept $54.95 as the price of the new Expert Plus plan and was very pleasantly surprised when the actual package came out at $44.95. I praised SBC for it. But when you hide this FUSF fee in fine print and fail to disclose exactly how much this FUSF fee is, it's not acceptable. I had gotten use to this plan being $44.95 and you'll have a very hard time changing this perception in my mind now. If you had originally come out and advertised it as $51.95 or $54.95, I'd be fine with it, but since it came out as $44.95, that's what I expect. Anything above that price makes me feel a "bait and switch" is in play, especially since SBC does not charge anything else on their DSL service prior to FEB 2004. My current fee for their basic package is $26.95 and no additional fee of any sort. So this FUSF fee bothers me greatly. They are certainly NOT required to pass this fee onto the customer. The FCC specifically states that they (SBC) are NOT required to pass this fee onto the customers. If SBC wants to pass this fee onto their customers, they should include it in their monthly rate. By including it as a fine print line item charge, it misleads the vast majority of people into believing that this FUSF fee is a mandatory governmental tax that is suppose to be levied directly onto the customer. That is completely false. This FUSF fee is assessed onto the telco companies as a cost of doing business. It's not a tax that was meant to be directly passed to the customers.

Again, I re-iterate, if SBC directly came out and stated in the very beginning that the monthly rate for the Expert Plus plan would be $50.95, I'd be 100% fine with it. But because it was marketed as $44.95, with a hidden fine print of FUSF charge--which the amount isn't even disclosed--I am very disappointed.

Actually, I was planning on upgrading to the Expert Plus package, but when I found out the FUSF was an additional 10%+ to the 44.95 monthly fee, I choose not to. It's not the price itself, but the principle behind how they misleading market the price. I currently pay $26.95 and pay no additional FUSF fee.
--

Why do people like .sig files so much? Baffling to me...

tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA

said by lakino:
Actually, I was planning on upgrading to the Expert Plus package, but when I found out the FUSF was an additional 10%+ to the 44.95 monthly fee, I choose not to. It's not the price itself, but the principle behind how they misleading market the price. I currently pay $26.95 and pay no additional FUSF fee.
That's certainly your prerogative but it seems to me like you're cutting off your nose to spite your face. You were willing to pay even more for the service which tells me you really wanted it. Yet because you choose to stand on principle you're mainly punishing yourself.

Marketing probably had some role in how this was handled but one other factor probably makes more sense. Because the FUSF is variable and can change every 3 months, it would be a billing mess to include it in the service price. It's much easier for all concerned to keep the service price the same each month.

As for "hiding" the fee, obviously it's clearly there now. Was there ever a time when the official service plans didn't have the "*" at the very top and have it refer to the FUSF? I ask because since I wasn't going to qualify for any upgrade I never went to look at that page. I agree that it should tell you what the fee is going to be, however.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7

Tony, prior to Feb. 1, the speed tier, web pages never mentioned a FUSF charge. Even now the pages do not list the actual dollar amount of the tax so someone signing up on-line wouldn't how much they were until they received their first bill.

Hehehe. You should "get out" more often and check the new offerings.
Dave


backspace2

join:2004-02-04
Oakland, CA

1 edit
reply to tonydi

I had cable HSI before. I decided to switch over mainly because of price. I don't run my own mail server or ftp site and I don't need static ips. If I compare the $51 for DSL and $42 for cable, I probably would take cable.

Sure I am paying for cable TV to get the $42 price. But I am also paying for the phoneline. I can't say I am happy with my landline anyway. The unlimited call is $10 and I pay another $10 for taxes and fees. It is ridiculous and I can't even make long distance call.

question...DSLEx only show a $2.48. Is it the same for all packages and there is a $60 setup fee. Is the lease modem free when you sign up for 1 year with dslex?


tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA
reply to d_l

said by d_l:
Tony, prior to Feb. 1, the speed tier, web pages never mentioned a FUSF charge. Even now the pages do not list the actual dollar amount of the tax so someone signing up on-line wouldn't how much they were until they received their first bill.

Hehehe. You should "get out" more often and check the new offerings.
I don't want to depress myself. Given that I had no hope of getting DSL, according to the dreaded SBC database, I'm thrilled that I was eventually able to get hooked up at all. No use torturing myself with something I'll never have.

As for pre-Feb 1, the speed tier web pages never mentioned the new tiers either, right? While I know some people jumped the gun a bit and got CSR's to pre-order the new tiers, I'm betting those CSR's didn't have any idea the FUSF thing would go into effect. Heck, it seemed like most didn't even know they could place an order!

I guess my point is that the web page is the official word on what you get at that point in time. Why would SBC put any FUSF info on there before Feb 1 when it didn't apply? The "avg Joe" who signed up for any SBC DSL package on Feb 1 or later, once the new packages were officially available, was at least informed of the fee if they read the web page (well, I presume that, which is why I asked if there was a point after Feb 1 when the fee wasn't posted). It wasn't hidden at all, although like most of the other fees that adorn our phone bills the amounts are not revealed.

