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jmiller

@tds.net

[Qwest] Internet Cost Recovery Fee

Anyone notice this on their latest CL bill? I didn't have it before and I think it's BS. Raising prices in itself doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when companies try to sneak in additional costs by calling it a fee so they don't have to increase the base price.

kiknwing

join:2010-12-13
Ogden, UT

2 edits
Just looked at my bill and there it is. First month is has appeared.

Edit: Here is the reason behind the $0.99 fee...

Internet cost recovery is a new monthly recurring charge which is applied to all consumer and business HSI lines in service. It helps cover the costs associated with building and maintaining the internet network.


Sileny Jizda

join:2008-01-15
Millersburg, OH
reply to jmiller
Translation "We are supposed to invest and maintain our network but since that cuts into our bottom line we are passing it along to you the consumer even though we get money from the government to do so."

Anyone want to start taking bets as to if the fee is actually applied to upgrading the network or if it will just end up in their pockets? I'm siding with their pockets given the other below the line fees they charge.


jmiller

@comcastbusiness.net
reply to kiknwing
That's funny. I thought the base cost covered everything, as it should.
While they're at it, maybe CL should add a charge to help cover the cost of advertising, paying their employees, and cleaning the company bathrooms.


Boss302_1970

join:2009-12-11
reply to Sileny Jizda
yes that's correct!!


the_silence

@micron.com
reply to jmiller
Careful, don't give them any ideas ;-/ Just showed up on mine also... Was planning on changing my service anyway, guess it's incentive to go ahead with it.


jmiller

@comcastbusiness.net
I'm going to call and corner the unfortunate rep I get. It may not get me anywhere but at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing I tried.


chd176

join:2003-01-10
Winfield, AL
reply to jmiller
Funny how any time there's a customer on here with a problem the employees are quick to show up and say "sorry (blah blah blah) email us at talktous@centurylink.com", odd that there's none here even with this being on the front page lol.
--
10,000/768 CenturyTel PPPoE DSL line (for real this time)


jmiller

@comcastbusiness.net
reply to jmiller
So, I called CL and asked what this fee is. She tells me it's an FCC fee, and it's under Legal on CL's website. I get off the phone and look. Can't find it. Anywhere. So I get on chat and start pressing for answers:

Thank you for contacting CenturyLink. My name is Donna M. (20653). How may I help you today?

"me": Is the new "internet cost recovery fee" an FCC regulated fee?
Donna M. (20653): Yes, it is.
"me": Where is this stated on centurylink.com or elsewhere?
Donna M. (20653): Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
Donna M. (20653): In the notification that was mailed out advising of the fee (would have been on your bill within the past couple of months). I can look for a copy if you have a moment.
"me": sure, thank you
Donna M. (20653): Thanks for your patience.
Donna M. (20653): Description
Donna M. (20653): The Internet Cost Recovery Fee (ICRF) is a new monthly recurring charge which is applied to all consumer and business HSI lines in service.
Donna M. (20653): I'm scrolling back date by date to reach the letter/notification that was sent.
Donna M. (20653): I do appreciate your patience.
Donna M. (20653): I believe it's PUC, not FCC...
Donna M. (20653): I don't see an account for (deleted)
Donna M. (20653): Will you please verify the CenturyLink telephone number or account number that you have with us?
"me": (deleted)
Donna M. (20653): I will be right with you.
Donna M. (20653): I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
"me": No problem
Donna M. (20653): The date: New consumer customers will be subject to the fee starting on May 10th, 2013.
Donna M. (20653): And..still searching through mountains of history to locate the notification letter/information.
Donna M. (20653): Thank you for waiting.
"me": What I am really getting at is if it's a fee CL is collecting to offset a government fee, or if it's a fee CL simply chose to collect and make up a name for it
Donna M. (20653): It's a cost recovery fee - it's billed to cover the costs of building and maintaining the HSI network.
"me": Isn't the cost to build and maintain the network, in addition to employee salaries, advertising, cleaning bathrooms, etc, supposed to be built into the base price?
"me": Why aren't all those other costs detailed?
"me": That's why I think it's a way to raise the price by 0.99 without having to change the advertised HSI rate
Donna M. (20653): Jeremy - it's a fee you'll see on your bill. It's been approved by the PUC - it will be billed monthly, going forward.
"me": Approved or not, it's lame to add a fee as a sneaky way of increasing the price. If the price has to increase, fine, bump to base to 35.94.
"me": But this way, CL can continue to advertise 34.95 or whatever it is, while it's actually 0.99 more
"me": so, if that's the case, my price was supposed to be 34.95 for 12 months. Now it increased, and it's going to CL, not to the federal gov't as a fee
Donna M. (20653): The cost of the service has always been separate from the cost of fees, taxes, surcharges.
"me": the cost to maintain the network is an integral part of operating a telecom company!
"me": as is other costs, but those aren't broken out
Donna M. (20653): The PUC approved the fee being added - I'm sorry, it's not going to change.
"me": I know I'm not going to change it. This isn't over $12/year. It's over being sneaky and not simply increasing the base price.
"me": It's a way to advertise HSI at the same price, yet charge more, in effect, correct?
Donna M. (20653): Sir, the cost of the service isn't changing.
Donna M. (20653): No, it's not.
Donna M. (20653): The cost of the service pays for the service.
Donna M. (20653): This is separate and therefore, a different line item on the bill.
"me": Yes the cost of the service did change. You just told me it's to build and maintain the network. CL pays to do that. Therefore, this .99, regardless of how CL is using it, is going straight to CL
"me": In effect, a sneaky way to increase the cost of the service.
"me": If this fee was going straight to taxes, that's different. This fee sounds to me like it's going straight to CL
"me": So, it's a price increase, plain and simple
Donna M. (20653): I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
Donna M. (20653): Yes, it's a fee that is coming to CenturyLink - and yes, in effect it increases the cost of your service. Does that address your inquiry?
"me": It does. I won't hassle you anymore. I know this wasn't your decision. You're simply the person that is at the receiving end of it. I just had to verify if this was a tax or in effect a price increase

