in palin and simple language
I am SO TIRED OF 'LEGALIZE' TALK, I have been on the phone with ATT for most of the day, along with the public utilities commission. DO THE PEOPLE THAT MANAGE THESE ACCOUNTS EVEN KNOW WHERE ALL THE FEES ARE PAID? MOST SPECIFICALY: 'THE FEDERAL UNIVERAL SERVICE CHARGE".
The reason this all came to the 'front' was curiosity, I wanted it spelled out where each and every surcharge, tax and fee on my att bill was paid for and to whom? The company employees 'TF7PY44', 'Iris', and' Esa' XCW210402 ( who was supposedly 'upper management'. Don't have a clue, they used the 'pat' answer: "in order to provide you with the high quality service you currently we receive..blah, blah, dah." I explained to them that sitting at the bus stop on my way to work, I overheard the conversations of the apparent drug dealers, who can't speak highly enough about their "free" or $10.00 phones, as 'disposables. One had 10 of them he bragged.
Well, sirs, and madams, I refuse to pay anymore and "Universal service fee" that really is being assessed to ATT. and they merely pass the cost onto the unwary att consumer. Oh, and when asked to disclose where this fee was used, I was read the 'legalize' written in the contract, where I agreed to pay
I came into the national broadband discussion by asking similar questions about FRANCHISE and PEG fees on my Comcast bill. In the last three months I've contacted local and state agencies who govern the cable franchise agreement for my county (Marin, California) and read through the California AB 2987 act of 2006 governing video franchises. While I have come to understand how and why fees and taxes can be levied on communication services like internet, phone, and cable video, I throw my support behind any citizen or group who demands that companies like Comcast and AT&T provide backup on their invoices, and I don't just mean an asterisked reference. Franchise Fees are calculated as a percentage of the total portion of your cable bill attributable to VIDEO. The maximum is 5%. But the majority of cable subscribers received phone, video, and internet in a bundled package so you how any of the fees and taxes are applied is impossible to determine. At the very least I believe our communication service providers should provide us with the "long math" (5% x $100=Franchise Fee) so we can at least know what we are paying for. This is ultimately necessary because every municipal franchise provided in this country is in a ongoing and expensive lawsuit with Comcast about "uncollected" fees. Comcast owes our cities tens of millions of dollars because there is little to no transparency in the entire process. How crazy is this. You pay. Comcast collects. And your city then has to pay for an expensive audit to get your money. Never forget that these service providers are conducting their private business through the PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY and thus have a special obligation to care for the public's best interests. Having the providers declare their calculations on an invoice would be a start. We all know that when paid for politicians award monopoly market power to corrupt corporations the consumers are held *******. But nothing will change unless we keep asking the right questions and spreading our answers around.
I agree, I get this same fee listed on my Verizon account bill along with 10-15 other surcharges like:
Regulatory Recovery Fee - Federal
Federal Subscriber Line and Access Recovery Charge
Franchise Related Costs
PEG Grant Fee