Thursday, August 23, 2012

R U Paying Extra $$ - To Pay Your Bills?????

Companies charging YOU because you have the audacity to want to pay your bill or talk to a real person - or even , get your bill.
Who woulda thunk.

More profits that the corporations hang on to rather than opening up jobs and putting people back to work in decent paying jobs.  Supposedly they can't hire people cause the economy is not stable - hah!   Their bank accounts just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger - 

And it's all about more money - higher compensation for the 1% and the customer gets screwed - stupid us, for even wanting to have their services (I guess).

This is very important to understand before you read any further
Global Telecom Revenue expected to reach US$1.9 trillion by 2012
Friday 09 November 2007
A newly released report by HOT TELECOM and TOTAL TELECOM analyses the current status of the Global Telecom Market. The global telecom services revenue reached US$1.5 trillion in 2006 and should grow by an average of 4.2% over the next 5 years to reach US$1.9 trillion.

Montreal, November 5, 2007 -- According to the information released by HOT TELECOM ( in its latest report “Global Telecom Market Status and Forecast”, the global telecom services revenue reached US$1.5 trillion in 2006, representing a 7.4% increase on 2005, and a slight slowing of growth (which was 8.8% between 2004 and 2005).

Over the forecasted period to the end of 2011, growth is projected to slow to a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% and revenue is expected to increase by US$347 billion to reach almost US$1.9 trillion.

And more
The U.S. telecommunications industry saw an 8.9 percent increase in overall growth last year and will continue to grow an average of 9 percent annually through 2009, according to a report from the Telecommunications Industry Association released Wednesday.

According to TIA’s “Market Review and Forecast,” which is produced annually, the industry grew to an estimated $856.9 billion in 2005 and is expected to climb 10.2 percent in 2006, reaching $944.7 billion

Verizon earnings rose to $1.69 billion, or 59 cents per share, while in the year-ago quarter it reported a profit of $1.44 billion, or 51 cents per share. Revenue rose to $28.24 billion from $26.99 billion and compared with analyst expectations for $28.17 billion

AT&T's net income rose to $3.58 billion, or 60 cents per share, from $3.4 billion, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier. Consolidated revenue rose nearly 2% to $31.8 billion from $31.25 billion.

Sprint said it expects 2012 adjusted OIBDA to be at the high end of its previously announced forecast of between $3.7 billion and $3.9 billion.

Check your bills folks – check your bills.
Look for the word convenience fee or an unusual fee that has a vague description by it.

AT&T Wireless charges $5 to make a payment in person with a clerk or via phone with a live agent. And T-Mobile USA: $5 by phone with an agent.

From the 1st of December 2009, we introduced a $2.20 Paper Bill Charge. The charge is applied to ALL Post-Paid Members who choose to receive a Paper Bill from that date onwards.

Sprint began charging users an additional $2 monthly surcharge if customers want to get a fully itemized, paper bill.

I read in my bill, they are going to start charging $1.99 to pay at a payment center.

You are now charged a $5 AGENT CUSTOMER CONVENIENCE FEE for calling customer service or tech support.

On my February bill I am charged Agent Assisted Fee 12/30 5.99

    Stop the Cap! reader Larry writes to share TDS Telecom, an independent phone company, charges a $2.95 “third party processing fee” when accepting payments by phone.  “In its place you either have to revert to U.S. Postal Service, or agree to electronic billing for on-line payment access.”
    AT&T charges a $5 bill payment fee for “certain customers.”
    Sprint/Nextel not only has its own $5 bill payment fee for those paying at the last minute,  it also forces customers with spotty credit to sign up for auto-pay to avoid a mandatory surcharge.  Want a paper bill?  That’s $2 extra a month.
    Comcast charges a $5.99 payment fee, but only in certain states.
    Time Warner Cable charges fees ranging from an “agent assisted payment” fee ($4.99) to a statement copy fee ($4.99) in some locations.

And if they don’t screw you directly – they can find a way to screw you indirectly
Receiving your AT&T Long Distance charges with your local phone bill provides you the convenience of receiving one bill that includes both local and AT&T Long Distance charges. You make just one payment to your local phone company for both local and long distance service, while still enjoying the availability of online access to view your AT&T charges. To cover costs imposed on AT&T by your local telephone company, this billing arrangement will include a Bill Statement Fee.

And it is not just the telecomm and cable industry
That should only be charged if you talked to a customer service representative.  If you used automated Alliance Data Systems, the Dallas bank that handles credit card business for Beall's and 90 other chains ranging from Ann Taylor to Victoria's Secret, is notifying cardholders they all must pay $1 a month for printed statements. Alliance Data Systems, the Dallas bank that handles credit card business for Beall's and 90 other chains ranging from Ann Taylor to Victoria's Secret, is notifying cardholders they all must pay $1 a month for printed statements.

And your garbage:
Plus, if you sign up for paperless billing and automatic payments, we will waive our $4 administrative fee waiver on every invoice.(Find out more. )

The bad assumption
The assumption behind this being that everyone has computer access, everyone has a checking account, everyone does not – and the people who are getting screwed are the people (for the most part) who can not afford to pay another needless revenue generating fee.

The for profits – just can’t contain their need for more profits.
Screw the customer – they deserve it.

Two things I read doing this research that piqued my interest were:
An assertion that the fed requires at least one free way to pay – which I cannot find documentation to support that statement

And another comment wondering when the telecoms are going to reimburse us for being on hold to talk to that customer service agent in India.

While they are screwing you for more money - remember this:

In the last 12 years, incomes for the wealthiest 400 Americans quadrupled even as their tax rates were halved, and executive compensation has grown 127 times faster over the last three decades than worker pay, one study found

And that will be $2.50 for the eye contact fee.
Yes, if I have to look at you - there will be an additional fee.

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