kiknwing

join:2010-12-13
Ogden, UT
said by jmiller :

So, I called CL and asked what this fee is. She tells me it's an FCC fee, and it's under Legal on CL's website.

From CenturyLinks website: "Cost recovery fees are not taxes or government-required charges"


Sileny Jizda

join:2008-01-15
Millersburg, OH
reply to jmiller
Just like I told you. Another way to line their pockets and maintain their false advertising campaign.


Boss302_1970

join:2009-12-11
exactly!


toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
reply to jmiller
This is how they can have 5 year price guarantees.

This 99 cent fee is a 'feeler fee', it will keep climbing.


jmiller

@qwest.net
I'm planning on calling them again and pressing this more. I figured if nothing else, they can try explaining to me again how adding another line item isn't raising the rate.


Nickey

@qwest.net
reply to jmiller
The "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" is a lame marketing ploy to increase revenue since CenturyLink's executive leadership lacks the operational and overall business skills to improve their top line legitimately.

This is the kind of abuse the FCC whores are supposed to ensure does not happen.

After the CenturyLink representative told me the fee was a federal tax, I asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor bounced me around for ten minutes before suggesting that I conduct research on the matter at my local library.

colorbars

join:2003-03-20
USA
Well the internet is a sort of library.

Waiting for my next bill. (I'm in legacy Qwest territory.) Then we see. If they want to raise rates, I get it. The cost of everything goes up over time. I'm more teed off at them playing games and pretending that they aren't raising the rates when they really are. Just be honest about it.

(And don't even think about adding that "convenience fee" back for making your payment. That won't fly now either.)


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to jmiller
I realize it's only 0.99, but like everyone else has said, it's a sneaky BS fee. Just like they tried to charge a convenience fee for paying your bill. I've had enough of the BS Century link is playing ... over the 12.00 a year, I might consider moving to something else. For those of you with no choice, my sincerest condolences.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??

GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to jmiller
I agree that $0.99 monthly fee is incredibly reflective of CTL's overall "Deceive the customer" practice. However, is the $12 really enough to make you want to switch providers? At least it's only $1 per month compared to Time warner who will raise your bill approx $6-8 annually for service. $72 a year is a hell of a lot more than $12 per year in my book. ALL ISPs have shady business practices, ALL of them.


jmiller

@comcastbusiness.net
said by GetMoney:

ALL ISPs have shady business practices, ALL of them.

This is true. Except I actually have something good to say about one cable provider, Wide Open West. Had them for 6.5 years, my IP never changed despite not paying for static, and had no complaints about them. They did raise their rates once but sent a letter explaining it, and didn't come up with a "fee" to camouflage it.
Unfortunately I now live in an area they don't serve :-(

pejacoby

join:2009-02-03
Saint Paul, MN
The fee appears on my June bill, but there is NO information about it. I checked all of my bills back to December 2012 and there is no mention of the new fee. As others have noticed, finding information about it on CenturyLink's site is unlikely. Their support FAQ and search engine don't return a thing.

There IS this new fee information on my June bill -- guess we can expect even higher costs in July.

