Verizon DSL, A Fee By Any Other Name…

Verizon announced in an email sent to customers that starting August 14th, Verizon Online will stop charging the FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) fee. This fee cost customers $1.25 or $2.83 a month, depending on their plan. FUSF was a fee “assessed” by Verizon’s DSL suppliers, but since they’ve stopped “assessing” it, Verizon will stop “recovering” it.

In an act of purest coincidence, on August 26th, Verizon Online with start charging a Supplier Surcharge starting at $1.20 or $.270 a month. The Supplier Surcharge, “is intended to help offset costs we incur from our network supplier in providing Verizon Online DSL service.”

Verizon’s source email, inside. (Thanks to David!)

“Dear Valued Verizon Online Customer,

Effective August 14, 2006, Verizon Online will stop charging the FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) recovery fee. We will stop being assessed the fee by our DSL network suppliers. Therefore, we will no longer be recovering this fee from our customers. The impact of the FUSF fee is as follows: for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 768Kbps, the fee eliminated is $1.25 a month; for customers of Verizon Online with service up to 1.5 Mbps or 3Mbps, the fee eliminated is $2.83 a month (based on current FUSF surcharge amounts). On your bill that includes charges for August 14, 2006 you will see either a partial FUSF Recovery Fee or no FUSF line item at all, depending on your bill cycle.

Starting August 26, 2006, Verizon Online will begin charging a Supplier Surcharge for all new DSL customers, existing customers with a DSL monthly or bundle package, and existing DSL annual plan customers at the time their current annual plan expires. This surcharge is not a government imposed fee or a tax; however, it is intended to help offset costs we incur from our network supplier in providing Verizon Online DSL service. The Supplier Surcharge will initially be set at $1.20 a month for Verizon Online DSL customers with service up to 768Kbps and $2.70 per month for customers with DSL service at higher speeds.

On balance your total bill will remain about the same as it has been or slightly lower.
For more information, see the Announcement in the Help section of Verizon Central, located at

We regret the need to add this Supplier Surcharge, but we thank you for choosing high speed Verizon Online DSL. We appreciate and value your business.


Verizon Online
Broadband Customer Care Team”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben says:


    I laughed when I received this e-mail over the weekend, but I didn’t think to forward it to y’all.

    So the govt. gets $1.25 less, Verizon gets $1.20 more, and my bill stays pretty much the same. Asshats.

    So, who, exactly, are their “network suppliers?” I’m guessing a different Verizon division.

  2. Verizon “supposedly” has a “verizon online” division which is “seperate” from the rest of the company. So the missing FUSF is probably going into their pocket.

    and they are not “seperate”.

  3. Yes, Asshats pretty much sums it up.

  4. Demingite says:

    Isn’t paying your suppliers a cost of doing business for just about everyone? Why is it a separate “fee,” instead of included in the base cost of the service?

    Is there any chance that Verizon likes to advertise the base cost of their service, while mentioning “fees” in small print? So, essentially, the customer is suckered into thinking the service costs less than it costs? Or am I being overly cynical?

    If the separate fees exist basically to support marketing trickery, I might argue that such practices should be illegal.

    It would be like if I were a dentist and I advertised that x-rays and teeth cleaning cost $99.99* and in small print *This price does not include chair rental, record-keeping, rent offset, x-ray film and tooth polish supply fees. (And you find out the “fees” — and how much money you really have to pay — when you get the bill.)

  5. buck09 says:

    So I emailed them back, letting them know they are a bunch of money-grubbing cockbags. Their mailbox was full. I hope they don’t charge me more money for the disk space they need to buy to accomidate all the hate mail about their made-up surcharges.

  6. Steven Bao says:

    That, adding on to how horrible Verizon DSL is anyway. Evil telcos.