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Vonage Starts Charging 'Regulatory Recovery Fee'

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the bureaucrats-circle-like-buzzards dept.

United States 239

slavitos writes "Vonage sent an email announcing that starting with 'your next billing cycle, Vonage will begin to charge a Regulatory Recovery Fee of $1.50 per phone number. This is a fee that Vonage charges its customers to recover required costs of Federal and State Universal Service Funds as well as other related fees and surcharges. State and Federal agencies collect these fees from communications providers to fund public projects such as rural and library communications programs.' That could mean that Vonage is losing at least some ground in its battle against government VOIP regulations."

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FROST PIST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014480)

Google blah blah. Yah! Pisty frost. Gnaa rules

Raise prices (1)

hackwrench (573697) | about 11 years ago | (#7014487)

Why don't they just raise prices instead of charging a separate fee.

Psychology (3, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 11 years ago | (#7014533)

Which would you prefer: "We're raising our prices, suckers!" or "We're not greedy, but we now have to pay the universal service fee, and we're passing that on you you"?

Re:Psychology (1)

alex_ant (535895) | about 11 years ago | (#7014793)

How about "Since we don't have money trees growing on our property, we're going to start charging you this fee, because we don't want to go bankrupt, so you're free to take your business elsewhere, but be reminded that everyone else is subject to the same fees, and it's not like THEY'RE going to absorb them, either."

Re:Raise prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014540)

Why not charge a separate fee?

Re:Raise prices (1)

hackwrench (573697) | about 11 years ago | (#7014633)

Because they never tell you what all the other charges come to when they tell you the cost.

Re:Raise prices (3, Informative)

kfg (145172) | about 11 years ago | (#7014725)

Actually, despite what cynicism might suggest, fees and taxes of this sort are generally required by law to be itemized.

If your state has a sales tax, is it not rung up as a seperate item on your reciept?

In my state (NY) it is even illegal to sign items as, say, "$1.08 including tax."

"$1.00+tax" is legal, as is "$1.00+ .08 tax," because each of these seperates that tax from the retail price.

KFG

Re:Raise prices (2, Informative)

gmcclel (43020) | about 11 years ago | (#7014731)

Why don't they just raise prices instead of charging a separate fee.

At the same time they also lowered prices for some of their plans by as much as $5/month.

Re:Raise prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014763)

Actually, Vonage lowered prices at the same time they instituted this fee. My service dropped a buck, which is less than the fee, but I've got the lower service. I think the full long distance service dropped like $3 or so.

Re:Raise prices (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014858)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your nigger will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.

You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately on unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER.

Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.

Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.

Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.

Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 55 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.

Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include:

1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing.

2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one).

3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit.

4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood.

5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.

Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS.

MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE.

Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN, BUT NEVER BLACK HOES.

They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?

Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER KEEPS BLEATING ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".

Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?

A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS EXACTLY LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.

What you have there is a "wigger".

WOW! IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE OR VALUABLE?

They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD.

And you were expecting what?

MY NIGGER DISPLAYS A MASSIVE SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT.

This is normal.

SHOULD I ALLOW MY NIGGER TO FORNICATE WITH OTHER NIGGERS?

Where are we, Wonderland? You'll have a lot of trouble getting it to fornicate with *other* niggers.

WHERE CAN I BUY MYSELF A BETTER QUALITY OF NIGGER?

I don't really understand the question ("better quality of nigger"...?WTF?)

I don't think so... (1)

revmoo (652952) | about 11 years ago | (#7014489)

"That could mean that Vonage is loosing at least some ground in its battle against government VOIP regulations."

Looks like the only people losing ground are their customers.

On the flipside, I don't understand how governments can possibly expect to tax such things, yahoo messenger can do voice chat, will we see taxes on that? What about the millions of other VoIP programs out there? Eventually the government will realize there are some things that you just can't regulate.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 11 years ago | (#7014514)

Vonage is different from IM and voice chat because it interconnects with the PSTN and thus Vonage counts as a phone company.

Re:I don't think so... (2, Funny)

w.p.richardson (218394) | about 11 years ago | (#7014522)

Eventually the government will realize there are some things that you just can't regulate.

Wow, that's optimistic. The government regulates the size of toilet tanks. I think they can latch on to this too.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 11 years ago | (#7014637)

The government regulates the size of toilet tanks.

Yes, but you can protest peacefully against this orwellian state and declare yourself in civil desobedience by putting a brick in your toilet tank.

Gandhi would have approved ...

Re:I don't think so... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 11 years ago | (#7014768)

What exactly is Orwellian about the government's current regulation of toilet sizes? Are they renaming it to an "double-plus-unlarder"? Does the government use these regulated toilets to look at you? (Oh. My God.) Does it have to be located in "Smallest Room - One Oh One"?

Re:I don't think so... (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 11 years ago | (#7014771)

Yes, but you can protest peacefully against this orwellian state and declare yourself in civil desobedience by putting a brick in your toilet tank.

