Check Your Next BellSouth Bill For An Embarrassment And Apology Fee

from the well,-look-at-that dept

With plenty of people (including the FCC) noticing that BellSouth was being particularly ridiculous in continuing to collect the USF fee despite it no longer being required, it appears BellSouth is finally backing down. They’ve admitted that they will stop collecting the “regulatory recovery fee”. They’ll also credit the people they already charged. They don’t give a reason for this, so we’ll just assume it was embarrassment… and expect to see an “embarrassment and apology fee” on the next bill.

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Comments on “Check Your Next BellSouth Bill For An Embarrassment And Apology Fee”

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Krum303 says:

Re: Re: huh?

The USF was actually started earlier than 1914. It was instituted on telegraph service to fund the war against Mexico. Once the war was over, the fee stayed and we’ve all lived with it since. The Feds stopped charging it in July so customers will get credited back by their providers atleast that far. The government has stated that if you’d like, you can go to and find out how to claim the USF on your upcoming tax-return.

dorpus says:

The Racket

My apartment complex forces bundling of Cable TV with Cable Modem. I looked at the BellSouth DSL alternative, but it wouldn’t have saved much — the phone lines here are owned by some funny phone company and demand a surcharge for using someone else. I could probably win a court case if I was willing to invest sufficient time in that direction, but I’m a PhD student, so I caved in.

So I was bullied into buying a new TV set. I braved the orcs and goblins of wal-mart to buy a $125 21″ TV and a $35 DVD player. Oh well, now I’ve joined the conformist hordes….

dorpus says:

Re: Re: The Racket

Yeah, it is extortion. And I’ll live with it. Are there any lawyers willing to work on such small stuff? My experience says no.

Home ownership, that American middle class obsession. It means getting entangled in even bigger rackets, via neighborhood “laws” that tell you what you must or must not plant in your yard, what kind of fence you have to have, what color your house has to be. Sure, you could challenge this stuff in court, though you’ll have to first become the outcast of the community, where the town council will vote to have the town garbage dump placed next to your house, turn the house nextdoor into a halfway house for drug addicts. That’s aside from extortionate fees paid to garbage companies run by the mayor’s cousin, “mandatory” sewage fees, $5,000 property tax bills to pay for the local ghetto magnet school, psychotic neighbors who put bullet holes in your wall (but have no proof), “required” home insurance that doesn’t pay for natural disasters common to the area, …..

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Re: The Racket

So I was bullied into buying a new TV set. I braved the orcs and goblins of wal-mart to buy a $125 21″ TV and a $35 DVD player. Oh well, now I’ve joined the conformist hordes….

How exactly did the lock in to Cable TV and Cable Modem in your building bully you into buying a new TV? Did you feel that if you paid for cable TV that you had to watch TV and thus had to go and buy a television?

And if you did feel that way, what exactly forced you to buy a DVD player while you were there – an Orc or a Goblin?

In one posting you managed to strike out at a) your building management, b) BellSouth and c) Wal-Mart, but you didn’t really add anything to the conversation (not that I really did either…)

Jon says:

The Racket

Dorpus, grow up and quit whininng! No one forces you to live in those kind of communities. If you want to be like the rest of the sheeple, then pay up [seems like that’s what you’re doing anyway]. If not, there are plenty of places you can live w/o that kind of hassle.

I live 20 min from UF [Gainesville FL] — closer in time than a lot of people that live in town. I’m the last house on a dead-end road. I’M the psychotic that shoots, but not at your walls–I have a 100 yd range in my front yard. MAC-10s and AKs welcome. My dogs run free, my kids grew up with “home” as a place to get away from things, and my house on 5 acres is assessed at $125 000. [When I had 20 acres classed as a tree farm, I paid my property tax with a $5 bill–and got change back.] So if you want a house and freedom, you can have it. You just have to give up living in the places you described!

dorpus says:

