Latest Telco Fee: Your Fee For Not Paying Fees

from the do-you-have-to-pay-a-fee-to-find-out-about-your-fees dept

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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, May 4th, 2007 @ 7:09am

    Verizon, heh

    Why do they even bother advertising that they have the best coverage of any network? My consistent experience with them has been that they have no signal on large stretches of rural roads, plus I couldn't even get a signal in my last two apartments. Cingular has worked better for me, not that they are any more ethical.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    A Non-Mouse Cow Herd, May 4th, 2007 @ 7:09am

    hrmmm

    I thought for sure you would have reverted back to your old layout.

    Oh well, time to remove TD from my /ig

    Its a pity that you decided to yahoo a perfectly google site.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    mike, May 4th, 2007 @ 7:51am

    Re: Verizon, heh

    Verizon, not Verizon Wireless...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    Re: hrmmm

    Well, that was unnecessarily snippy.

    But I don't like the new look either, just so you have it on record.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Verizon & VZW both suck

    I speak from experience. My first cell phone was with Verizon. My parents had T-mobile. Inside my house, if I wanted to make (or receive, for that matter) a phone call, I had to lean against a window. My parents? No problem making/receiving calls.

    Now, as for their phone service, it, too, is crappy. I've since switched to Vongage (lol, might be Vonage-Verizon in the not-too-distant-future!)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    jordan, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: hrmmm

    agreed

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Help The Clueless, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:36am

    First this is Verizon phone service not their cellular company. Secondly if another vendor has a tower closer to you by all means go with them, they will provide better service for you, there is no reason to come whine here about your inability to research a companies foot print in your area and claim ignorance when you get crappy service.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Royal Blue, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    I encountered this same thing

    A few years back, I encountered this same exact thing with Verizon. It was a 4th line in the house that was NEVER used for LD calls, and I found out that there would be a monthly fee in order to carry no LD service.

    My sister suggested that she should send an invoice to everyone in the country for NOT using her company's services!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: hrmmm

    Hey, guys, be nice now. I grant, the new color scheme could use a bit of retooling... the opening splash is a touch heavy-handed... but otherwise, the refresh to the layout seems pretty clean and functional to me.

    Oh, hey, and this nifty new pop-over for replies rocks!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, May 4th, 2007 @ 8:48am

    Re: hrmmm

    ... and it still chains "Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ", I do wish that was fixed. Y'know, since everything here hinges on my opinion ;-)

    I guess what I'm saying, though, is constructive criticism is a better way to go than just flinging dung.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Alan, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: hrmmm

    I agree, the former format was WAY better. This one sucks... And why arent comments threaded by default...you would think this to be the preferred view.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    Fees suck.

    Don't care about the new design/color scheme/whatever of TD. It works. That's all that matters.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Raked/Raped over the coals

    And this is why that $20/mn phone plus $24.99/mn DSL adds up to a $90 total bill.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    erinol0, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:35am

    Re: hrmmm

    looks better in Firefox. When I use IE to view the page, the page gets squeezed to the right, and the sidebar is at the bottom left.
    Is that part of everyone's issue with the layout? I must say I like it, although I agree that the view should be threaded by default. Also, I like the pop-over for replies.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Patrick, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:35am

    site

    The site looks just fine. A little class never hurts.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Bob, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:37am

    Verizon's Fees

    We canceled LD with Verizon several years ago. The fee back then to drop it was $5.00. I was incredulous, but so wanted to get rid of it that at that point it was worth it. Apparently, the fee to do away with it has increased presumably because it requires so much work. :(

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Eric the Grey, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: hrmmm

    There is "Your Preferences" link at the top of the page where you can set that.

    Overall, I did prefer the old layout, but this is not so bad as to drive me away.


    EtG

     

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  18.  
    icon
    R. Berlin (profile), May 4th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    verizon

    Yes, it's $2.00 a month and here in Michigan the heap on the indignity by adding tax to that. Total $2.19 monthly for not making long distance calls. I'm so close to dropping the land line.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:17am

    Re: hrmmm

    [...] I agree that the view should be threaded by default.

    You can set this. Up in the cream-colored toolbar, all the way to the right, "Your Preferences". There's a radio button that'll let you set threaded as the default. I think it's per computer, though, so if you read TD from multiple machines you might have to set it more than once.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    DCX2, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    It's just like cable or DSL

    For cable, they charge you an extra fee if you just get Cable Internet without any Cable TV.

