For many years, we've had stories about people getting incredibly pissed off at hidden fees, often from the telco industry. The industry tries to defend those fees, but they're really just ways of lying about the actual price so they can advertise low prices and actually charge you a lot more. The telcos really love these fees. Remember last year when telcos no longer had to charge a certain government mandated fee, and instead simply replaced it with a new fee with a meaningless name that they just got to pocket? The latest is also a fun one. Chronno S. Trigger lets us know that Verizon is charging some customers a fee for not using its long distance service. Yes, you read that right. There's a $2 fee for some customers if they don't make any long distance calls. But, it gets even better. If you want to get rid of it, you can pay a one-time fee of $6.75 to block all long distance calls on your phone. Verizon, almost comically, tries to defend the $2 fee by coming up with an absolutely bizarre example: "Because what they're helping to do is supporting the network they would use if their cousin Tillie is critically ill in California and they need to arrange a critical-care nurse." Oh, of course. If only Verizon had said it was all so I could help cousin Tillie in the first place, I'm sure everyone would be thrilled to pay the fee. In the meantime, will Verizon be okay if its customers charge it a fee for having to waste time understanding all its fees? How about if they swear that money will go towards helping poor cousin Tillie who needs a critical-care nurse? Verizon obviously wouldn't mind that.
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