I "spoke" with two online reps today.
One claimed that I needed to contact the FCC to find out about this fee, and then disconnected.
The other told me that I had two options: pay the penalty for disconnecting my phoneline 12 months early or pay the $1.21 fee. The only thing I could find in the contract about fees says that we are responsible for paying all fees.
"Taxes and Other Charges. Verizon also may charge you for any applicable taxes, fees,
surcharges, account set-up fees or other charges made using the Service, unless you can
show with documentation satisfactory to us that you are exempt from these charges. We
will not provide advance notice of changes to taxes, surcharges and fees, except as
required by applicable law."
So, apparently they can charge *whatever they want* in the way of fees and we have no recourse.
Complaint submitted to the FCC:
Verizon added a 0.99 monthly fee (called FDV) for digital voice services. The fee increases the cost of digital voice services, and was obviously used to circumvent contractual agreements. It increases the cost of voice services, even though on a technicality it is not a direct increase in the cost of what Verizon categorizes as its "bundle." If the FCC allows Verizon to implement this fee, it is allowing Verizon to increase the overall cost of voice services for its customers at will and without limit. The FCC would also be allowing Verizon to violate two-year agreements for the cost of services that were signed in good faith that the cost for said services would not increase.
Consider filing additional complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, the State Attorney General, and the Board of Public Utilities. It is very easy to do. If Verizon can increase the cost for its services outside of the "bundle", then those two-year-agreements are fraudulent and marketed fraudulently. It's $.99 now and digital voice, but if it is permitted then it opens a door that consumers really do not want opened.
If there are 1 Million digital voice subscribers, and that number may be high because it is a couple years old, then the $1 fee nets them $12M per year.
Lowell McAdam, CEO, makes over $16M per year. He could achieve the same result by cutting his salary to something normal, instead of being rewarded for finding creative ways to violate service agreements in the name of greed. It is amazing to me that Verizon and Comcast seem to be in a war to the bottom in terms of customer service, and finding creative ways to fleece their customer base. It is amazing to me because if either company ever decided to be ethical and provide good customer service, they would own the market.
When AT&T was a monopoly they funded Bell Laboratories. The only innovation coming out of Verizon and Comcast are new fees that find their way into the pockets of the executives.
Cancel your digital voice service first opportunity. Their service is VOIP, and there are many other excellent options for VOIP that will let you keep your landline and your number if you want.
I called and complained along the same lines, i.e. that it violates my contract price. The agent kindly gave me credit for this month and noted my account for future months. I suspect I will have to call again in July.
Like me, I will be sending my note of gratitude for the additional fee over and above the contracted rate. For those customers that need Texas information for contacting about the joy everyone seems to be having with new fees, here is where to write your kudos:
Public Utility Commission of Texas
PO Box 13326
Austin, TX 78711
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-3326
In charge of Consumer Protection - email@example.com
Federal Trade Commission:
Absolutely, Verizon is using this bogus charge to circumvent their 2 year contracts with customers who fell for their "guaranteed" 2 year price agreements. I pay $97.49 per month for mine ( just one year to go and I'm dumping this dishonest company) while they've since offered deals as recently as last week as low as $79.99/month for the same triple play bundle, with the exact same services I have now. I called to complain and the rep said the new charge was for added accounting costs for administering my phone service. I then stated that it seems ridiculous that they can offer the same bundle to new customers for $18.00 less than I pay now and cry that they need to add this new charge to cover costs .When I asked about the price guarantee she said well if I looked at my invoice, they still bill me the same amount for the bundle! This added charge is under a different heading! I'm billed $1.98, $.99 for the phone in the bundle and $.99 for a separate line.
Notice of Price Decrease
Effective May 17, 2014, JP8899 will apply a Poor Customer Service
Credit of -$29.99 per FiOS Digital Voice line. This monthly credit
helps cover the cost of billable hours wasted dealing with Verizon-created
service problems and Verizon-created billing issues. It also helps defray
costs associated with Verizon violating two-year service agreements.
My complaint to the PA PUC must have been rushed through. My home phone was ringing within 48 hours. It was a woman claiming to be from "the president's office at Verizon." She was adamant: the fee will stick and they will not waive the early-termination fee if I decide to drop my 2-year agreement. She insisted this was the corporate respone to any of the 10 million Fios customers who may complain. She insisted that there was no one higher up who would discuss this with me, that she was authorized to negotiate with customers but would not do so in this case. I guess she's "Mrs. Verizon."
So, I will not withdraw my complaint with the PA PUC, nor with the FCC. I refuse to pay the administrative fee while it's in dispute.