Sprint Takes Away 3 Unnecessary Fees, Replaces Them With 2 New Unnecessary Fees

from the fee-fee-fee-fee dept

Mobile operators have a long history of trying to hide price increases by adding official looking, but totally unnecessary fees to customer bills. The fees usually have quasi-governmental names to them, such as "Federal Programs Cost Recovery," which makes many customers (falsely) believe that these are actually taxes required by the government. Instead, they're simply a way for the operators to squeeze more money out of you while claiming to keep the price low. There's been something of a crackdown on these fees lately, and Sprint has decided to throw in the towel... sorta. It's getting rid of three of the fees, but replacing them with two other fees, just to make things even more confusing. Again, it doesn't appear that either fee is required, but rather they act as a way to hide a price increase while being able to publicly market a lower price.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 11:46am

    San Francisco is an uneccessary fee...

    ... I pay $11/month in taxes just because I live in SF and have a cellphone....

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    John Canada, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Fees

    The government should send them a bill for all these "Federal" fees the carriers have bill to the customers.

     

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

  3.  
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    TheDock22, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 12:44pm

    Wait a minute

    So I can get these charges taken off my monthly bill? The article quotes that Sprint says: "These charges are not taxes and are not amounts we are required to collect from you."

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Update of Contract?

    Does this constitute a change of terms, such that I can refuse them and get out of a contract without having to pay an ETF?

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    it would onlly constitute a change of terms if it is listed that sprint can't change terms at any time. although that clasuse is alway funny, because if they don't follow their own terms, they change them so they are following them. go figure.

     

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  6.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Dec 12th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Sprint Bad

    We were a customer of Sprint, until we were screwed over by them. Relative to this post, four years ago we received notice of a class action settlement for Sprint's improper billing. The settlement, $15.00 off our next Sprint bill. Since we where no longer Sprint customers, we got nothing.

    The lesson - even when a company is uncovered doing an illegal act, they still find a way to keep your money!!!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Ray, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 2:51pm

    ahh...so what are the fees you speak of?

    doesn't this article seem a little incomplete?

     

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  8.  
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    Dee, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    Re: ahh...so what are the fees you speak of?

    Follow the link in the article. It is called hypertext.

     

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

  9.  
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    eric, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Update of Contract?

    yup it sure does.... id go to verizon ....i did it a while back when they did that and have been very happy

     

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  10.  
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    Vincent Clement, Dec 12th, 2007 @ 6:51pm

    It's amazing how $20 a month becomes $30 without placing or receiving a single call.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Ray, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: ahh...so what are the fees you speak of?

    it's called lazy writing. why wouldn't they disclose those details here?

     

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

  12.  
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    Big B, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    These fees which are charged by all carriers are to recover the cost of supporting FCC mandated programs such as E-911, Number Portability and Number Pooling. The FCC said that the carriers can recover the costs from their customers. They also charge Universal Service Fund fees, which they have to pass on to the FCC so that rural carriers build out networks. Don't complain to the carriers, complain to your congressman or the FCC and support the CTIA in getting rid of some of these taxes that every jurisdiction is putting in place. A little education goes a long way. http://www.ctia.org/consumer_info/index.cfm/AID/10357

     

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  13.  
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    narfboy, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    fed, state and local gov wants to provide value to taxpayers via rules or laws but not fund them or better yet to gather revenue without 'raising taxes'. Kinda tricky to find the language to explain that the FCC rules allow but don't require passing the costs on. It's not exactly a tax, but without action from a taxing authority, the charge wouldn't exist.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 14th, 2007 @ 1:14am

    Re:

    These fees which are charged by all carriers are to recover the cost of supporting FCC mandated programs such as E-911, Number Portability and Number Pooling. The FCC said that the carriers can recover the costs from their customers. They also charge Universal Service Fund fees, which they have to pass on to the FCC so that rural carriers build out networks. Don't complain to the carriers, complain to your congressman or the FCC and support the CTIA in getting rid of some of these taxes that every jurisdiction is putting in place. A little education goes a long way.

    Ah, the old CTIA explanation. Sorry, don't buy it. In what other business does a company get to tack on its real costs as added "fees." When you buy a pizza, you don't pay "oven fees." You pay the price. Yes, there are fees charged to the telcos, but that's part of the cost of doing business. The complaint here is that Sprint is not at all clear about what those fees are for and implies they are taxes when they are not.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 14th, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike...bad comparison. any idiot can make pizza. There are only 4 groups of idiots that can make cellphones work. T-Mo, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon and a bunch of legislators looking to tap their pockets and guess whose pockets they will tap? Nice try though. If you really care about this, follow the ctia link. Or then again, do nothing, and watch your bills increase no matter which carrier you're on...One way or another you will pay for it - no such thing as a free lunch...If it isn't a fee, it's in the slightly more expensive ring tone, increased 411 charges (check those lately?), data access plans, handset prices, etc. Compare these across carriers and you'll find there is a nice range here. I look at the Sprint thing as they are creating awareness and I thank them for it - Why aren't the other carriers creating this kind of awareness? If Sprint really wanted to push this fee agenda, directly under the fees in their bill, they should have a banner linking to the CTIA. Then again, I guess following your logic, remove the fee and thus awareness, and bury them in other services. Ignorance is bliss. The American way!

     

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  16.  
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    Mike (profile), Dec 14th, 2007 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    . If you really care about this, follow the ctia link. Or then again, do nothing, and watch your bills increase no matter which carrier you're on...

    You're making me laugh. Nothing the CTIA does is about lowering people's bills. It's the opposite.

    One way or another you will pay for it - no such thing as a free lunch...

    You might want to try actually reading what I wrote. I didn't say there was a free lunch. I just said that the telcos should be a bit more honest about their prices. They hide price increases in "fees" so they can advertise lower prices.

    Then again, I guess following your logic, remove the fee and thus awareness, and bury them in other services.

    Again, please READ a little before you make really dumb assumptions. If they want to break out their price, that's fine. But don't advertise the price without fees. Include those fees in the advertised price. Otherwise, it's dishonest.

     

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


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