Actually, I'm afraid you have it backwards. The federal law mandates a maximum size for toilet tanks. Putting a brick in your tank effectively makes the tank smaller, not larger.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | about 11 years ago | (#7014535)

Yahoo doesn't act like a phone, people can't pick up the phone and call your Yahoo ID to talk to you. VOIP uses a phone with a phoneline connected to a box which connects to a cable modem or dsl modem, or even into a router. Ofcourse there is a reason to tax it, from a goverment perspective, a source of revenue, its just like anything else, like taxing clothing.

Re:I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014630)

yahoo messenger can do voice chat, will we see taxes on that?

Don't give them ideas....

-Koft

Why was this posted? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014497)

You need to pay for things. Phone service isn't GNU/PhoneService --- IT'S NOT FREE.

No, it's not free (1)

n0nsensical (633430) | about 11 years ago | (#7014520)

Funny, but Vonage already had a subscription cost before this.

If telephone service used GNU/PhoneService (5, Funny)

koi88 (640490) | about 11 years ago | (#7014591)

If telephone service used GNU/PhoneService, it would be robust, it would almost never crash, it would be very reliable and fast and you could use it with many different kinds of hardware.
On the other hand, the interface would be terrible, like people would have to remember long cryptic numbers in order to use it.

Re:If telephone service used GNU/PhoneService (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014627)

It would also never shave, not bathe on a regular basis, smell bad, and not know any female GNU/PhoneServices.

Re:Why was this posted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014652)

Tell that to the liberals who want to redistribute your income.

I don't understand (0)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 11 years ago | (#7014503)

Slightly off topic, but why is it that a company can pass the charges on to the end user whenever they have to pay a fee/fine?

If this spills over to other service industries, we'll be paying a 'fat guy sued us' tax on our McDonalds BigMac Meals... This has got to stop... it's one thing if the overall price for a service/product goes up to cover their costs, it's totally messed when they spell it out for you on a bill...

Re:I don't understand (0)

cscx (541332) | about 11 years ago | (#7014519)

If this spills over to other service industries, we'll be paying a 'fat guy sued us' tax on our McDonalds BigMac Meals... This has got to stop... it's one thing if the overall price for a service/product goes up to cover their costs, it's totally messed when they spell it out for you on a bill...

Really? Well do you realize that every time you go to McDonalds they ask you "Is this eat-in or to go?" Know why? If you say "eat-in," they add a "tax" of $0.25 or so for the privlege of eating in their establishment. Sure nothing stops you from taking your cheeseburgers (in a paper bag) over to a table and eat, but you don't get a tray.

So remember, from now on, it's always "to-go" ;)

Re:I don't understand (0)

dirk (87083) | about 11 years ago | (#7014554)

Actually, McDonald's doesn't charge you extra, the government does. The laws state that people eating in the restraunt are subject to sales tax (and all soft drinks are subject to sales tax, even if they are "to go"). Restraunts aren't making any money off that, the government is. And yes, they MUST pass the cost onto you. The tax is a tax on the consumer. It must be added to the total charge, even if they wanted to pay it for you (which I'm sure they don't) I don't think they could.

Re:I don't understand (1)

MadocGwyn (620886) | about 11 years ago | (#7014668)

Well establishments often 'eat' such costs (no pun intended) by lowering the price by the amount of the 'tax'. Thats how most of those 'you don't pay tax events' work, the tax is still being payed, just not by you.

Depends what state you're in (3, Interesting)

FredFnord (635797) | about 11 years ago | (#7014566)

In some states, no food is taxed.

In some states, eat-in is taxed but no other food is.

In some states, all food is taxed.

In at least one state, all eat-in food is taxed, as is all take-out restaurant food that has been heated, fried, baked, cooked, or otherwise warmed expressly for the purpose of immediate consumption, but no other food is. So if you buy a meatball sub and a turkey sub at Subway and get them both to go, if you get them on separate checks, one is taxable and the other isn't.

In at least one state, all restaurant and prepared food is taxed, as is any food that is not deemed a *necessity*. It varies depending on whom you ask whether chocolate is in fact a necessity or not.

-fred

Re:Depends what state you're in (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | about 11 years ago | (#7014947)

It varies depending on whom you ask whether chocolate is in fact a necessity or not.

If you're asking a man the answer might vary but asking a woman that question is like asking the Pope if he's Catholic.

Economics For Useless Twits (2, Informative)

reallocate (142797) | about 11 years ago | (#7014539)

>> ...why is it that a company can pass the charges on to the end user...

Because the company can set its own prices. Taxes are a cost of doing business. If they go up, the company needs to recoup that cost one way or the other.

If you don't like it, stop paying for it,

Sheesh.

Re:I don't understand (1)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7014541)

"Slightly off topic, but why is it that a company can pass the charges on to the end user whenever they have to pay a fee/fine?"

I have a feeling this will erupt soon. Many people, including myself, pay $39.99 for cell phone service, and then all these stupid little fees and taxes appear on top of it. My bill's really like $45. Back in Kansas a few years ago, it was worse than that. I think it was something like $10-$15 in taxes and fees on top of that.

At some point, somebody's going to have 'free' services that have a bunch of little fees and taxes on top of it. My gf's mom had to pay a $17 'special tax' on renting a Ryder truck last week. Fun, eh? I think she should have qualified for a special discount.

