| |MaxoYour tax dollars at work.Premium,VIP
| |said by Karl Bode:That's a pretty one sided view of it.
There is no law. It is an entirely bogus official sounding fee, created by companies who feel they are due cash because regulatory guidelines are so unfair....
Actually that was the bells reason. VoIP providers are now doing it because, well, they can....not researching, you'll blame uncle sam for what's essentially a rate hike.
The other side (the communications industry) of the story is that they are passing the universal service charge that the FCC bills them on to the consumer.
The problem is that all back end company facing fees should be passed on to the consumer via their monthly charges like normal. By passing it on a separate fee that can advertise $xx.xx dollars a month and then charge you extra fees (such as the USC) on the side and never advertise the extra $$.
"Boys are girls" - Laura Bush
Re: what is that for again
said by Maxo:So you really don't want it included in the monthly cost, but in the advertised price. I agree that companies should do that, but it's not that easy. For example, if a company charges a fee that's based on usage, you can't really calculate that ahead of time. Also, for national advertising, those fees may vary from state to state, so the company would have to create 50 ads. That's why most of these companies have fine print in their ads (or really fast disclaimers on radio or TV ads).
I don't expect the company to just eat the fee. But it should be included in the monthly cost. The thing is that companies advertise something like, "Phone line for just $29.99/month" but it's actually $29.99/month + taxes + USC + fee x + fee z = $39.99/month.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see better full disclosure of fees. I hate calling a hotel and asking what their nightly rate is, being told $100 per night, and then finding out on checkout that I owe $112.50 because of the 11% transient tax and the $1.50 phone charge (even if I didn't use their phones). They should be required to disclose those charges as part of the price, but I do like seeing them spelled out on my bill instead of just being included in the cost.
Re: what is that for again I'll tell you (not you specifically, but the generic 'you') right now that if you think sending an email (or even snail mail) to sales, billing or support is going to solve anything, you are wrong.
If you want to get the attention of a company, the most effective tactic is to initiate a conversation with their Investor Relations department. Publicly traded companies do not care about prospective (and sometimes even existing!) customers. They *do* care about prospective investors. I had a huge issue with SBC and support refused to deal with me. I looked up the VP of Investor Relations and pretty soon I had the email address of SBCs Global President of something-or-other, his assistant, and a bunch of others all the way down to the guy who manages the local field techs (gotta love execs who don't use BCC). Within days the problem was diagnosed and a solution offered. I didn't take it, but that's another story.
In the case of 8x8, Inc., Investor Relations go through:
As a prospective investor (yes, I do invest, so that is not a lie), I have sent her a nice email outlining why I was interested in 8x8, Inc. as an investment vehicle and why the 'regulatory recovery fee' tactic has soured my opinion of their long-term viability as an innovator in the VoIP marketplace. These are things that publicly traded companies understand. I have (unfortunately, too) many years of experience in pursuing satisfaction from companies to think that 8x8, Inc. will respond any differently than, say, SBC did above. It may take more letters than mine, however, to convince them that pulling a regular cost of doing business out of the monthly fee and couching it in pseudo-official sounding terms is a BadThing(tm).
Re: more bad publicity please
said by MxxCon:Bustard?
i think even stronger negative press
/article will make any good company reconsider such bustard tactics
| You know, I can understand all the hate if they were tacking on $10 for the "fee", but its $1.50. Sure, I know the retorts will be "Why stop there? They'll just keep raising it." but that's contrary to what they've done thus far. Vonage actually dropped their price to remain at the top of the pack, and as it's been mentioned before they've had the "fee" from the get-go. You naysayers can keep your POTS, I'm free from SBC's clutches, with their over-bloated prices and shoddy customer support. For those seriously considering Vonage (I use) or any other VOIP for that matter, do it. With as much competition that exists, we won't be seeing huge price increases any time soon. You know, you can be a hater if its justified, but don't go off the deep-end just because someones decided to play catch-up with the rest of the providers. It's only a matter of time before Packet8 raises their rates to be more in line with what the "heavy-hitters" charge, especially since Packet8 still has a long way to go as far as exposure and commercial viability is concerned (all the tech sites whore themselves for Vonage...where's Packet8's love?).|