Verizon fined $93.5 million for fleecing Uncle Sam
The Verizon whistle-blowing scandal started in 2004, since the carrier was slipping its own expenses into government clients' bills. The carrier asked for "property tax surcharges, carrier cost recovery charges, state telecommunications relay service surcharges, and public utility commission fee surcharges."
In other words, the natural costs of doing business were shifted to the government, i.e. the taxpayer. A Verizon insider obviously started a lawsuit over the issue in 2007, represented by a D.C. firm.
These "pumped up" contracts were actually inherited from MCI, which has been overcharging the government since 1999. When Verizon acquired it, the tradition was carried over in its full glory, and the carrier even upped the scale of it, raising the tax-like surcharges further. It's not the first effort to fleece the government, nor will it be the last, but we bet Big Red now wishes it had been a Wall Street investment firm, and gotten away with it all.
1. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)
Good article. Just another corrupt corporation... I like the last sentence about Wall Street lolololol
2. Super Android Evo (unregistered)
Wow Verizon is already expensive, but to charge bogus fees shows the company has balls & doesn't even care for its customers! Wow I am so happy I have Sprint. Their pricing is clean & to the point. They are the cheapest & I really see no difference compared to the time I spent on Verizon when it comes to their service. I wonder how much money Verizon owes me? I am disappointed that Verizon can stoop to such a low level & be dishonest with the people who make them who they are. They should be ashamed of themselves & refund all the people who they scammed with their bogus pricing! Verizon the big red who STEALS from you!!!!
6. joe321 (unregistered)
Sprint charged me $600 4 years ago when we had service with them.morons!..we had unlimited everything!..I yelled at them and they brought out bill down to normal bill..then when they raised their rated by pennies without telling anything I bailed..idiots once again!
7. Super Android Evo (unregistered)
Why is it that people always have poblems with their bills? I have owned a mobile phone since 1995 with every carrier except T-Mobile. I have never has a problem, maybe you are the problem my good sir. Dude the unlimited plans were not out for Sprint 4 years ago so you lie my good sir. So what ever. Hope Verizon doen't steal from you, but hey it may well be happeneing already as based on post. LOL
12. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)
Unlimited plans existed for Sprint 4 years ago...but only in certain markets just like there are lesser plans out there for Verizon but only available to a certain region. Most billing issues come down to that user not fully understanding what they have. Most consumers rationales are that if they don't understand a charge they shouldn't be responsible for whether its legitimate or not. Now this situation is diff. but countless times customers don't even know what services they have or what is their monthly cost
3. IHatePhones (Posts: 99; Member since: 12 Aug 2009)
Ugh bad news Verizon fans, now that they will probably stop trying to pull one over on the government, they'll probably have to raise the plan prices to make up for that lost profit. OR just make Verizon customers pay for " "property tax surcharges, carrier cost recovery charges, state telecommunications relay service surcharges, and public utility commission fee surcharges." ".....
5. TheFunnyMan (Posts: 77; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
Hopefully, this news doesnt actually surprise anyone. Companies have been doing this to their customers in order to "recoup the losses occured during the execution of S.O.P" forever. Verizon just happened to get caught. And, unfortunatly enough for them, they dont own enough politicians to be able to get out of court unscathed
8. downphoenix (Posts: 2302; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
no worries, they could just get some lobbyists to buy some politicians to sweep it under a rug and it will cost them a fraction of paying the fees.
9. Shinok Tom (unregistered)
Sad thing is, Verizon wasn't the only company that was doing this. We dropped our AT&T account a few years ago because of all the "unexplained" taxes and charges. Even worse, we moved on to T-Mobile, which we love, but now we are going to be forced off. No AT&T again for us. Sprint is the next logical choice, maybe even a "rental carrier". Hell if I go back to one of the "BIG" two.
10. veater (unregistered)
If they did this to the gov't, what are they doing to the rest of us customers?! When my contract is up, I'll be selecting a new carrier!
11. Droidlova (unregistered)
I doubt verizon wanted the publicity, so to think that they try and screw the govt is sad. Maybe they did and this is what happens.
I left sprint 6 years ago after I got screwed when they changed my price plan and went from .10min overage to .45. I didnt even go down in minutes. I talked to them, customer service said too bad, so I left. I wouldnt go back to them even if they were cheaper than metro pcs. I lot of people felt the same way and sprint went to hell. I dont like AT&T due to their outsourcing. You get good customer service if u escalate and get a real ATT rep.
I have verizon now, and even though I pay a little more, I like the fact that I always get someone in the US since they dont outsource. I didnt have any reception issues with any of the 3, but I was only using voice before I went to verizon 5 years ago.
