Entry 136: Lost Verizon

Well, the big news this week is how Verizon is going to charge differently for wireless service. This is exciting news for me, because I certainly don’t know how they’re charging for wireless service now.

My cell phone bill is six pages. I’m of the considered opinion that no utility bill should be longer than the monthly statement I get from my financial advisor.

One of the reasons my bill is so long is that I don’t only pay for calling, and texting, and data. I also have to pay–on each of two lines–a Federal Universal Service Charge, a Regulatory Charge, an Administrative Charge, and a Gross Receipts Surcharge, not to mention a NY Public Safety Commission Surcharge, a Westchester County 911 Surcharge, NY State Sales Tax, Westchester County Sales Tax, and NY Local McTd Sales Tax, which sounds like it’s paying for some new burger at McDonalds. (continued under the bill)

You may wonder why I’m still paying all those New York and Westchester surcharges and taxes when I’ve lived in Connecticut for over a year. It’s a life-saving device. If I forced my wife to give up her 914 phone number, she’d kill me. Besides, they’d probably be replaced by equivalent Connecticut taxes anyway.

But what about all those other charges? Well, let’s allow Verizon to explain them:

In addition to any Verizon Wireless surcharges assessed based on the address for your primary place of use, your bill will include Verizon Wireless’ Administrative, Regulatory and Federal Universal Service Charge surcharges. Verizon Wireless surcharges are not taxes; they are set by Verizon Wireless. Depending on your primary place of use, your taxes and surcharges may add 5% – 40% to your bill.

Ah, that clears it up. The gist is, as I understand it (and I don’t, really) that Verizon makes up all this stuff.

Why am I paying a Universal Service Charge when I only use my phone on Earth? And what’s an administrative charge? “Administrative” means paperwork, right? In other words, they’re charging me extra so they can bill me. And a “Gross Receipts Surcharge?” What’s that? If I’m reading English correctly, it translates to “If we make too much money we have to charge you more.”

In any case, from what I’ve read, under the new plans, some people will pay more and some people will pay less. Knowing Verizon, I’m thinking the breakdown is about 90% paying more and 10% paying less. Knowing me, I’m pretty sure which segment I’ll fall into.

I’m also pretty sure the new plan will include all the old surcharges and taxes. Nevertheless, Verizon says the new plans will be much easier to understand.

If they can just keep the friggin’ bills to two pages, I’ll be happy.

See you soon.

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One Response to Entry 136: Lost Verizon

  1. Vinny Bond says:

    See, I decided long ago not to look at the bill that closely. I just pay it as long as it is within $5 of what it normally is

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