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.


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Comments on “Latest Telco Fee: Your Fee For Not Paying Fees”

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34 Comments
dorpus says:

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.

erinol0 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Dosquatch says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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.

Anonymous Jerk (user link) says:

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!)

Help The Clueless says:

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.

Royal Blue says:

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!

Dosquatch says:

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?

Dosquatch says:

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.

dai says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Sanguine Dream says:

Re: 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.

Raptor85 (profile) says:

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.

JR says:

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.

mkam says:

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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