Important News from CenturyLink About Your Service
Effective July 2, 2013 the monthly per line rate for Access Recovery Charge will increase. This surcharge was authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2012 as a way for telephone companies to recover costs of providing access to the telephone network.


mecast

@qwest.net
reply to jmiller
i noticed the fee and called for info. as soon as my year is up i will be changing carriers. i don't like this attitude of charging for getting nothing. not kosher.
yes, i'm angry, but won't stay around to put up with it. if we all did the same, eventually big companies would get the message.


redwagon

@qwest.net
reply to pejacoby

Re: CenturyLink Internet Cost Recovery Fee

I got my bill today and noticed this new "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" of $.99. The message, "Important News from CL About Your Service", on page 2 of 4 addresses the "Access Recovery Charge", which is already listed as a specific line item on page 4; it does not address the "Internet Cost Recovery Fee". I called CL to ask about the new fee and was informed that they can only charge fees that the government permits them to...


jmiller

@comcastbusiness.net
said by redwagon :

I got my bill today and noticed this new "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" of $.99. The message, "Important News from CL About Your Service", on page 2 of 4 addresses the "Access Recovery Charge", which is already listed as a specific line item on page 4; it does not address the "Internet Cost Recovery Fee". I called CL to ask about the new fee and was informed that they can only charge fees that the government permits them to...

Most people at CL don't even know what this fee is for. I was told by at least two reps that it's a tax and/or FCC fee, which is clearly incorrect. It's not a tax, it's not government mandated.

Bluntly stated, it's a way to increase the price without changing the base price. That way they don't break the agreement they've made to not increase their price for a certain amount of time. They'll argue they didn't increase the price, but my question is, what is this 0.99 fee, Monopoly money?

firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL
if it was added after a legal contract was done its illegal to do

jmiller

join:2013-06-25
Minneapolis, MN
said by firedrakes:

if it was added after a legal contract was done its illegal to do

I'm sure CL has their legal end all taken care of. The issue here is if it's, I don't know, "proper" to do. I'm sure it's legal, but is the way they did it tactful? I'd say definitely no.


Coloradorich

@173.227.164.x
Per CL's "promotion" this past year, I thought we had an agreement for $19.99 Internet services for one year. Now I'm surprised with a new maintenance fee called a "Internet Recovery Fee." Per my discussion with CL reps, this is purely and simply a maintenance fee. CL assumed this costs when we made our agreement. This is very deceptive "bait and switch" tactic and suitable for a class action. I thought we had agreement for a specific price for Internet service ... now ... they can freely breach that agreement? Consumers beware of CL agreements.


Kevin DSM

@qwest.net
But doesn't CenturyLink Internet "piggyback" on CenturyLink's phone service? Doesn't CL get enough from the Federal Access Charge to maintain their phone lines and equipment?

(I know, this is CenturyLink ... logic and common sense don't apply)


toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
reply to jmiller

Re: [Qwest] Internet Cost Recovery Fee

I use a third party ISP, I saw the fee this month, and then I get a promotional credit for the fee.

Maybe its because I use another ISP and the internet connection isn't done by them.

jmiller

join:2013-06-25
Minneapolis, MN
reply to Kevin DSM

Re: CenturyLink Internet Cost Recovery Fee

said by Kevin DSM :

But doesn't CenturyLink Internet "piggyback" on CenturyLink's phone service? Doesn't CL get enough from the Federal Access Charge to maintain their phone lines and equipment?

(I know, this is CenturyLink ... logic and common sense don't apply)

I believe the Federal Access Charge is a tax and CL doesn't get to keep that. The Internet Cost Recovery Fee is not a tax and is a lame method of increasing the price 99 cents.


toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
said by jmiller:

said by Kevin DSM :

But doesn't CenturyLink Internet "piggyback" on CenturyLink's phone service? Doesn't CL get enough from the Federal Access Charge to maintain their phone lines and equipment?

(I know, this is CenturyLink ... logic and common sense don't apply)

I believe the Federal Access Charge is a tax and CL doesn't get to keep that. The Internet Cost Recovery Fee is not a tax and is a lame method of increasing the price 99 cents.

No. Federal Access Charge is not a tax.
But they sure like to make it look like one, using the word federal.

»www.fcc.gov/guides/understanding···one-bill

The FCC allows local telephone companies to bill customers for a portion of the costs of providing access. These charges are not a government charge or tax. The maximum allowable access charges per telephone line are set by the FCC, but local telephone companies are free to charge less or nothing at all. Access charges for second or additional lines at the same residence are higher than the charges for the primary line. These charges can be described on your telephone bill as “Federal Access Charge,” “Customer or Subscriber Line Charge,” “Interstate Access Charge,” etc.