Kevin Martin Furious With A Telco?

from the end-times dept

Everything was just going along as usual last week, what with Verizon and BellSouth adding in some sketchy fees to DSL bills that just happened to be about the same amount as the USF recovery fees they’d been allowed to drop. Then, BellSouth dropped its fee, which could be explained by its desire not to cause too much of a stir with its merger with AT&T still waiting to be approved. But things got a little weird when word came that telcos and cable companies had realized that maybe they should treat customers better, and now there’s another possible sign of impending apocalypse: FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin is apparently “furious” with a telco (via Broadband Reports). Yes, this is the same Kevin Martin who’s never met a big telco he couldn’t help out, and now he’s said to be pretty upset with Verizon’s shifty new fee. It remains to be seen if this anger will actually turn into anything, or if it’s just another attempt by the FCC to merely appear concerned. In any case, Verizon execs probably can’t wait for December to get here, so they can sing Martin Happy Birthday and return things to normal. Until then, be on the lookout for driverless cars, any undue pestilence or other signals of the end times from the telecom market.

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Comments on “Kevin Martin Furious With A Telco?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Even the gov does it

gov regulation won’t work, though because the gov does it too. In my town, we agreed to a temporary sales tax increase to fund schools. We were told that this way, the property tax would not go up to fund schools. (This, after we already agreed to a lottery, which was supposed to fund schools.) A year or two later, guess what – the property tax went up anyway ecause the schools needed more money. My cynical guess is that they probably will not roll back the sales tax when they are supposed to – they will have some excuse for keeping that money also.

Jaymes says:

Little Fees

Has anyone else been hit by telcos (land line or cell) for little itsy, bitsy charges that are so completely not even worth calling about that you don’t?

I’ve seen this repeatedly and started calling them on it… Problem is they make it so complicated to get a $.05 (five cent) charge reversed that it’s truely not worth your while.

Problem continued, if they do this to all reported 50 million of their “in” customers, what’s their monthly take for that nickel per person? $2.5 Million!

If this reminds you of a bad Superman movie, you’re not alone.

But, how do you fight this? Is this something that can be proven through a class action, maybe?

Anyway, I’m just fishing to see if I’m the only person who really reads his bills…

Mark (user link) says:

Re: Little Fees

I certainly try to read my bill every month. And after staring at it a bit longer, it occurred to me to divide the total into the price I’m charged for actual service. And I discovered that 46% of my bill is a tax or surcharge of some sort. Lord only knows where that 46 cents out of every dollar goes.

Also, forgiving a bit of drift here, think about whether you can migrate to measured service instead of flat rate local dialing. In this day of post-dialup network access, there is a good chance you can take back some of those fees by pay-as-you go local calling. You may be surprised by how few local calls you actually make every month in this broadband always-on age. I shaved 40% off my bill by moving to measured local instead of flat rate. It was also a pleasure to hear the rep try to talk me out of it, which was a strong indication that they know I’ll save money by changing plans. Savings details here

Agonizing Fury says:

Re: Just in time...

You think that’s bad, my phone company (Coastal Communications) still has not (and still refuses to) take my USF fee off of my DSL only line. I have no phone line through them and they still insist that the FCC has not removed the fees for DSL Lines!! I’m on hold with the USAC right now to file a complaint.

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