    If you order DSL without a phone line, there's also an extra fee.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:28am

    Re: Raked/Raped over the coals

    VZW base plan: $69.99

    3 additional lines: $9.99/ea

    last bill: $124.78

    difference: $24.82 in misc crap charges over the "advertised price"

    I don't understand how this isn't false advertising. How long do you think Applebee's would get away with it if they padded the price of dinner out an extra $7 with "fees" and "charges" that weren't disclosed until after the meal?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:37am

    Re: It's just like cable or DSL

    The other side of that story is that the primary purpose of the line is to carry television signals. What they don't tell you is that "on" is "on", when they flip the switch so you can pick up the internet feed, basic cable flows down the wire just as well even if you haven't specifically ordered it.

    They can put clamping filters on the line so the broadcast frequencies don't pass, but they typically don't (unless they think there's a reason to) because those filters are a little on the pricey side. The extra fee is mostly to offset the people who know this and hook their televisions up after the installer has left.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Vernon, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Verizon is not alone...

    AT&T does the same thing if you "choose" them as your long distance company and you are their customer... Fees suck...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    dai, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:48am

    more than $2.00

    Actually, here in Boston my latest Verizon Landline bill says the fee is going from
    $2 to $4 as of May. Note that it's actually a minimum usage charge since the
    $2 (or $4) is applied to the LD calls that you do (or don't make).

    While this plan has "no monthly charge" (other than the
    minimum usage), they do offer a different LD plan that has a
    $3/month fee, and no mention of a minimum usage requirement.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:07am

    Re: Verizon, heh

    duh.......Verizon Landline...not Verizon Wireless. Way to read the article.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    I'm sure everyone has cell phone horror stories about one carrier or the next. There's no point in bashing a carrier because they don't have good coverage in your area. It isn't indicative of anything. Just switch to the wireless service with best coverage. I find these "Verizon sucks because they have bad coverage in my limited local area of the country" comments to be utterly useless.

    In the Washington DC area Verizon is hands down the only carrier with even decent coverage for the whole metro area. You can even use your cell in the metro.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    That's great and all but you'd think that they would strive to even have decent coverage in a city like Pittsburgh. (It's crap up here)

    And I can complain because I also have other horror stories about the bill and tech support. (wireless, wired, and DSL)

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: hrmmm

    And why arent comments threaded by default...you would think this to be the preferred view.

    Personally, I prefer a flat view.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Raptor85, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:40pm

    how to make verizon dsl a little bit cheaper

    I'm a verizon/vzw customer. (only DSL provider here is verizon, only cell with decent coverage is VZW, cingular normally ok but there's a ton of cingular dead zones, but back on topic..)
    If all you want from verizon is the dsl, not the phone service, ask them and they'll do it, you just have to pay some stupid line fee (but it's much smaller than a phone bill, like $6 a month IIRC)
    I have small buisness but at my old apartment i had it for VZ residential too.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, May 4th, 2007 @ 7:17pm

    Re:

    The complaints me prove useless in the end but I for one don't think being quiet is going to do any good either. I personally only have one choice for DSL (sprint), land line (sprint), and cell phone (US Cellular). When I'm in the shop of a different carrier I always mention the fact that there is only one choice in my area. I know it doesn't guarantee that competition will move in but it's elections. If you don't voice your opinion then you have business complaining.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    JR, May 5th, 2007 @ 3:42am

    Re:

    I have VZ service. Was paying MCI $2/mo for a plan which I didn't use much. About 2001 or 2002, I changed the LD to a MCI plan with no monthly fee, then had VZ block access to MCI. No monthly or one-time fee. I can make 1-800 calls ok, and have an AT&T calling card for LD and any "just-beyond-local" calls I need. Bill is about $17/mo.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2007 @ 6:27am

    Qwest does this too (i.e. charge people to not have long distance). Only its fee is 99 cents per month. They don't have a one time fee to get rid of the fee, but I wish they did. No I wish they didn't charge it at all.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    mkam, May 7th, 2007 @ 5:03am

    Those f*ckers

    I just sent this to Verizon after I saw the fee


    Are you guys seriously charging 2 dollars minimum for me not using my long distance?
    As discussed on the web here:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/184330.shtml
    http://reporternews.com/news/2007/may /03/phone-companies-levy-new-fee-not-making-calls/

    If you answer yes I will be moving my home, DSL, and cell phone to other providers ASAP. ($200+ per month) This will be the most expensive $2.00 Verizon ever charged anyone. So remove the fee and stop sacrificing customer support for the immediate short-term financial gain.

    I look forward to your reply.


    I was on the fence with them anyway and this will push me over the edge.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    njamen, May 9th, 2007 @ 8:51am

    ask for a cable

    it is with plaesure for me to writing u this letter.
    i am a small boy for another country for ask a cable internet network for free give to me it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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