The Checkout

Verizon Drops Controversial Fee

The customers have spoken, at least according to Verizon. On Wednesday, the company said it was dropping its new supplier surcharge that I wrote about last week.

Here's an excerpt from the company's press release:

Verizon Communications today announced that, effective immediately, it is dropping previously announced plans to impose a supplier surcharge for DSL-based Internet access service on its retail customers. A small number of customers who have already been billed for the surcharge will receive a credit.

"We have listened to our customers," said Bob Ingalls, chief marketing officer of Verizon Telecom, "and are eliminating this charge in response to their concerns."

Verizon's decision came several days after the FCC said it was sending the company a "letter of inquiry" seeking an explanation for the new fee on its DSL customers.

By  |  August 31, 2006; 10:36 AM ET Consumer News
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Comments

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I was intended to go to them and drop ATT/SBC. The latter company seems to always find a means of raising my bill, and now this with Verizon?

Posted by: Shag Wilburn | August 31, 2006 11:55 AM

Isn't it amazing how Verizon 'listens to its customers' only when the Feds are breathing down its greedy neck?

Posted by: Unsurprised | August 31, 2006 12:16 PM

They'll win, though. They'll find a way. They always do.

Posted by: Gene | August 31, 2006 12:17 PM

Sorry Caroline, but the DSL providers have already figured out what price the market will bear. There's going to be a great temptation to raise the base rate by three dollars a month to get back to the "right" price. The FCC can't do anything about the rates the companies charge.

It's also worth noting that even the original USF fee "allowed by the FCC" was never a government-mandated tax on subscribers. It was just another way ( a politer way?) for the providers to recover money in exchange for services rendered to consumers.

Posted by: athea | August 31, 2006 12:20 PM

VZ wanted to spread the cost of naked DSL (DSL without local phone service) among all DSL customers. That screws the DSL clients who also subscribe to local phone service. But it artificially lowers the cost of naked DSL, making that more attractive to potential customers.

Naked DSL is targeted at the biggest growth market left in broadband: the folks who canceled local phone service and who use cell phones exclusively for their voice needs. These folks have been going to cable for their broadband.

Posted by: Ken L | August 31, 2006 12:47 PM

I just signed up for Verizon DSL. I expected service at $29.99. I did not expect them to start arbitarily start adding 'surcharges'. I'm betting if they'd pursued this idiotic policy someone would have started a class action lawsuit against Verizon. After all, a 'surcharge' is just a crafty, underhanded way to charge more. Sneaky, crappy business practice.

Posted by: Hillman | August 31, 2006 6:41 PM

dsl hiigh speed price is very low anyway

Posted by: tom | August 31, 2006 9:15 PM


Why even bother with DSL service when you can get cable broadband. I dumped verizon land line years ago; I have never and will never look back.

One added benefit of living in the district is the competition between comcast and RCN. Yeppie!

Posted by: Omo Naija | September 1, 2006 9:02 AM

I also dropped Verizon DSL and went to cable. I do not know what the problem was, it may have been the hardware in my apartment complex but Verizon DSL was slow and service would disconnect frequently, too frequently. Also customer service was bad. I switched to Cable and I am happy.

I think we can yell and scream all we want. But the only way Verizon or any of the big telecommunications companies will only start servicing customers when the government tells them to. Thus we need to put our power to vote to use.

Posted by: JH | September 1, 2006 10:16 AM

Some posters question the need for DSL. I have DSL for the simple reason that the speed and bandwidth that DSL offers suits my needs and costs $27 less per month than cable in my area.

Posted by: David L | September 1, 2006 4:11 PM

I live in the Charlotte, NC area, and we face the same problems as you in the Washington area. You have to make the decision of whether you want to be ripped off by your monopolistic cable company or your monopolistic telephone company.

I've been a DSL customer of BellSouth for five years, but decided to look into high-speed cable service. Our cable company's ads gave no pricing information beyond their two-month introductory price. And when I called the cable company's customer service line, I was told that I would have to call my local cable office to get the pricing. When I tried to do so, my call was automatically transferred to their customer service office. Therefore, I decided to stick with BellSouth.

Posted by: Roley Altizer | September 5, 2006 8:43 AM

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