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Cellphones Communications Government

FCC Inquires About Controversial Verizon Fees 178

olsmeister writes "As previously noted here on Slashdot, Verizon Wireless has been increasing their early termination fees and actively charging non-data customers who accidentally press the wrong button and go online. The FCC has now sent them a letter asking why. The PDF of the letter can be viewed online. Maybe someone at the FCC does read Slashdot."
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FCC Inquires About Controversial Verizon Fees

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  • Just a letter? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05, 2009 @09:28AM (#30334456)

    Letters aren't going to do a damn thing to stop the abuses of the communication corporations.

  • All US carriers suck (Score:4, Informative)

    by hellfire ( 86129 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `vdalived'> on Saturday December 05, 2009 @09:54AM (#30334558) Homepage

    What's funny right now is that I constantly hear from reviews, friends, and fellow iPhone users how much they think AT&T sucks and want to move to Verizon. Personally I think this is all BS, and would love some more european and canadian cell phone companies to invade the US and finally give us some real competition in this country, or at least have the FCC standup and hold our carriers more accountable and stop the mergers.

    ALL the US carriers suck in general! People may think Verizon's coverage is the best, compared to AT&T, but notice how they are competing on coverage, and not dropped calls, network speed, features (you can't check email at the same time you are on a call with Verizon... anywhere, with any phone), etc. Also notice how all the services cost around $80 or so for the minimum smartphone contract. Notice how they all have sneaky overblown hidden fees. Notice how the per txt fee and monthly charge for Txtx keeps going up and up and up. Notice how their customer service is slightly below or slightly above average. Notice how they all lock you into specific phones. Notice how they all lock you into two year contracts unless you are willing to buy one of their cheapo phones for a pay as you go contract. Notice how all the cheapo phones break if you sneeze the wrong way.

    Verizon is one level of shit, and AT&T is another level of shit. And we americans are forced to deal with these levels of shit, and we go around saying one is so much greater than the other.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05, 2009 @10:29AM (#30334702)

    you want canadian cell companies to compete in the u.s.? have you looked at canadian cell plans? you think you're getting a fuzzy lollipop? check this out:

    100 local minutes plus 50 bonus local minutes Local Fab Five: Unlimited calling & text Unlimited night & weekend (9 p.m. - 7 a.m.) local calling
    Minimum monthly fee

    and there are no unlimited talk plans and a 3 year contract besides.

    and if you want a smart phone it is 50$ for 1 gb of data. and there is no unlimited data.

    now what were you complaining about again?

  • Re:How pleasant (Score:4, Informative)

    by asdf7890 ( 1518587 ) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @10:44AM (#30334812)

    Actually, SMS isn't quite that simple. They are (at least on GSM - I don't know for sure about other network types like modern 3G arrangements) sent out-of-band on a low traffic control channel. That is where the "140 7 bit characters" limit comes from", to fit into the maximum packet size used on that channel. You can effectively DoS a cell wrt SMS capability by sending as little as 40 messages per second.

    Having said that, many price plans and offers over here offer so many text messages in the package that they are effectively free (even sometimes on PAYG). I'm sure they claw back the missing income by other means though.

  • by rxan ( 1424721 ) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @10:57AM (#30334906)
    Yes, the ETF should change depending on what device. But that isn`t the only problem. The FCC found that even when staying in contract for 23 of 24 months the ETF was only lowered to $120, when it should be much lower after that duration.
  • Re:Block Data? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05, 2009 @11:03AM (#30334958)

    YES, Verizon will (upon request) put blocks to mobile web, purchases of ringtones, programs (and the like), as well as streaming music or video.

    Signed, a current Verizon customer with teenagers.

  • Re:Block Data? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ironwill96 ( 736883 ) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @11:18AM (#30335092) Homepage Journal

    Except according to the FCC Letter and the NY Times article, even after blocking this particular mobile web data access, you still have to PAY for the blocked notification to come up since it uses data to show you that! Slick business practices Verizon has going on here.

  • by BriggsBU ( 1138021 ) on Saturday December 05, 2009 @12:26PM (#30335576)
    You got ripped. I once worked for VZW and the standard policy is that if the user of a phone line dies, the account holder can send in a copy of the death certificate or obituary and that line can be disconnected with no early termination fee. Now, your mom's line would still have been required to be open because a contract is a contract and she was still alive. But you should not have been charged for cancelling the line of the deceased.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.