ISP's Sneaky Fees

ISPs create tangled Web of sneaky fees: Companies use hidden charges to generate revenue in competitive industry” is an excerpt Bob Sullivan has published from his new book Gotcha Capitalism. For example, in 2006, the government dropped the federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) fee on DSL, which meant providers could now charge less, right? Verizon turned around and quickly replaced the FUSF with a new “Supplier Surcharge” fee. Sneaky sneaky.

ISPs create tangled Web of sneaky fees [Red Tape Chronicles]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. bravo369 says:

    Can there be a law passed stating that companies now need to start advertising the TRUE cost of products/services? Everything from cell phones to cable to hotels. If this fee is not optional then it needs to be included in the advertised price of the product given to the consumers.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    The obvious now documented. Too bad the shame won’t change anything.

  3. MakGeek says:

    @bravo369: agreed

  4. @Blueskylaw: What shame?

    @bravo369: I always found it amazing how a Cell Phone plan for $39.99 suddenly became $59.99…

  5. Jthmeffy says:

    @bravo369: That would be nice, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. Politicians would lose too much money.

  6. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    My favorite ad right now is the Chevy Malibu online ad. The headline screams Chevy Malibu for $19999 and then there is a tiny 1″ thumbnail of the car. But in tiny tiny print it says *Car Featured is $27,999. So my question to Chevy Malibu people is what do I see in that tiny thumbnail that makes it another $8,000. Wheels? A steering wheel? A trunk?

  7. mupethifi says:

    I am thinkin’ of ditchin my cell. I hate being reachable 24/7 anyway. when i leave my phone off, my freinds and family say i am avoiding them. this way i can just say i can no longer afford one.

  8. jomil91 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: it means it starts at 19,999, and yes you can get one for 19,999 (plus tags and reg.) but the one showin has all the available equipment which is still a good deal compared to its competition. (leather, v6 engine, upgraded suspension and features)

  9. angryrider says:

    Dang surcharges. $20 just to have a dial tone on the phone line. “Federal Taxes” and “Surcharges.” It’s as if they’re forcing us to switch to crappy VOIP.

  10. Stan LS says:

    @Papa Midnight: But that’s with anything. Nobody advertises products with taxes factored in.

  11. kc2idf says:

    @bravo369:

    Can there be a law passed stating that companies now need to start advertising the TRUE cost of products/services? Everything from cell phones to cable to hotels. If this fee is not optional then it needs to be included in the advertised price of the product given to the consumers.

    Agreed, but be very careful! Here in New York (and maybe other places, but I don’t know), gas stations used to post a breakdown of their prices. You knew what they paid, what profit the station was taking, and what taxes were added to the final price per gallon. Then, all of a sudden, they stopped. Why? Because it is now forbidden.

    It is great to know what the final price of something is, and I would prefer that such be available in advertising for a given service, however, the breakdown also needs to be available.

    Incidentally, Road Runner here claims to charge $44.95. Guess what the bill says? I’ll tell you. It says $44.95.

  12. scoosdad says:

    @angryrider: “It’s as if they’re forcing us to switch to crappy VOIP.”

    Don’t be so sure VOIP is insulated from these kinds of fees. My $24.95/month Vonage plan sure costs me a whole lot more a month than $24.95.

  13. forever_knight says:

    @scoosdad: get a pay as you go voip provider. the quality can be superior than your pots line and at a fraction of the cost. i pay $1.50 a month for a local number plus 1 cent a minute for received calls and 1.5 cents a minute for made calls.

  14. nursetim says:

    @kc2idf:
    It is forbidden because that way when politicians start to demagogue the oil company, it will be easier to hide the fact that the government gets a larger cut than the oil company.

  15. thatgirlinnewyork says:

    @forever_knight: Who’s your provider? Did you carry your number over from Verizon (or other analog provider)?