BellSouth Adds New Fee To Pay For The Non-Fee They No Longer Need To Collect

from the please-explain-this-one dept

Remember Verizon's doublespeak efforts in explaining their new extra fee for DSL subscribers this week? This was their new "supplier surcharge," which is almost exactly the same as the now ended Universal Service Fee (USF). It turns out the fact that the amounts are nearly the same and one ends just as the other begins is a mere coincidence. BellSouth, on the other hand, couldn't even be bothered to pretend that any new fee is unrelated to the end of the USF. They've announced that they'll just keep on charging the exact same amount on everyone's bill and will pocket it. It won't even be called a "supplier surcharge" either. They're not even trying to hide it. BellSouth is calling it a "regulatory cost recovery fee," which is what they used to call it as well. Of course, there's no more regulation, so there's no more regulatory cost to recover. So, how does BellSouth explain that? Well, you see, it's "to offset costs incurred in complying with regulatory obligations and other expenses. The fee also recovers costs associated with additional systems necessitated by federal regulation, as well as costs associated with monitoring, participating in and complying with regulatory proceedings, and other network and servicing requirements." I've read that twenty times already, and I still don't know what they're saying, other than they don't really care, they just want to keep the money. The article also notes that when the telcos lobbied to be let out from having to pay into the USF system on DSL, part of the argument was that it would benefit consumers -- when the reality is that these two telcos have used it as an opportunity to shaft consumers. The article does point out that neither AT&T nor Qwest are continuing the fee, but that could always change once they see what their friends are doing.

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  1. icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 24 Aug 2006 @ 8:59am

    The point has been made

    The point that needs to be made has been said: You don't have to give them your business. The Telco's have every right (except where prohibited by regulation) to charge you whatever the hell they want to.

    That's how our economy works. If they aren't competitive because they are charging ridiculous fees, then they don't get the business. It's that simple.

    But I also like Bull's idea:

    "Btw, I called Comcast yesterday to cancel my $42.99 monthly cable IP service. Before I could finish the sentence the phone rep offered me 6 months at $19.99 to stay. I stayed. Try it and you might get the same!!!"

    If you want to, or feel that you have to, give your business to one of these companies, then beat them at their own game. Work their system to your advantage.

    For further example, how many people here used to be on BMG or a similar purchase program? How many times would you cancel right after you met your obligation, so that you can get the "come back to us" offer for (comparatively) super-cheap CD's?

    Same idea.

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