Re: The Racket

So what you’re saying is that you live in a neighborhood that tolerates shooting machine guns in front yards. That has a price also — stray bullets, trailer parks, broken beer bottles littering streets, anyone? “Farms” are also vulnerable to eminent domain, in which the city/state will decide to build a highway or shopping center on top of your farm and pay you $5 for it. Or farmers may have to fill out extensive environmental impact assessment forms, be subject to inspections, or a lot of other nonsense.

ehrichweiss says:

Jesus H. Christ, Dorpus, can you find anything more to complain about that is 99% guaranteed NOT to ever affect your life? I mean you make this shit up and then expect that someone wants to listen to you whine? At least find a single topic and stick with it rather than bitch, whine and moan about stray bullets that probably will never go stray if the person using the gun is knowledgeable, beer bottles and cans that you don’t even know if they are a problem there, eminent domain – as though the gubment only wants YOUR land… What’s next? I don’t wanna buy chewing gum because it’ll make it easier for the asteroid that’s gonna hit the earth in 140 years to adhere to our atmosphere?

trollificus says:

jebus, dorpus...

…your “vision” of what the world outside university is like is pretty damn warped Where did you get that crap?

From the internal evidence of your posts, your parents were horrible proto-yuppies who lived in some kind of covenant-governed gated community and who filled your childish head with fears of the big boogy government coming to take away your playstation via eminent domain.

Nor did they deign to give you a very clear idea of what semi-rural living is like.

Or you you are just an idiot, PhD or not.

dorpus says:

Re: jebus, dorpus...

I’m not laughing, because at least some of the things I’ve talked about have happened to the homes we lived in. The problems were clearly happening to other homeowners also, but in the American macho culture, nobody likes to admit their problems — you only hear their endless boasts about how great their home is. Add to it the five years I put into Silicon Valley, where the middle aged workers were always boasting about their semi-rural homes in Livermore or Stockton or wherever — ignoring their two-hour commutes, anyway. I’ve been to the bbqs on their wooden porches with a view of the landslide-prone hills towering above them, and the brushfire-prone grass below them. The wealthier ones had their homes on tops of hills, with a view of the smoggy landscape, and the annoying network of cul-de-sacs that take 40 minutes to the nearest supermarket. Homeowners are owned by their homes — they lose flexibility in many ways, starting with the ability to quickly relocate to better jobs in other cities.

I’ll stick to apartments in mixed-use neighborhoods and endure the small rip-offs.

antidorpus says:

RE: Dorpus

OK Dorpus, I understand your situation.

You’re stuck in a shithole and you don’t have the self-initiative to do something about it.

Well, about the Cable TV and Internet bundle, you can’t really do much about that, but you actually could file a class-action lawsuit against the company who’s monopolizing your section of the city/town.

My opinion?

Get a lawyer, get a life, get a goddamn woman (because if you spend all your time on Techdirt bitching at the world, you must be single) and get off of other peoples’ backs!

After all, you’re the one bitching at them, not the other way around.


dorpus says:

Re: RE: Dorpus

Yeah ok, I might have sounded like a whiner, since I was only talking about the problems. My new apartment is actually great otherwise — it’s the nicest I’ve ever lived in, by a wide margin. If I tried to get a place as nice in California, it would cost about 3 times what I pay here.

fyi, I do have women in my life.

Anonymous Coward says:

deign  /deɪn/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[deyn] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation

–verb (used without object)

1. to think fit or in accordance with one’s dignity; condescend: He would not deign to discuss the matter with us.

–verb (used with object)

2. to condescend to give or grant: He deigned no reply.

3. Obsolete. to condescend to accept.

[Origin: 1250–1300; ME deinen

DreadedOne509 says:


Actually it was started during the reign of Emperor Maximus Taxus during the height of the Holy Roman Empire in 1669 B.C. To help augment the ticket prices for the colliseum. Do you realize how damn expensive it is to bring in outside talent to fight the lions, tigers and bears?!?!?!?!

Holy crap batman! I will gladly continue to pay this small fee in order that my fellow man may seek entertainment…

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