The base price my husband and I pay for internet and phone service hasn’t changed in the last 2 years, but my Frontier bill has been slowly raising. In April 2012, my bill totaled $65, and stayed within a dollar of that the next 16 months. But before I knew it my bill was just shy of $69. I had to look at the details to figure out why my bill increased by 5% in the last 8 months.
The Carrier Cost Recovery Surcharge increased by 50 cents on April 1 and the taxes went up by $.22 as well. What is this surcharge? It’s a fee charged by Frontier on their long distance plan to “recover various costs, including administration costs for the Universal Service Fund for Telecommunications Relay service, regulatory filing expenses and compliance items.” In other words, it’s a way for Frontier to increase their charges even though I’ve got a locked in rate.
Another big jump was in the December 2013 bill, when the Gross Revenue Surcharge and NY State Sales Tax went from $1.55 to $2.69 (+74%) without any explanation on my bill. This was after my bill jumped $1.22 in September. Unfortunately I don’t have the details to see what changed.
So while my rate hasn’t changed my bill continues to rise. Fees and surcharges are ways for businesses and the government to get more of your money without advertising an increase in rates or taxes. While I can’t do anything about these charges I want to be aware of these unadvertised price increases so I can catch changes that might be within my own control.