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rdstoll
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Joined: Dec 29, 2005
Posts: 63
Location: Des Plaines, IL

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Major tax creep Reply with quote Back to top

I know this is not Vonage's fault, but I am so sick and tired of these stupid government taxes that jack up my bill like crazy. I usually don't look at my bill but did this month and noticed that the taxes amounted to a whopping 24% of my total bill this month. That is a f**king joke.

Before:
Premium Unlimited Plan for (15/Nov-14/Dec2005) $24.99
Residential Basic 500 Plan - Additional line for (15/Nov-14/Dec) $14.99
Regulatory Recovery Fee $3.00
FET Tax $1.20
Total Amount $44.18

After:
Premium Unlimited Plan for (15/Oct-14/Nov2006) $24.99
Residential Basic 500 Plan - Additional line (15/Oct-14/Nov) $14.99
Regulatory Recovery Fee $1.98
Emergency 911 Cost Recovery $1.98
State Communications Service Tax $3.08
Federal Universal Service Surcharge $2.33
Local Communications Service Tax $0.44
Total Amount $49.79 Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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DoomedTX
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Cabot, AR

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am right there with you. My bill has been steady for nearly 2 years but starting in April it has crept up to a total increase of $3 per month. I'm now paying almost as much per month as I was before the rate dropped to $24.99 back in 2004. This month for the first time ever Vonage is charging me sales tax. How phone service can fall under sales tax--especially when it's already covered by 29 other taxes--is a mystery to me. It almost seems like charging sales tax on a service might be illegal, but I doubt Vonage would be doing it if it wasn't shoved down their throats by our monopoly-loving government officials who, by the way, make most of their calls at taxpayer expense.
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ShelChgo
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Some are not Vonage's fault, but some are "optional&quo Reply with quote Back to top

From the FCC web site. While they some may be government mandated feees, a telco is not require to pass them on to the consumer as a separate fee.

Universal Service Charges
* The Universal Service Fund (USF) provides support to promote access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates for those living in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries.

* All telephone companies that provide service between states and internationally, including wireless companies, must contribute a percentage of their revenues derived from these services to the USF. Some states impose similar requirements for revenues derived from intrastate services.

* Although not required to do so, many service providers choose to pass their contribution costs to the USF on to their customers in the form of a line item on customer bills, often called the “Federal Universal Service Fee” or “Universal Connectivity Fee.” The charges on bills may not exceed the provider’s actual cost of contributing to the USF.

Access Charges

* Access charges are fees charged subscribers or other telephone companies by a local telephone company for the use of its local network.

* The FCC allows local telephone companies to bill customers for a portion of the costs of providing access. These charges are not a government charge or tax. The maximum allowable access charges per telephone line are set by the FCC, but local telephone companies are free to charge less. Access charges for second or additional lines at the same residence are higher than the charges for the primary line. These charges can be described on your telephone bill as “Federal access charge,” “Customer or Subscriber Line Charge,” “Interstate Access Charge,” etc.

* State public service commissions regulate access charges for intrastate (within a state) calls. In some states, a state subscriber line charge may appear on customer bills.
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UMP25
Vonage Forum Master
Vonage Forum Master


Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Before August 2006, my bill usually ran around $40 for my two lines. Beginning in August, it went to around $52. That's a $12 jump, or a 30% increase, all due to 4 "new" taxes/fees.

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ISP: Comcast
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rdstoll
Full Forum Member
Full Forum Member


Joined: Dec 29, 2005
Posts: 63
Location: Des Plaines, IL

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I see you're from the Chicago area. I wonder if it's just worse in Illinois because our illustrious Legislature is 'on the ball' and was quick to move Voip under their tax umbrella. Illinois is horrible for these nickel & dime taxes.
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UMP25
Vonage Forum Master
Vonage Forum Master


Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Indeed it is. It is one of the most tax-happy states in the Union.

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ShelChgo
Vonage Forum Senior
Vonage Forum Senior


Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:28 pm    Post subject: IL Taxes Reply with quote Back to top

Yes, in the last couple months my bill for 3 Vonage lines has gone from $62.74 to $72.66, all from taxes and fees. $8.52 of them from state & local taxes. It **** but it's still less than I would pay AT&T(SBC) for similar service.

Premium Unlimited Plan for (14/Oct-13/Nov) $24.99
Residential Basic 500 Plan - Additional line for (14/Oct-13/Nov) $14.99
Residential Basic 500 Plan - Additional line for (14/Oct-13/Nov) $14.99
Regulatory Recovery Fee $2.97
Emergency 911 Cost Recovery $2.97
State Communications Service Tax $4.26
Local Communications Service Tax $4.26
Federal Universal Service Surcharge $3.23
Total Amount $72.66
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Maenad
New Forum Member
New Forum Member


Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Some are not Vonage's fault, but some are "optional Reply with quote Back to top

ShelChgo wrote:
From the FCC web site. While they some may be government mandated feees, a telco is not require to pass them on to the consumer as a separate fee.


This may be true, but look at the new charges popping up on your bill, and multiply that by 2 million + customers... they may not be required legally to pass the cost on to their customers, but one would think that desire to remain solvent would make it necessary to pass it on.

As much as I hate to see my bill go up even a little bit, it's still a heck of a savings over the old telco.
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loujohnson
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New Forum Member


Joined: Aug 09, 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

To be honest mine is a little over the "$24.99" fee they claim. Mine is around $30.00. But I honestly am not going to complain (yet), my previous phone service was over $50 a month and they had alot more bs taxes and addon service charges.
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UMP25
Vonage Forum Master
Vonage Forum Master


Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was paying about $90/month on average with SBC (with "Privacy Manager," a free ACR service, BTW). Still, I AM saving around $40/month. As long as that remains consistent, I'll be happy, but I'd hate to see that slowly increase. A nickel here and a dime there adds up faster than we think.

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