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dualsub06
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Joined: Aug 12, 2007
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The universal service fee is set by the FCC and the rate changes quarterly as set by them. The law prohibits Vonage from charging more than the rate set by the FCC if they choose to recover this fee from the customer.

If that is the part of your bill that keeps going up you might want to take the issue to the FCC. There is that max rate and it is published if you search for it. If Vonage is charging you that amount or less then the complaint goes to the FCC. If it is more they have a procedure for that as well.

I may be the lucky one, but my home Vonage account has been $43.84 for the 6 months that I have had it. I have had my business account with them for well over a year. I would like to say that I could tell you how much that one is or has been over the same period but I cannot.

And I have had "Ma Bell" in the past. I remember well the days where my home $35 phone line cost me $54 and my $50 business line cost $75+. No thank you.
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brian188
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Mar 04, 2006
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

No question Ma Bell is ridiculous. I have my 3 other Voip lines with other Voip carriers, one line I pay no fees on whatsoever 12.95/mo 500 min. The other 2 lines have fees of $2.50/mo on unlimited lines. That fee includes 911 and USF, etc. That has not changed in over a year. Bottom line I signed up with Vonage in early 2004, and the 30.80 I pay now equals nearly the same I that paid for 2 lines back then (500 min lines, of course vs 1 unlimited now). But surprisingly enough Vonage has not changed their rate one penny, how does that work?
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ed56
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Joined: Jun 08, 2007
Posts: 832

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting discussion.

I signed up last May and there has been one service fee change, the universal service fee has gone from 1.61 to 2.02. I would assume this increased on all carriers.

Looking back when I signed up, My Universal service fee totalled 2.85 from ma bell (including the LD service.)

My basic phone service (with add ons for caller ID, voice mail and call forwarding) was 40.31 plus 3.99 for Fed/State Tax and 0.57 Universal Service (sub total 44.87 for phone service)

Adding LD service, 15.00 plus .99 recovery fee, 2.28 Universal Service Fee and 1.69 State/Local tax (sub total 20.18 for LD)

Grand Total from Ma Bell 65.05 vs current Total for Vonage 30.74.

Savings = $411.72 per year.

If the quality of service continues over the next 6 months I will most probably pay one year in advance and save another 60.00 plus (sales tax savings) per year.

_________________
Time Warner Road Runner / Motorola SB5101 Cable Modem / Lniksys E2000 / Vonage VDV21

Last edited by ed56 on Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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brian188
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Joined: Mar 04, 2006
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ed56 wrote:
If the quality of service continues over the next 6 months I will most probably pay one year in advance and save another 60.00 plus (sales tax savings) per year.


You won't be disappointed with the quality, as long as you have solid ISP. Enjoy.
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ed56
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Joined: Jun 08, 2007
Posts: 832

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

brian188 wrote:
You won't be disappointed with the quality, as long as you have solid ISP. Enjoy.


I have had some issues, primarily an echo, but they seem to have been resolved. My QOS from Road Runner has some problems with download pause. However, with putting my Vonage adapter in front of my older Linksys router, setting my band width saver to "normal" and resetting my Vonage router as well as changing my phone port selection back to "1" ( to eliminate all the changes Vonage support did -BTW this was suggested by Vonage support), the echo seems to have gone away.

I also reset my cable modem, a suggestion I had seen somewhere.

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swattz101
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Joined: May 08, 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Over the past 2 years from Nov 05 to Nov 07, my bill has gone from $33.88 to $38.95. The whole time I have had the 24.99 unlimited and a $4.99 virtual number. So without out taxes and fees, it is $29.98. That's just short of $9 in fees and taxes. I believe my cell phone is the same way. I couldn't tell you what a landline is here, I'm in Arizona now and my last landline was with sprint in Pennsylvania in Jan '04. I've been with Vonage since Feb '04 and happy with the quality. My original Vonage unlimited plan was $34.99, which dropped to $29.99 in June '04 and down to $24.99 in Oct '04. To bad their isn't a continued customer discount of some sort. Very Happy