Re:I don't understand (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014561)

My gf's mom

You don't use Linux, do you?

Re:I don't understand (0, Offtopic)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7014718)

"You don't use Linux, do you? "

Nope. I like sitting down and using my computer, dun have time to endlessly poke at it. I don't intend to sound like I'm Linux bashing here, but it is an important point of using Windows or OSX. It's nice to have a UI tied to everything you want to do. I don't like having to know a bunch of commands that don't really indicate what they do. Ls, ps, mkdir, kill, ll, cd, etc. If it weren't for Midnight Commander, I'm not sure I would have gotten into using Linux at all.

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014821)

Should I... should I.......

oh, all right then.

1. You make it sound as if Linux has no GUI available: all of those commands can be done graphically too, and Windows has no command line equivalent for some of them.
2. mkdir and cd are also Windows commands.
3. "ls" is even easier than "dir"
4. What on earth is "ll"?
5. You don't have to know ANY command line tools to use Linux, though as with any operating system, knowing a few can help with administration, and with repetitive tasks.

Re:I don't understand (1)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7014886)

"1. You make it sound as if Linux has no GUI available: all of those commands can be done graphically too"

Nope, I make it sound as though Linux doesn't have everything available via GUI.

"2. mkdir and cd are also Windows commands."

They are DOS commands. Windows users never have to worry about them. Having the CLI available is great. Having the CLI as the only point of access for any given function is lame.

". "ls" is even easier than "dir""

Reread my post.

" What on earth is "ll"?"

I'm not sure what its primary function is, I use it for listing files sorted by date. Glad you mentioned it, though, turns out ls has some syntax for that too.

"You don't have to know ANY command line tools to use Linux..."

Sorry, that day isn't here yet. Mplayer comes to mind. Kudos to Knoppix, though, it's damn near there.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | about 11 years ago | (#7014949)

"don't have to know ANY command line tools to use Linux"

Glad this came up actually. I just downloaded Knoppix and have it running here, but I can't get to the other machines (Windows) on the network. When I had this problem at work, I fired up Samba (after sifting through man pages) and managed to make it work. Can you (or anybody) tell me how to hit the network via KDE without using the CLI?

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014966)

I don't know what tools Knoppix has on it off by heart, but try "jags".

any tax on a company is a tax on the customer (1)

asv108 (141455) | about 11 years ago | (#7014544)

Slightly off topic, but why is it that a company can pass the charges on to the end user whenever they have to pay a fee/fine?

Some people don't seem to understand that any time a goverment tax/fee/regulation is created for a given industry or company, the cost is passed on to the consumer.

Re:I don't understand (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | about 11 years ago | (#7014553)

You pay a monopoly tax with your cable bill if you have cable, since cable services are basically monopolies since you can get service from only one company since they don't have to share lines. So I believe it already has spilled into other industries.

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

blitziod (591194) | about 11 years ago | (#7014740)

does Vonage sound like good deal to anyone here? I mean i can get unlimted LD from MCIor from my local bell telephone company on a land line for roughly the same price. If i get the physical line installed i get the extra BW from that line. If I go with Vonage i am paying my net provider(cable. dsl, T1, etc) for the bandwidth.

Re:I don't understand (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 11 years ago | (#7014555)

Slightly off topic, but why is it that a company can pass the charges on to the end user whenever they have to pay a fee/fine?

Because a comapany is in business to *make* money, not *lose* money. They can set their prices to whatever they want. Profit = Revenue - Expendatures.

If you don't like it, then don't buy... anything.

-- iCEBaLM

Re:I don't understand (3, Insightful)

C10H14N2 (640033) | about 11 years ago | (#7014601)

Maybe because voters have given governments (like Orange County, California) the right to dream up fees on unrelated activities (like speeding) to pay for their own mismanagement and bankruptcies (speeding causes bankruptcy?) or given them the authority to demand that cell-phone companies charge "local infrastructure" fees on their users just because they use a certain area-code and prefix. As an example, Sprint levies a local use fee of about $15 on me payable to the City of Long Beach, California while I live in Washington, DC not using a single atom of Long Beach's infrastructure. This is all the result of voting, be it yours or your rep's, not corporate greed. It should come as no surprise then that companies then charge you for fees resulting from our collective altruism and/or stupidity.

I would actually congratulate Vonage on itemizing it so you can then march into your representative's office and scream at them. If only every silly excise tax were so effectively communicated to consumers, maybe people would be more active in this "democracy."

Well we knew it would happen sometime (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | about 11 years ago | (#7014504)

I believe this just goes to show how good their service really is. They are not a tiny company in a garage anymore. They are big come competing with the likes of SBC, Verizon, and MCI.

Re:Well we knew it would happen sometime (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | about 11 years ago | (#7014517)

I'm sorry that didn't make any sense. I was trying to say that they are now playing with the big boys such as MCI, Verizon and SBC.

Re:Well we knew it would happen sometime (1)

Quarters (18322) | about 11 years ago | (#7014764)

The funny thing is, when I read the headline to this article my first reaction was, "What the *heck* is Vonage?". They must be some upstart west coast thing, I'm figuring, because I've never seen any advertisements for them here on the east coast. I've also never seen any ads for them on any DirecTV channels I get. They're not that big.

