Verizon has added a new fee to their DSL customers. They’ve removed an ancient tax, the FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) and added in an almost identical new fee, a supplier surcharge. Don’t most stores simply charge their expenses for their services in something known as a price? Verizon advertises the price of DSL in Virginia (I assume the price may vary in other states) $14.95/month or $29.99/month. Then the fine print says:
Additional surcharges, taxes, and other fees apply. These include, but are not limited to, a tax recovery fee which varies by state (where applicable), and a supplier surcharge of $1.20 per month for 768kbps plans and $2.70 per month for 3Mbps plans, which is not a tax or government imposed fee.
This new supplier surcharge is ridiculous. Can’t they simply call the price the price??? It should be advertised as $16.20/month or $32.69/month. I suggest you call the Federal Communications Commission and file a complaint about Verizon’s false advertising. A supplier charge is BS. The FCC can be contacted at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. I also suggest filing a complaint with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, but they say to talk with the supplier first. So I’ll do that Monday morning, and then file my complaint with them on Monday.
Here is the email Verizon sent me nearly at 10:17pm on the day the new fee is active, a Saturday.
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 http://central.verizon.net
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.
Broadband Customer Care Team
Interesting. Information about the FUSF fee removal and the supplier surcharge are on the same page at Verizon. So is Verizon admitting the FUSF was not a tax but instead a revenue source?
- Addition of Supplier Surcharge: http://netservices.verizon.net/portal/msa/bookmark?announcement&id=FUSF
- Elimination of Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) Recovery Fee: http://netservices.verizon.net/portal/msa/bookmark?announcement&id=FUSF
Also note that Bellsouth has dropped their equivalent fee.