Monday, December 17, 2007

Changes to Sprint's Monthly Fees

Wireless company, Sprint will be changing some of the fees it charges its customers. Some sources say that it is the result of because of legal pressure for their alleged long-standing and industry-wide practice of misleading consumers into thinking certain fees are government mandated.

The company's phone and data customers will receive notices that will inform them that three fees from their bills will be removed. The Federal Programs Cost Recovery (FPCR) fee, the Federal E911 surcharge and the Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP) will no longer be charged next year.

However, these charges may also be replaced. An Administrative Charge and a Regulatory Charge will be the replacement of the fees to be removed next year. This statement from Sprint's notice explains these changes:
"Sprint Nextel is charging the Administrative Charge to help defray various costs imposed on us by other telecommunications carriers, including, but not limited to, charges imposed by local telephone companies for delivery of calls from our customers to their landline customers and for certain network facilities and services we must purchase from them. The Regulatory Charge is being assessed to help defray the costs of various federal, state, and local regulatory programs. These charges are not taxes and are not amounts we are required to collect from you."
Many analyst comments that these changes are indeed a response to criticism that Sprint have been masking these fees as being required by the government. There may be truth to this analysis since Missouri's Attorney General sued the company for for misleading consumers into thinking these fees are government mandated about five years ago. As of now, the case has not been settled.

The important thing is that the consumer will have less fees to pay and will not be anymore lead to believe that they are paying for taxes or any government fees. Maybe these changes will also be rereflected in the company's contracts or temrs and conditions in the near future.

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