Fees. (-1, Troll)

windowpain (211052) | about 11 years ago | (#7014506)

"That could mean that Vonage is loosing at least some ground in its battle against government VOIP regulations."

Or it could mean they've decided to screw their customers the same way the big PSTN phone companies do by breaking out much of their overhead into separate "fees."

And btw, it's "losing," not "loosing."

Re:Fees. (1)

backlonthethird (470424) | about 11 years ago | (#7014542)

First they lowered their base prices. I think it's a bit early to hate on vonage, it seems to me that they're trying pretty hard to be good to the customers, something the "big PSTN phone companies" have long forgotten how to do.

Why should the government control everything? (1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | about 11 years ago | (#7014509)

Anyone else sick of people taxing technology?

I thought the idea was to improve things using technology, not tax the improvements so much that they're not improvements anymore.

Who agrees? I'll enjoy analyzing your responses.

Re:Why should the government control everything? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 11 years ago | (#7014605)

I thought the idea was to improve things using technology

and lifeline service/universal access, rural telephone services and library connectivity to the 'net couldn't possibly be ways to "improve things using technology?"

not tax the improvements so much that they're not improvements anymore

$1.50/mo scarcely seems so crushing a burden

Re:Why should the government control everything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014610)

Anyone else sick of people taxing technology?
[...]
Assistant Features Editor, Wall Street Journal Technology Page


If you want us to do your job for you, give us your paycheck too.

Re:Why should the government control everything? (2, Insightful)

headbulb (534102) | about 11 years ago | (#7014631)

well one thought comes to mind.
Some technology does need to be tazed.

Lets say that your in a city where it is cheap to put in a line. That line gets taxed. That money then goes towards subsidizing more expensive long haul lines or for people out on the farms.. So you can now call some far away family/friend over the line that was subsidized. kinda how roads are built using tax's on gas. The money I imagine would also go towards managing the phone companies.. Since vonage does connect to the ptsn this is a fair tax. It connects to the public phone network. So its all game. So voip isn't the thing gettting taxed its the services that is beign provided. (if it wasn't connected to the ptsn then it wouldn't be the same service)

just a bunch of thoughts

Amsterdam Vallon whores again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014851)

Anyone else sick of people taxing technology?
I thought the idea was to improve things using technology, not tax the improvements so much that they're not improvements anymore.
Who agrees? I'll enjoy analyzing your responses.

For a hand book on karma whore spotting, check out the comments on his user page here [slashdot.org] . Moderators seem to have finally spotted his "Top 5 reasons" postings and stopped modding them up (they were pretty lame anyway).

I guess the new style is "say something obvious, ask for opinions". This one is even completely generic. It seems to be working so far.

Go home, ekroll.

loosing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014513)

'losing' ;)

Re:loosing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014801)

shut up, looser

who's paying? (1)

civilengineer (669209) | about 11 years ago | (#7014521)

State and Federal agencies collect these fees from communications providers to fund public projects such as rural and library communications programs Since customers are paying for it, the charge is on the customers, not the communications provider. Is the charge fixed per provider or based on number of customers they have? Coz if its a fixed a fee, then the provider having more cutomers will make money off this surcharge.

First they lowered their prices.... (4, Informative)

backlonthethird (470424) | about 11 years ago | (#7014524)

the unlimited Long Distance plan dropped today from $40 / month to $35 / month, the local plan dropped a buck from $26 to $25. Now I know why

I haven't gotten any emails yet, but I'm not surprised. I'm still waiting for them to get their act together in terms of getting my existing phone number transferred (The fax I sent them magically appeared when I threatened to end my patronage).

They seem to be so severely understaffed it makes my head spin. I have twice now sat on hold for over a half hour - at which point I am allowed to leave a message instead of speak to a real human being.

They clearly know their limitations, though, when I called to complain about how long it was taking to get my service up and running, they credited me a month before I could even launch into my bitch. All I could say was "habidah, whosiwhah, zibit.. I'm buying you a pizza!"

Finally, if their site stands up to the slashdot effect I'll be shocked to the core, as it's slow to begin with. I wonder if their VOIP has to make heavy use of their servers or if its more direct. If Slashdot can interrupt my phone service, I'll be ticked!

Re:First they lowered their prices.... (1)

signe (64498) | about 11 years ago | (#7014611)

Yeah, I got an email earlier today about that. I don't mind the fee so much since they're dropping their rates.

By the way, I too had problems getting my service switched over. Specifically, it was problems with their upstream (and Verizon) getting the transfer done. They ended up crediting me with 2 months of free service on both of my accounts while this was going on. I didn't have to fight with them, I just had to ask.

Yeah, their support can be a little slow. But for the most part it's not bad. They're pushing a new business into the mainstream, effectively. So I'm cutting them a little slack. Their fax line service, however, leaves a lot to be desired. We have nothing but problems with it, at this point.

-Todd

Re:First they lowered their prices.... (1)

backlonthethird (470424) | about 11 years ago | (#7014635)

I am also willing to put up with a little more since I get the added pleasure of not sending money to Qwest, and I do find that once I get a hold of somebody it has been great.

