Friday, October 8, 2010

Verizon returns $90 million for mystery fees!

Verizon, in a fun little turn of events for a phone company, is going to be giving a refund to the tune of around $90 million. See, what happened was that about 15 million people didn't quite get the memo that anytime you connect to the internet - for any reason whatsoever - you get charged $1.99 per MB of info downloaded. This includes, apparently, demo apps that require internet use.

Luckily, someone was astute enough to start bitching about the extra $2-$6 (on average, per account) extra charge on their bill.

So, Verizon stepped up, admitted they handled the situation poorly, and is now refunding all of that accidentally charged money.

To the tune of $90 million dollars.

In related billing news: The FCC is examining whether they should vote on October 14th to instate laws requiring phone service providers to alert you when you're approaching your minute/data/etc. usage limit. Because, as of right now, most companies have rules charging quite large fees - when added all together - the moment you begin use of data or talk time that isn't included in your plan. They call this 'bill shock.'

You know the feeling. We've all had it. We were pretty sure we stayed in the limits of our plan, but were unsure of whether those last couple of quick lunchtime calls the last few days of the month were covered. 'Oh well,' you think. 'Surely it can't be more than a few dollars. After all I only talked for 10-15 minutes at the most!' And then you get slammed with an extra $50, $75, or $100+ fee - or, in some cases, a set of fees.

My vote, just in case the FCC is wondering, is YES!

The bigger picture that should be looked at here, though, is one of the mysterious fees on phone bills anyways. I mean, goodness, I have one phone and I'm not only paying the monthly bill, but there are a mountain of fees and taxes added on to it. And, these are taxes for things I've never heard of, nor thought about being taxed.

I get that we should all pay our fair share, but...at some point it has to stop. Two people conservatively using one phone plan should not be paying $175 for said phone plan. ESPECIALLY not $175 for a plan with a company whose cell service sucks balls. And not in a good way, either.

I propose a pseudo-credit card solution. For customers who routinely pay their bill on time, never go over their monthly minute usage, and generally don't make too much of an issue for phone companies, they should lower your bill. Now, if you start becoming an almighty pain in their asses by using minutes or data you didn't pay for, calling to bitch about said shitty service, or otherwise don't abide by the general agreement of service provider and recipient, then you can pay the regular outrageous fees. But, for the rest of us, we should get a break. Surely they could allow for a gradual $50+ deduction in monthly fees for this sort of thing, right? I mean, the bills are certainly high enough to allow for that size of an amount.

Right?

But, that won't happen. It won't. I know it. You know it, and yet we still engage in using the cell phone. In fact, cell phones have replaced home phones as the main means of telephonic communication in this country. Home phone service is around $20-$40. Cell service for a household of 2??? $175. There seems to be a disconnect in treating your customers as though they have enough sense to know you're screwing them.

What do you think of cell companies and their outrageous fees, sub-fees, taxes, and extra fun charges thrown in just for extra fun?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

1 comment:

  1. Let's just say there is a reason why both text messaging and Internet access are disabled on my phone.

    AT&T has fairly low charges with their Family Plan, unless you have an iPhone (which I personally refuse to buy). Once you get an iPhone (which seems to be the main reason most people get AT&T service to begin with) your bill shoots up by around $60/month, PLUS the $300 you had to pay to get the phone in the first place. Plus, you can't disable text & internet on them, so you also have to pay unlimited texting and internet rates, shooting up your bill to a whopping $80-90 more than you'd pay with a regular phone.

    Call me crazy, but I think I'll just stick to using my laptop for text messaging and Internet-surfing at free wifi hot spots. There's no monthly charge for that.

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