Anyone call in and place an order after Feb 1? I wonder if the EPC CSR's tell you about the fee?


lakino
Premium
join:2003-04-03
Campbell, CA
reply to tonydi

said by tonydi:
said by lakino:
Actually, I was planning on upgrading to the Expert Plus package, but when I found out the FUSF was an additional 10%+ to the 44.95 monthly fee, I choose not to. It's not the price itself, but the principle behind how they misleading market the price. I currently pay $26.95 and pay no additional FUSF fee.
That's certainly your prerogative but it seems to me like you're cutting off your nose to spite your face. You were willing to pay even more for the service which tells me you really wanted it. Yet because you choose to stand on principle you're mainly punishing yourself.

Marketing probably had some role in how this was handled but one other factor probably makes more sense. Because the FUSF is variable and can change every 3 months, it would be a billing mess to include it in the service price. It's much easier for all concerned to keep the service price the same each month.

As for "hiding" the fee, obviously it's clearly there now. Was there ever a time when the official service plans didn't have the "*" at the very top and have it refer to the FUSF? I ask because since I wasn't going to qualify for any upgrade I never went to look at that page. I agree that it should tell you what the fee is going to be, however.

Tony, of course you have to go on principles over this issue. The only reason you're somewhat ok with this is because of the actual amount of $5.83. What if the FUSF fee was an additional $50.83/month, would you be ok with this then? So your monthly charge would be $44.95 + $50.83 FUSF, making the total $95 and change. Would you be ok with it then? I highly doubt it.

So you're only ok with it because of the actual amount being a small one. I am not ok with this type of practice in principle. It doesn't matter what the amount, the price should have been included in the monthly fee.

said by tonydi
As for "hiding" the fee, obviously it's clearly there now.
With all due respect Tony, you clearly are not informed enough about this subject matter to be posting all these definitive statements. As you admitted to d_l, you've not looked into this matter because you're not upgrading and couldn't due to being too far away from the CO/RT. Where do you come off saying it's "clearly there now"? It's no where near being "clearly" there. If you go the order online route, NO WHERE on their order entry website does it state what the FUSF fee will be. It does say there will be a FUSF fee charged, but does NOT tell you how much the fee will be. Again, I re-iterate my above argument that what if the FUSF fee was an additional $50.83 charge per month? Would you be a little upset when you got your first bill then? This fee should have been included in the price of the advertised monthly fee.

Tony, you certainly have the prerogative to condone this practice, but I don't believe you have a good logical argument to support this practice--expect to say that because it's a small amount, it's ok that SBC does this. Your logic would fall apart if it was a much bigger dollar amount.

As for me punishing myself on principles, anyone who stands up for something on principles will inevitably have to sacrifice something. It goes with the territory of standing up for something you believe in. I don't believe this type of billing practice is OK and I choose not to support it by not upgrading to the new plan.
--

Why do people like .sig files so much? Baffling to me...

tonydi
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-11
San Jose, CA

said by lakino:
The only reason you're somewhat ok with this is because of the actual amount of $5.83. What if the FUSF fee was an additional $50.83/month, would you be ok with this then? So your monthly charge would be $44.95 + $50.83 FUSF, making the total $95 and change. Would you be ok with it then? I highly doubt it.
I dare you to quote where I said I was "ok" with the fee, whatever the price. In fact, if you look at my first post in this thread I said I didn't like it any more than the next guy! What I have tried to do throughout this thread is to set the record straight and counter some of the emotional rhetoric.

said by lakino:
It doesn't matter what the amount, the price should have been included in the monthly fee.
So you're saying that you'd be ok with a bill for that $95 since it included the $50.83 FUSF instead of the $44.95+$5.83?

Would you be ok with a bill for $44.95 and a separate line item for $.05 for the FUSF?

This whole "it should be included IN the price of the service" argument baffles me. I truly don't see why it matters how it shows up on your bill. I don't see you and others up in arms because the FUSF fee for your phone service is not included in your phone line charge. What about the 911 Emergency Fee, the fee for the CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund, the number portability charge, the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge, the State regulatory fee and the CA High Cost Fund Surcharge (both A and B)? These are all line items on your phone bill, but nobody seems to care that they are listed separately and not included in the amount listed for your phone line charge! Are the prices of those fees listed on the order page for new phone service?

said by lakino:
With all due respect Tony, you clearly are not informed enough about this subject matter to be posting all these definitive statements.
On the contrary, I've taken quite a bit of time to research this whole subject and I believe I am very well informed on it. If you think I have posted anything that isn't factual, please point it out and give me a reference to the true facts.

said by lakino:
As you admitted to d_l, you've not looked into this matter because you're not upgrading and couldn't due to being too far away from the CO/RT.
Actually, I said that to you first. I didn't look at the rate page every day and I asked you if there was ever a time when there wasn't the "*" to reference the FUSF footnote. Many people are claiming this information wasn't posted there. I still haven't seen anyone come back to say that this footnote was added after Feb 1st so I have to presume it's been there since the new rates went up on Feb 1.

said by lakino:
Where do you come off saying it's "clearly there now"? It's no where near being "clearly" there. If you go the order online route, NO WHERE on their order entry website does it state what the FUSF fee will be. It does say there will be a FUSF fee charged, but does NOT tell you how much the fee will be.
And I stand by that statement. You seem to read only what you want to read. Read the two sentences after the part you quoted. See where I said what was "clearly there" was the reference to the fee, the "*" pointing to the FUSF footnote? I even acknowledged that while they told us that there was a fee, no amount is listed.