I am using it for residential, so I won't need the fax. Incidentally, the whole "Fax on top of Voice on top of IP" seems a little odd to me, wouldn't you be better served using a more direct method (i.e.a web gateway or fax application on your computer)?

Re:First they lowered their prices.... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 11 years ago | (#7014625)

This all may be true, but I signed up for service on Friday, and they sent out my Cisco ATA-186 box and start up kit the same day, I had my UPS tracking number by Friday night, and it was in New York City by Saturday morning (and will be at my apartment Monday morning, presumably). If that's not fast service, I don't know what is.


Granted, I've heard at least one tale of modest set up woes (a broken proxy server on their end made the call forwarding very unreliable until my friend finally got somebody at Vonage to track the problem down). Once they located the problem though, they did get it fixed right away.


So the moral is their service is generally good, they are customer focused, but probably just understaffed because the demand has outpaced their ability to meet it. Though they seem to have had enough money to market the hell out of it, so I don't know how they couldn't afford to staff up accordingly.

Re:First they lowered their prices.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014661)

Could it be that Vonage is a NJ based company and your only a state away, and that's why your getting it so quickly? Mod me Insiteful cause if you don't see any insite well then I don't know what insite is.

Re:First they lowered their prices.... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 11 years ago | (#7014696)

Yes, genius, that's how UPS got it here so fast, but it doesn't explain the same day shipping, account activation email, issuance of a phone number, and so forth. I've never had any Real Utility Company (PSTN or otherwise) do anything for me that fast.


Based on my experience so far, and the feedback I've heard from friends, Vonage seems to be paying attention to customer service. And this new regulatory fee is more than offset by the decrease in their service fee.

As Einstein once said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014525)

"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

Gotta love that "free market" (2, Insightful)

Ricin (236107) | about 11 years ago | (#7014529)

Well no matter what the money tends to go into the same pockets anyway. Would that be a force of nature or something? :)

Re:Gotta love that "free market" (1)

No Such Agency (136681) | about 11 years ago | (#7014834)

"Human Greed" certainly qualifies as a "force of nature". Like a hurricane, asteroid strike or massive forest fire, it results in species extinctions, rapid irreversible small-scale habitat changes and semi-permanent global climate changes... Things that make ya go hmm...

Free Internet for Niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014534)

In case you don't know what this "fee" is for, it is so that normal people can fund Internet for Niggers.

The liberals want to redistribute money earned by responsible Americans, to shiftless low life lazy niggers who are too lazy to get a job and pay for their own Internet connection.

The liberals want to take YOUR hard earned money and give it to lazy Negroes so they can watch free pr0n and breed another generation of welfare parasites.

No FCC Oversight Of Telephone FUSF Charges (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014536)

Unfortunately, the FCC permits telephone companies to charge absolutely anything they want to under the Federal Universal Service Fund category. In the U.S. your telephone company can (and does) charge you more than they have to pay into the FUSF, and they pocket the difference. If you complain to the FCC about being overcharged, the FCC will tell you that they only set "recommended" collection amounts, but that companies are free to charge what they wish, and that if you feel you are being overcharged, you can switch your local telephone company to a local competitor. Of course, you may only have one local provider.

Vonage, like most other companies, has simply realized that they can charge anything they want to and pocket the difference, and that the FCC will let them do it.

Re:No FCC Oversight Of Telephone FUSF Charges (1)

gellenburg (61212) | about 11 years ago | (#7014571)

The FCC may not be able to do anything about it, but I guaran-damn-tee you that if enough of you (us) bitch, moan, and complain to our State's PSC then the companies *will* listen.

The FCC regulates the industry as a whole, but it's the PSC which can put a communications' company balls in the vise and squeeze really, really, tight.

Re:No FCC Oversight Of Telephone FUSF Charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014848)

complain to our State's PSC then the companies *will* listen.

you're definitely not from oregon :)

the oregon PUC kept threatening to do things, then back down. sort of like a spoiled child and a neurotic parent:

"If you don't stop hitting your friends, I'm going to ground you!"

"Oooooooh! You're just too cute to ground! Just be nicer next time.

over and over.

Re:No FCC Oversight Of Telephone FUSF Charges (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 11 years ago | (#7014962)

What amazes me is that the major problem with this is that the FCC specifically decided to allow telcos to make up these fees, and then not include them in advertised prices. This is why for the longest time, for example, AT&;ampT's rates were simply incomparable to Sprint and MCI's - the latter used an entirely different method of charging (some percentage on top of per-minute charges) to the former (a fixed monthly fee.)

I don't mind fees being broken down on telephone bills. It gets dubious when extra fees are ignored in advertising. And it gets downright dishonest when those "fees" are completely at the discretion of the seller. I know it's the "big bad gubmint" that makes 'em pay the fees, but it's just another expense. It'd be less dishonest to quote their employee's income tax on phone bills too as an "additional fee" above the advertised rate. At least there's some consistancy to that. And at least that money goes to the government. (The USF doesn't, it goes right back into the phone industry.)

Tax the damn line (1)

zakezuke (229119) | about 11 years ago | (#7014574)

I'm sure i've said it before. Just tax the damn line, not the virtual connection.

