How does Verizon overcharge its customers? Let us count the ways.
If you think the speed of your internet depends on the rate you pay your internet provider, you’re wrong. Verizon and AT&T, the two largest home internet providers, have eliminated their low and mid-tier offerings for internet service except at their slowest level. This means that customers who have the slowest service pay the same as customers with the fastest internet service. According to a new white paper by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), companies like Verizon “now charge essentially identical monthly prices – $63-$65 a month after first- year discounts have ended – for home wireline broadband connections at almost any speed up to 100/100 Mbps fiber service.” This is especially bad news for lower speed customers who are carrying the greatest financial burden.
On top of mandated fees like the 911 fee, Verizon adds a few additional ones you may not be aware of:
Universal Service Fund Fee: Although this is a fee that the federal government requires carriers to pay, they are not obligated to pass along the cost to their customers. Verizon, unfortunately, does ask consumers to pay it.
Regulatory Charge: To cover the added cost of complying with government regulations, companies like Verizon make customers pay a “regulatory charge” to help cover some of the financial burden. This is not a mandated charge but companies like Verizon still put the burden on customers to pay it. Essentially, customers are helping to mitigate the cost for Verizon to operate within the law.
Administrative Charge: This fee lets customers chip in on maintenance and interconnection costs. What customer doesn’t want to help their favorite corporate giant defray additional expenses they might incur?
You may think you have good reading comprehension skills, but one look at the variety of confusing plans offered by Verizon will make you doubt whether you even know what words mean anymore. For example, what’s the difference between go unlimited, beyond unlimited, and above unlimited? You may get unlimited data but the speed of that data is very different depending on what tier you choose. If you pick go unlimited, the cheapest of the new plans, your data may be deliberately slowed down by Verizon in favor of customers who pay for a more expensive plan. Hotspot speeds for go unlimited are also restricted. And if you want to stream 1080p video on your phone? That will be an extra $10 per month. Unsuspecting customers who think go unlimited gives them everything they need will quickly realize that they’re not getting premium service, even if it sounds like it.
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