Well, that didn’t take long. The FCC wasn’t any happier about these two companies deciding to enact fees to replace the ones that had just been rescinded by Congress so they could pocket some extra cash and so the FCC decided to check in on it:
Verizon’s about-face marked a second victory for the FCC. The agency’s dissatisfaction with the fee caused BellSouth to stop collecting the surcharge last week.
The two companies moved to add fees to DSL customer bills — $1.20 to $2.70 per month in the case of Verizon — just as the federal Universal Service Fund fee was coming off. The FCC has decided the USF fee should not apply to DSL Internet access.
Verizon, in a statement, said it was dropping the new fee as a result of feedback from consumers: “We have listened to our customers, and are eliminating the charge.”
Gene Kimmelman of Consumers Union had another explanation: “They got caught red-handed in a blatant consumer rip-off. Only under the pressure of regulators cracking down on them did they back off from this unwarranted charge.”
Indeed. Still, it’s a victory for the consumer just the same.