To be fair, let's include cable, dsl, satalight, and other forms of two way communication systems which can be used for 2-way communications . While that would suck, it would save a hell of alot of bother with VoIP services which are out either out of state, or perhaps out of country.

Just taxing the endpoints of the physical line would solve juristion issues, and unfortunatly is the only means of taxing fairly.

After all, these taxes help support state and federal services such as libraries, who presently don't actually use VoIP service specificly, but DO use POTS lines and various forms of internet connections.

Re:Tax the damn line (1)

jjeffries (17675) | about 11 years ago | (#7014698)

It could never be so simple. Cable companies are unregulated and not considered telecommunications carriers, so they don't generally have to deal with the univesal service fee--unless they are also selling phone service, in which case they get to collect it.

DSL customers pay the fee in one way or another, as them copper pairs coming to your house _are_ considered telecom stuffs, even if like me, you don't have a voice line.

If your cablemodem is out all the time you don't have anyone to complain to other than the cable co., but if your DSL is messed up, you can probably complain to your local public service commission who generally has the authority to rip your carrier a new... anyway...

The fee is supposed to be used for wiring up folks that live out beyond where it's profitable to run copper. Of course, it's a mismanaged mess and doesn't make any sense, but what did you expect?

Re:Tax the damn line (1)

zakezuke (229119) | about 11 years ago | (#7014913)

It could never be so simple. Cable companies are unregulated and not considered telecommunications carriers, so they don't generally have to deal with the univesal service fee--unless they are also selling phone service, in which case they get to collect it.

Well... it could be simple if you made it simple.
In reality, internet access if a form of two way communcation that is important to life as telephone access for many people. I rather thought the FCC was considering tacking on the USF to cable based internet services [http://www.cedmagazine.com/cedailydirect/0202/ced aily020219.htm]

Earthlink is another company who's required to pay the USF. I got hit by that before I disconnected their service
http://support.earthlink.net/mu/1/psc/img /walkthro ughs/other/taxbilling/8235.psc.html
I am unsure about their cable services though.

The only problem I see with taxing the line rather then service provider is that would leave no option for the USF double dipping that is presently going on.

Re:Tax the damn line (1)

aldoman (670791) | about 11 years ago | (#7014871)

'satalight'

Do you sit on it and it lights up?

This sounds very familiar (1)

OriginalGlug (704938) | about 11 years ago | (#7014918)

I'm sure i've said it before. Just tax the damn line, not the virtual connection. To be fair, let's include cable, dsl, satalight, and other forms of two way communication systems which can be used for 2-way communications . While that would suck, it would save a hell of alot of bother with VoIP services which are out either out of state, or perhaps out of country. A tax on communication media, that sounds familiar. That's right, it was called the Stamp Act.

I can see what's going to happen (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 11 years ago | (#7014590)

- Vonage gets sued to oblivion by phone companies

- People start using P2P VoIP phone applications en masse

- Phone companies start sending out subpoenas to ISPs to discover the real name/addresses of these evil phone call thieves.

- Phone companies sue 12 year old girl who was calling his grandfather and ask $15000 per stolen phone call

- Phone companies say VoIP technology is full of kiddie porn ...

Deja vu anybody ?

Re:I can see what's going to happen (1)

Timesprout (579035) | about 11 years ago | (#7014685)

Phone companies sue 12 year old girl who was calling his grandfather

I'm glad you can see it cos I'm confused now. Is this a case of phone company induced transgenderism or was the girl calling the Phone Company's grandfather illicitly?

Let me get this right.... (1)

aelfwyne (262209) | about 11 years ago | (#7014599)

It's a fee charged for collecting a fee.... Absolutely perfect. Why didn't anybody think of it before?

ATTWS Regulatory Programs Fee (2, Informative)

MadocGwyn (620886) | about 11 years ago | (#7014617)

A lot of companys are doing this nowadays, at&t wireless is now chargeing a 1.50 "regulatory programs fee" to help cover the cost of complying with a lot of new FCC rulings/regulations (one of the largest of these being Line number Portability (LNP)) The nice thing about making it a seperate charge like that is its easy to see on a bill so its easy to pass off PR wise, "Oh its the fcc's fault" And, at least in the case of attws, it has been promised that when the costs have been recouped the fee will be removed, it might seem a bit underhanded, but at least in the wireless industry competition has it to the point that profit margins are so slim, huge projects like that hurt. I wonder if any other companys are doing this?

Well... (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | about 11 years ago | (#7014620)

Time for encrypted P2P VoIP.

Somehow, I don't think this is a job for Freenet....

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014644)

Good luck calling your mom with it.

Re:Well... (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | about 11 years ago | (#7014692)

My mom is long dead, but I can probably teach my daughter to use it.

I'll forget teaching my son to use it. His attitude would be along the lines of "unless you synthesized your voice using xyz envelope generator I doubt you really had anything worthwhile to say anyway."

