Verizon & BellSouth Back Away Nervously From Mystery DSL Fee

Last year, the federal government finally eliminated a charge to DSL consumers that subsidized phone service in underdeveloped rural areas. Good. It was a silly, antiquated fee that has long since been irrelevant.

But Verizon and BellSouth raised a lot of ire when they immediately replaced the nixed fee with one of their own, for $1.20 to $2.70 a month… the exact same price as the old, government-mandated feed. They described it as a “regulatory cost recovery fee…” whatever the hell that is.

The FCC was not amused, lambasting Verizon and BellSouth for not complying with the “Truth-In-Billing” requirements and gouging customers with a phony fee that they hoped they could just slip by us.

The good news is that Verizon and BellSouth have canceled the fee. Their response is priceless, though: “We have listened to our customers.” Sure you did, champ. Or, more likely, you ignored them and only listened to the massive government agency about to prosecute your sleazy asses.

Verizon Jouns BellSouth in Retreat From Unexplained New DSL Fee [Consumer Affairs]