I dont mind paying more for better service.
Looking at the way sprint was bleeding customer in the past, and verizon's lowest churn in the industry the past few years, most american agree with me.
Sprint had no choice but to lower their prices in order to compete and stop bleeding customers. If you are happy with them....great. Never again for me
13. shayo (unregistered)
How did this go from Verizon to Sprint. No one cares that you had to pay for overages regardless of the cost. They send you any information about changes in your bills prior to the change. So basically you are upset because you did not read the fin print and got screwed. I had Verizon 8 years ago when they had the $5 unlimited text plan and then the promotion ended they started charging me per text even though i signed a contract with the $5 unlimited plan. I cancelled their service ASAP! I also worked for Verizon for the past two years and i hated it. They say they are always changing their prices and plans to "benefit" the customer but i know it wasn't. Just wait if people think it's expensive now it's only going to get worse. And as for Sprint I have had their service for almost 3 years and have had nothing but great service. If anything is going to change they give a minimum of a month in advance mailing me the new terms or service change i.e. overages, Premier status and so on. My bill is always the same and the service is great. Yes they do have call centers located in other countries but that doesn't bother me because everyone needs a job and if you can't understad them ask to be transferred or call again. PLUS with every carrier you aren't always talking to a ACTUAL employee of that carrier. A majority of the time it is a VENDOR and guess what the same venors work for ALL the carriers. Veizon charges outrageous prices for their service and i would never give them a dime and the fact that they have been screwing over the government who then used OUR taxes to pay the bill shows how messed up of a company they really are. Those tax dollars could have gone to something much more useful like schools. But hey support a company that has you bent over with your legs spread so wide :)
14. Droidlova (unregistered)
I was with you until the money to schools part. We keep throwing more money and scores keep getting worse. Please use some common sense.Think before you speak.
Companies do send you the paperwork. I agree. Reps should still give you the info. But hey, we have choices.I chose to leave. You choose to be with a company that used to care very little about customers. I'm glad it's worked out the last 3 years. I don't call paying an extra $10 more, for better service, getting bent over though. Another sign of your ignorance.
Keep thinking what the schools need is more money brah. That's a great one.
17. shayo (unregistered)
Ok first off you are beoynd rude stating that i an ignorant so i am going to break down a few things for you.
If a customer went to verizon with 5 lines and wanted the 1400 minute plan with unlimited text with data on each phone the bill would come out to $299.96. How about I break it down for you since you apparently don't know anything. Also nights and weekends are form 9pm -6am
$119.99 for first two lines, $9.99 for the additional three lines. $29.99 for data on EACH phone. That brings it to a grand total of $299.96
Now for the same thing offered with sprint.
$129.99 for first two lines, $19.99 for the additional three. And guess what data is ALREADY included. The grand total is 189.96.
The only difference is if the customer wants a smartphone it would be an addition $10 per phone which is STILL cheaper and with sprints plan you get a hundred more minutes, nights and weekends from 7pm to 7am. That's a total of a $110 a month for the base and still $60 with smartphones. Also don't forget UNLIMITED calls to ANY cell phone nationwide.
So where you got $10 from baffles me beyond belief and apparently you are one of the students that must of had low scores in school. You are beyond out of line caling me ignorant when you in fact do not have all your fact straight. It just shows your lack of respect for any person. And as for schools it was an example. Many schools lack the funding they need to offer a proper education. Teachers are constantly complaining that they do not have the proper resources and that class sizes are to large which makes it harder to have one on one time with each student giving the proper care and learning experience they deserve and need. If there was more funding there would be more teachers making class sizes smaller and teaching more efficient. So before you start to attempt to insult me you need to do your own research.
Also learn how to use the golden rule. "if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all!"
15. Cellhead56 (unregistered)
What a bunch of dummies....Hmmm, MCI....landline company. Verizon....landline company. What does this have to do with wireless? Am I confused?
16. Droidlova (unregistered)
Another moron! J/K. it's phonearena's fault for not explaining.
This article has nothing to do with Verizon wireless. Verizon "landline" is a publicaly traded company. You can buy stock.
Verizon wireless is a private company owned by Verizon and european Vodaphone. To some it matters...to others it doesnt.
18. Sprint_Rep (unregistered)
Verizon ripping off there customers and now the government? I say close down the tax fleeding jerks!
19. deeanna (unregistered)
You don't go to a BMW dealership looking for a pinto...
So Verizon isn't going to charge pennies for great coverage, phones, plans, and customer care. Maybe do more research?