We received Senator Seward’s latest constituent mailing Aug. 20 bragging about “Lower Taxes ... Less Red Tape ... More Jobs” and “Family Tax Relief” and “Upgrading Our Infrastructure,” and I had to laugh.
The day before, we had received our monthly Verizon bill. We don’t have access to high-speed Internet from Time Warner, much less DSL or FIOS from Verizon. My bill for our Verizon Freedom Value Plus Guarantee (including $7.95 for long distance) had just gone up 82 cents. Not a lot, but enough to get my attention.
I called Verizon to ask for an explanation and was told the New York state and local sales tax had gone up 5 cents, the Federal Universal Service Fee had gone up 3 cents, New York state and local tax surcharges had gone up another 1 cent (on top of the aforementioned 5-cent increase in sales taxes), the federal subscriber line charge had actually gone down 1 cent, but a new Verizon Long Distance Administrative Charge had been snuck in for the bulk of the increase at 74 cents (which I was already paying $7.95 for).
When I continued to press for an explanation, I was told that “Verizon has to make a profit” and that the actual cost of providing my Freedom Value Plus service was $52.99 per month. Verizon has to make a profit and she told me that Verizon is losing $28 per month on me and everyone else on this plan. I assured the increasingly frustrated Verizon customer service representative, who was doing her best to try to make me understand Verizon’s plight, that I would get in touch with the state Department of Public Service, and I promptly filed an online complaint after disconnecting from that poor Verizon customer service representative.