Unfortunately, we'll probably have a land-line phone in the house until my wife dies of old age.

could this post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014638)

make any less sense? god forbid we talk about the friggin subject before getting detailed about it

Vonage _IS_ a phone company and should pay (4, Insightful)

linuxtelephony (141049) | about 11 years ago | (#7014671)

I know it is an unpopular view to maintain, but VonAge IS a phone company, they market themselves as a phone company, they provide the same services as a phone company, so they should pay the same fees and treated like other phone companies.

Just because they are use a different pipe into the home than a traditional telco should not exclude them from complying with the same rules and regulations a telco has to abide by.

If you don't like the rules VonAge has to live with, then attack the regulations themselves that apply to all phone companies.

VonAge is decidedly different than "voice" features in IM programs, or even outbound only low priced LD services. VonAge provides full featured, two way phone service. You get a phone number, people can call you if they are not on the Internet, and you can call people not on the Internet.

They've gotten a free ride long enough.

Other services are quite different. IM programs communicate between computers, or in some cases the computer user contacts a phone # somewhere. Other servicse provide out-bound only network to phone features. And so on. Each of these provides _some_ functionality of phone service, but not the full package. Thus, they should not get hit with telco regs or fees.

It could be argued that out-bound network to phone long distance services could be considered a long distance carrier and should comply with those regulations -- but that would all depend on the details of the service provided. A blanket generalized statement would cause more harm than good.

One thing further, if these services are considered telcos, then they should also be given common carrier status. If not, then they should not be considered a common carrier. If they are not a common carrier, then it opens them up to all kinds of legal nightmares, responsibility for content/control, possible liability, and more. You'd think they'd want to be a common carrier. They should not be allowed to claim "common carrier" and be excluded from phone company regulations.

Re:Vonage _IS_ a phone company and should pay (1)

burnsy (563104) | about 11 years ago | (#7014727)

"They've gotten a free ride long enough."

Let's try and get it right. They is you and me. These costs are passed on to the consumer (collectively us). Vonage does not pay these fess.

Even at $26.50 per month, my Vonage line beats the pants out of my old POTS line. The RBOCs need to stop trying to protecting their low margin POTS business and get in the broadband (via fiber) business. Get me fiber to my curb, they you can sell me phone, video, bb, etc...

Re:Vonage _IS_ a phone company and should pay (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 11 years ago | (#7014735)

Well, the real question is whether or not "common carriers" should be taxed as heavily as they already are. If Vonage is functioning as a common carrier they should be under the same regulations (and receive the same exemptions and protections!) as regular POTS companies do. But I am personally tired of the Feds (who already tax ALL of us) continually tacking on extra fees to my phone bill(s). Matter of fact it is really starting to piss me off.

Re:Vonage _IS_ a phone company and should pay (1)

why-lurk (252433) | about 11 years ago | (#7014756)

What gets lost in these arugments of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" is that the current system of tariffs is not sustainable. Only a several billion dollar-a-year company can afford to comply with a the system of taxation that varies completely from one zip code to the next.

The tariffs were all designed for companies whose service is tied to a physical location, as are legacy telephony services. They flat-out don't work for a small provider that uses VoIP and whose customers could be located just about anywhere. The most inexpensive decent CDR-processing systems for performing called-number rating cost millions. That kind of barrier to entry will guarantee that we never see improvements in our local or long distance phone service.

The only reason to perpetuate the current system of local and state-defined tariffs is to guarantee that every level of government can get a piece of your phone bill.

The reason governments (federal and local) want to tax VoIP like the PSTN is that they want to continue to milk their tax revenues, which they see slipping away as determining the point of service delivery becomes more abstract.

--kirby

Offtopic: quality of service (1)

xlv (125699) | about 11 years ago | (#7014695)

Could some of you using their service describe your experience? Is there any lag, specillay on international phone calls?

Re:Offtopic: quality of service (1)

bokelley (563370) | about 11 years ago | (#7014717)

I've only had Vonage for a few days, but I haven't experienced any lag. Today I talked on the phone while listening to streaming radio at 21K/s and it was totally fine. I actually have a cordless phone plugged into the Vonage box, so I can wander the house - much better than having a headset and being tied to my desk.

Re:Offtopic: quality of service (1)

gmcclel (43020) | about 11 years ago | (#7014790)

Could some of you using their service describe your experience? Is there any lag, specillay on international phone calls?

I've been using Vonage for about 8 months now. I have 3 voice lines and a fax line. Their service has, for the most part, been excellent. I did have a problem with forwarded calls for a day or so which took several phone calls to resolve.

Call quality has been excellent with no lag in the US and to Canada. My step-daughter has used the line to call her fiance in Japan with mixed success. Many times the calls simply did not go through.

Re:Offtopic: quality of service (1)

cua (692193) | about 11 years ago | (#7014822)

I'm currently in Michigan, and my office is in New Hampshire. I have a Vonage number here in Michigan with a 603 number so that clients can make a local call. I also have their optional 800 number and a local Michigan area code number that forwards to the same line.

The voice quality is great. It actually seems better then my Verizon phone. I have a very cheap cordless phone attached, and I'm usually pretty far from the base, so I get some crackles and pops, but not when I am close to the base. I have called clients in Canada several times, and I haven't noticed any lag, but I haven't really made any truly international calls.

