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hookbill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Personally I don't mind paying the .99. I want 911. I think it is necessary. I'm 53 years old, not an old man but not that young anymore. I want to be able to call for help if I need it.

A buck a month is worth it for me. And if it gets E911 all the better.

Your still coming out ahead of the phone company.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

For the record, same here. I don't mind a $1 a month "tax" to have 911 - call it insurance.

I also pay the $1 a month on my cell for LNP, when I have zero interest in EVER porting a phone number (people who need to reach me know my email address which never changes since I own my domain, or they know how to find me on LinkedIn, and can get my latest contact info that way, and those that lack email and web access get a snailmail letter from me each time I change numbers).

We all pay for unfunded mandate features that "everyone" wants. The alternative is to have only those who want the feature pay for it. And in the example of LNP, who's gonna want to pay $60 for a number port (which is what it really costs if you "only" port a number every 5 years). It's easier for everyone to absorb the cost, I guess. And given that 90% of the population will never port a number, the real cost of LNP would probably be closer to $600 per use if it were funded only by the users.

But that's the way it goes. Enough people lobby for public funding of a feature, and everyone pays whether they want the feature or not. If you want the fees to go away, then pester your congresscritter to eliminate the mandate on the feature.

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TechniKal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have no problem paying for 911. I do have a problem with Vonage's tactics.

The 911 surcharge on 'real' telephone bills is a true 'passthrough' fee which is collected by the phone company and delivered to the municipality it serves. It does truly 'pay' for 911 service.

The 'fee' that Vonage is tacking is not a pass through fee. Vonage is not regulated, especially not at the municipality level. It's tacking this fee on and acting like it's a standard 911 charge when it's nothing but additional revenue going into Vonage's coffers.

Is 911 expensive? Sure. Does Vonage have to provide it? Yep. Is that a good thing? IMO, yes - if the Voip company is going to sell itself as a replacement for a landline phone, then it should have to offer 911 service. Trying to recoup those costs under the guise of a 'regulatory charge' is dishonsest, though. It also sets us up for even higher charges when the municipalities find a way to actually require companies like Vonage to help fund the 911 infrastructure. What will happen then? A 'fake' 911 fee, A 'fake' Regulatory recovery fee and A 'real' 911 fee?

For Vonage not to be a phone company, they sure are acting like one.
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hookbill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

TechniKal wrote:
I have no problem paying for 911. I do have a problem with Vonage's tactics.

The 911 surcharge on 'real' telephone bills is a true 'passthrough' fee which is collected by the phone company and delivered to the municipality it serves. It does truly 'pay' for 911 service.

The 'fee' that Vonage is tacking is not a pass through fee. Vonage is not regulated, especially not at the municipality level. It's tacking this fee on and acting like it's a standard 911 charge when it's nothing but additional revenue going into Vonage's coffers.

Is 911 expensive? Sure. Does Vonage have to provide it? Yep. Is that a good thing? IMO, yes - if the Voip company is going to sell itself as a replacement for a landline phone, then it should have to offer 911 service. Trying to recoup those costs under the guise of a 'regulatory charge' is dishonsest, though. It also sets us up for even higher charges when the municipalities find a way to actually require companies like Vonage to help fund the 911 infrastructure. What will happen then? A 'fake' 911 fee, A 'fake' Regulatory recovery fee and A 'real' 911 fee?

For Vonage not to be a phone company, they sure are acting like one.


I went back and looked at the opening post. It's listed as a "cost recovery fee." It's not like they are saying it's a regulatory fee. They are flat out saying they need to recover their cost. That, IMHO, is not deceptive.

Also, as far as I know this is being passed down from a CSR (no offense COLDGIN) and this is not an official statement from Vonage. If somebody has a link that shows Vonage's official statement please provide it.

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ColdGin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It's pretty official. I cut and pasted it right out of my internal email. But don't take my word for it. All you need to do is wait for your next bill.
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hookbill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Oh I don't doubt the authenticity of it. I was thinking that Vonage would come out with a statement before billing.

Guess I was wrong.

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ColdGin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

How much is the 911 fee?



Depending on where you live, these fees can vary widely. For more information, and to learn more about the fees collected in your community for emergency services, contact your state or local elected official.



Initially only 5 states will be affected. Approximately 1.1 million customers will see a placeholder of $0.00 on their bill because they are not in the 5 states affected by this initial roll-out. For the customer affected in this roll-out, the applicable fees range from $.65 - $1.26. (The actual rates for the first 5 states will be: Maryland $1.00, Minnesota $.65, New Jersey $.90, Oregon $.75 and Rhode Island $1.26) As we move forward with rolling out to the other states, the low will still be $0.00 while the high - end will be $3.00 in the Richmond, VA area.
Please note that these fees are in addition to the Emergency 911 Cost Recovery.
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jnuzzi
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So are these fees based on your billing address or 911 address?

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ColdGin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

hey, good question. if i lived in VA i could change my address to some other state to avoid the 3 dollar fee?
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riddler
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It seems to me if others could offer e911 for free, Vonage could too...I cant help but feel its just an excuse to generate more revenue...Everyone knows they have spent a tremendous amount of money on advertisments...Maybe too much...And what starts out at .99 cents can easily be raised on a regular basis...
A few cents here and there(not enough to bring alot of attention to it)and in the end, what started out as .99 becomes a few dollars...Then we will all be scratching our heads going "Dang,Didnt know I was paying that much"

I think that all of us that have Vonage already should be grandfathered in and Vonage should raise their advertised price enough to cover the 911...But if they do that it wont look as when they are trying to get new customers...
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