Imagine getting a copy of your phone bill and discovering two line items with official sounding names. Imagine further that after doing some research about those line items, you discovered that they were not really official at all, but, they were a sneaky way for your telephone provider to make some more money at your expense? That might be enough to ruin your appetite, wouldn’t it?
Well, what if we showed you an actual invoice where not only were those two line items present, but the telephone provider included them when determining the local taxes due on the service?
We’ve masked any details that would allow you the guilty party to be identified.
Let’s take a closer look at those line items
Regulatory Administrative Fee (RAF)
“The Regulatory Administrative Fee (RAF) is a monthly charge per line assessed to the end user for costs associated with regulatory proceedings and filings, compliance with regulatory orders and mandates, and administration of federally mandated taxes and surcharges.”
In other words, you, the consumer, are helping to pay the cost of their doing business.
Carrier Cost Recovery Fee
Despite the official-sounding description, this is not a tax or required by the government. The money goes to your phone company. “These are additional charges which are essentially a way to hide rate increases,” said Christopher White, chairman of the telecommunication committee with the National Assn. of State Utility Consumer Advocates.
The NYC 8.875% tax of 12.01 is calculated on the sum of all of the service charges and fees. This is where the double whammy happens. Bad enough that the provider adds on bogus charges to your bill, but they then go ahead and collect NYC tax on that amount. It is not clear that there is justification to charge tax on mandatory profit line items.
While we’re on the subject of double whammies.. A quick check of the web will reveal that a monthly fee for unlimited domestic VoIP telephone service of $45.99 is more than 200% of the ‘going rate’. The small 7.99 discount doesn’t do much to level the playing field.
So, what lesson do you learn from this incursion into the dark side of telecom billing?
At a minimum, you have become an educated consumer. Use your power to push back on any charges, taxes, and fees that you cannot identify.
CompuVoIP offers a free, no strings attached, audit of your telephone bill. We can show you samples of our bills. You won’t find any bogus charges and fees there. And our monthly service fees are competitive and attractive.
Had enough? Give us a call at (718) 887-0300 or visit us on the web at www.compuvoip.com.