The web interface is nice. They provide a log updated instantly of all incoming and outgoing calls. I can forward my calls, check my voice mail (which they will also email to you), check my billing, and a host of other features. They also have a bandwidth setting. I have it set to full and haven't noticed any lag when using the internet while on a call.

They do seem to be overloaded customer service wise, but they are trying their best, and when you do get through they are helpful and prompt.

This really is a great service.

Who needs expensive VoIP when there's... (1)

groman (535485) | about 11 years ago | (#7014699)

Who needs expensive VoIP when there is http://www.bigredwire.com [bigredwire.com] . Sure, they don't have an unlimited plan, but at 4 cents a minute, you would have to talk for 900 minutes a month to break Vonage's $35 a month for unlimited plan.

Re:Who needs expensive VoIP when there's... (1)

Tsali (594389) | about 11 years ago | (#7014708)

But all the talking hexes sound so... boring.

I want an exciting phone service... or voip service... or...

Re:Who needs expensive VoIP when there's... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 11 years ago | (#7014752)

In that case Vonage is still the better deal. You don't know my girlfriend. My phone bill wasn't too bad until she discovered the headset ... now she can talk forever without having her ear fall off. Her AT&T cell phone has unlimited nights & weekends, which helps, but now I keep hearing about how her cell phone doesn't have a big enough battery {sigh}.

What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014723)

They need to charge high taxes to pay for the social programs like welfare, to support Israel, and to confiscate your guns. You understand this I'm sure. It's for your own good. If you disagree with the taxes then you're a kook like Alex Jones [infowars.com] or Michael Ruppert [fromthewilderness.com] who spew so much filth that they should be put in prison for it.

The government is here to help you folks. Time to grow up and realize this.

Price Increase, Honesty Decrease (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 11 years ago | (#7014766)


Vonage is increasing the price, and trying to make people think they aren't.

Answer: Try BigZoo [bigzoo.com] . 2.9 cents per minute in the United States. 2.8 cents per minute to France from the United States. 75 cents per month. That's all. I've used BigZoo for two years with no problems.

No disad-Vonages.

But, there is a question: Why is it cheaper to call France from the U.S. than someone in the United States? Is this to annoy George Bush? The U.S. is a nation with a lot of weird prices.

Re:Price Increase, Honesty Decrease (1)

Hobophile (602318) | about 11 years ago | (#7014839)

No, they're not increasing the price.

What this story neglects to mention is that Vonage also lowered the cost of both levels of their residential service:

Our Premium Unlimited Plan, which was $39.99, is now reduced to a monthly rate of $34.99. Our Unlimited Local Plan is reduced from $25.99 to $24.99. Your new lower rates will appear on your next bill automatically. There is nothing required on your part to take advantage of this cost reduction.

Obviously the added tax sucks -- though I imagine the people here complaining most about it don't actually use Vonage -- but I think it's difficult to make an intelligent case that Vonage is trying to maximize profits.

Recovery Fee (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 11 years ago | (#7014779)

Actually, it isn't a bad thing that phone companies break out their charges: at least we know that the Feds are grabbing yet another chunk of our monthly bills. And calling it a "regulatory recovery fee" is priceless ... it points the finger squarely to where it belongs, rather than having extra taxation masked by "higher rates."

Re:Recovery Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7014942)

Don't worry, you are still being lied to.

The majority of these fees are not paid to the government, the phone company keeps them, or passes them to whoever maintains the local or long distance lines. It never hits the government.

What usually happens is something like this: Phone Company offers service for X dollars / month. Phone company CEO decides paying self $80 million / yr isn't enough to keep up with Whitacres, and he needs $110 million a year. The company asks the FCC, "Can we split out our costs of grass cutting the corporate campus on our bill ?" The FCC says, "you may negotiate that with your customers" (standard answer). The company tacks on a 27 cent "FCC approved herbacious flora control fee" to the bill and all is taken care of.

Of course, you got ripped off. The government didn't raise taxes; the phone company just covered more of it's costs, breaking the price agreement they had advertised to you.

Charge is per phone number (1)

iabervon (1971) | about 11 years ago | (#7014835)

It makes sense that there would be a charge for each phone number, as phone numbers are a limited resource shared with the traditional phone network. It is for pure VoIP applications, where the participants use some mechanism other than the phone system's numbering to find each other, that regulation doesn't make sense.

Vonage doesn't seem to offer the service currently, but it should be possible to avoid this charge if you were willing to not have a phone number, and only take calls directed by your email address (not using email, but using the address as an identifier). For such customers, Vonage wouldn't have to deal with the FSUSF at all. But it makes sense that the telephone-to-VoIP connection should cost something for the telephone side, since that's not generic IP traffic.

Great! they can pay my fees. (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 11 years ago | (#7014860)

I have to start charging a $1.50 check writing fee to offset my costs for paying my bill.

I am getting really sick of these copanies doing scumbag things like this... their fees that THEY are charged are a part of doing business. Just like the bullcrap "destination fees" when you buy a car. Dont pay them, if the dealer is going to let a $20,000.00 deal fall through over some stupid $150.00 fee they will shut up. just like if you get people to bitch about this lame $1.50 fee they will also stop.
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