By any other name
Speaking of words and their uses and misuses, we’ve noticed more people looking closely at their telephone and utility bills this winter. Some folks wonder what may be disguised by the incomprehensible lingo.
Here’s a good example of doubletalk. Check out your telephone bill. Under the heading “Detail of Taxes and Other Charges,” you’ll find an item called “Federal Subscriber Line Charge.” Most likely that $6.50 fee represents about half of your “Total Taxes and Other Charges.”
Because of the words federal and taxes, most of us probably figure that’s another way the feds have found to tap us. In truth, the phone company gets to keep the Federal Subscriber Line Charge.
A little further down, Frontier internet customers may find something called “HSI Surcharge.” Consumer groups say this $1.50 is imposed on customers who refused to sign up for the company’s internet protection plan and so they’re being forced to pay something anyway.
Where are the regulators who are supposed to look out for the little guy?