1/16/2007 $38.06 Fed USF went from $1.75 to 1.78
2/16/2007 $38.06
3/16/2007 $38.06
4/16/2007 $38.25 Fed USF went from $1.78 to $1.97
5/16/2017 $38.25
6/16/2007 $38.25
7/16/2007 $38.45 Added State 911 fee of $0.20
8/16/2007 $38.63 Fed USF went from $1.97 to $2.15
9/16/2007 $38.63
10/16/2007 $38.66 Fed USF went from $2.15 to 2.18
11/16/2007 $38.95 Fed USF went from $2.18 to $2.47

When I opened my account, I had a monthly Regulatory Fee of $1.50 and Federal Excise tax of $0.99.
When I moved to Arizona Nov '05 and added my virtual number, the Regulatory Fee doubled to $3.00.
In March of '06 the Reg fee dropped to $1.98 but they added $0.99 federal 911 fee, effectively lowering my bill by a whopping .03 cents.
In June of '06 they added $1.85 state sales tax, $0.66 state license tax and $0.66 local sales tax. That was the last month they charged the $0.99 FEX tax.
They added a $0.16 county tax in July '06.
In Oct '06, they added the USF, which had gone up every quarter since.
In July '07 they added a $0.20 state 911 fee.

It seems like everyone wants their piece of the pie. Next thing you know, we will have the Verizon patent fee, the sprint patent fee, and whatever else. For the most part, I don't blame Vonage--they are doing what most every other phone company or other government regulated service has to do to make money, pass fees on to the customer.
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sethook
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Joined: Nov 02, 2007
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Check out the CHARGES info here..... http://www.vonage.com/help.php?category=51&nav=6
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swattz101
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: May 08, 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
What is the Regulatory Recovery Fee?

A regulatory recovery surcharge of $0.99 applies to each phone number. Vonage uses this fee to pay our regulatory-related fees and expenses, including taxes, number portability charges, and related legal fees.


Hmm, legal fees. Is this where they are going to charge us for the patent lawsuits. Lol j/k, hope I didn't give them any ideas.

BTW, thanks for the link sethook, I remember reading this back in June of 2006, when I noticed my bill change. I was expecting it to go down because of the repeal of the FEX tax, but instead it went up because of added taxes. I don't blame Vonage, but I'm sure it isn't a coincidence that the Government stopped charging all phone companies the FET and started forcing Voip providers to charge federal, state, and local taxes.

Well, maybe not entirely, one of the things I did learn about budgets while in the military, is that it does go to different places, and they don't share. The post I was on a few years ago ran out of money in the road upkeep budget. They were not able to buy any more road salt, so we got to drive on dangerous roads for a while. At the same time, we had an excess of a couple hundred thousand in our electronic equipment budget. All the top brass got new computers even though the one's they had were just a year old. The excuse was that if they didn't spend the money, they wouldn't have it in the budget the next year. Don't you just love the government.

Sorry for the tangent. As for the taxes, there are probably a few posts about it back around june-aug of 2006, when they first added them.

/Long time reader with few post
//Guess I don't usually have much to say
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UMP25
Vonage Forum Master
Vonage Forum Master


Joined: Feb 09, 2006
Posts: 276

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Vonage and its surcharges over the last year Reply with quote Back to top

sarcoptic wrote:
What is up with the cost of Vonage going up. Are we helping pay for the lawsuits. Since September 06 my bill has gone up $1.27. I am actually contemplating contacting my State Attorney General or BBB as there is no way a bill can fluctuate so much yet not change anything:

9-06 $17.99
10-06 $18.89
1-07 $18.91
4-07 $19.00
8-07 $19.10
10-07 $19.12
11-07 $19.26

So a 3rd of my bill is now taxes and surcharges


So you're complaining that your bill went up a measely $1.27 in 15 months? Mine went up $11.00 in less than 18 months, all because of the imposition of fees and taxes that are beyond Vonage's control, unfortunately.

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