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sandy708's profile

Teacher

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25 Messages

Thursday, June 29th, 2017 1:58 AM

federal universal service charge is high for int'd day pass

Why is the federal universal service charge so high for the international day pass? The daily fee with federal and state fees was $13/day 30% higher than the touted $10/day.  This is more like a marginal income tax rate rather than a sales tax.

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

7 years ago

I haven't used it @Gary L?

 

ACE - Expert

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16.5K Messages

7 years ago

Yes, @lizdance40, it was HUGE, I think it was just under $3 for every $10.

 

I don't remember seeing that any time I every used the passport.

 

 

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

7 years ago

I vaguely remember high taxes on my mother's use without passport.   And it may depend on where in the world...

but the OP is indicating he paid $23 a day?   I know of no tax that exceeds the actual cost or service.

@sandy708  I hope you call ATT, ask for retentions, and ask them to review.  It seems wrong.

 

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

7 years ago

Here is an explanation of the Federal Universal Service charge from the FCC. Based on that, charging $3 for every day of an international plan sure sounds excessive,:

 

All telecommunications service providers must contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund, which helps people in rural and high-cost areas, and income-eligible consumers, get access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates through programs and initiatives such as the Connect America Fund, Lifeline and the E-rate program for schools and libraries.
A "Universal Service" line item may appear on your telephone bill when your service provider chooses to recover USF contributions from you, the customer. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to you, but service providers are allowed to do so. These charges usually appear as a percentage of your phone bill. Companies cannot collect an amount that exceeds the percentage of their own contributions to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees on services fully supported by the Lifeline program.

Teacher

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25 Messages

7 years ago

Thanks everyone for replying.

 

I called CS and they verified that the charges were correct, and due to the International Day Pass.  Could not give me a formula.

 

The exact breakdown was:  $90 for 9 days use of International Day Pass, $16.97 Federal Universal Service Fee + $7.71 MI State Telecom Surcharge.  On my previous bill (without International Day Pass usage), the two gov't fees were $1.61 and $1.73, respectively.

 

I wonder if other providers (e.g., Verizon and T-Mobile) collect as much for FUSF and state fee for similar Int'l programs.  I may bring this up next time my state representative has office hours.  Based on the FCC's explanation from another poster, "Companies cannot collect an amount that exceeds the percentage of their own contributions to the USF", I'd like to know what AT&T's contributed from the Int'l Day Pass to the FUSF.

 

At the very least, they ought to footnote their $10/day rate with "excessive gov't fees apply".

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

7 years ago

@sandy708 I suggest you contact @ATTMobilityCare via private message. The CS rep you spoke with may only have verified that the billing system didn't have an error. That doesn't mean those charges are actually correct. There could be a bug in the billing code. 

Teacher

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25 Messages

7 years ago

@sandblaster, Thanks for the suggestion.  I am a new forum user, how do I private message @ATTMobilityCare?  I saw a forum page marked with their replies and a "contact me" script on the page, but no link either below the script or when I click on the script. 

 

In my earlier call to CS, they suggested I contact AT&T corporate via letter to complain. They seemed confident that the charge was correct, and it shouldn't matter to me because after all, it was "one-time" only.  If it is incorrect/illegal and they continue to do it, [Edited to comply with Guidelines]

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

7 years ago

Click the link to ATTMobilityCare in your last message, then click "send message". 

Teacher

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25 Messages

7 years ago

Thanks, I did so.  I am surprised that AT&T edits posts that are meant merely as an observation, and not meant to intimidate at all (as if one could intimidate a corporation).

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

7 years ago

Just for comparison, the increase in taxes for the line with $40 passport was 63 cents.  I don't know if it's based on the plan or actual use, which in my case was very minimal. (In fact I should have gone without passport and paid per use.

 

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