Understanding Hidden Fees in Your Verizon Fios Bill

If Verizon Fios is hiding fees in your bill, you may have legal options.

Verizon FiOS gives you options to bundle things like phone, internet access, and television service, and operates across nine states with over 5 million customers. And if you are wondering what some of the hidden fees are in your Verizon FiOS bill? You are not the only one. We explain what these odd, hidden fees are, and what to do when you are incorrectly charged.

When you look at your monthly bill from Verizon FiOS, there are probably things that you expect, a few things that you didn’t expect but make sense, and then some hidden fees that came out of nowhere. When you sign up for Verizon FiOS, you do so at a specific rate which usually has the asterix which leads you to the bottom of a promotion that highlights there are still some taxes and other fees. But there are a lot of things that Verizon chooses to put on the shoulders of its consumers, sees that can fluctuate in price without warning, and all of these hidden fees can be difficult to find if you don’t know where to look.

Are there any other hidden fees in my Verizon FiOS bill?

Verizon FiOS does have a lot of hidden charges that vary based on what services or bundles you have. Some of the extra charges, surcharges, and fees or taxes are levied against Verizon only for Internet, only for phone services, or only for television packages. You might see a different combination of these charges on your bill contingent upon which package you have.

Fed Universal Service Charge

This is a program that helps subsidize phone and internet coverage for rural or low-income areas, including Healthcare facilities and schools. Telecom operators all have to pay this including Verizon and they are legally allowed to recoup the cost by charging their customers on a monthly basis for the service charge, which Verizon FiOS does.

Video Franchise Fees

You have your television service through your Verizon FiOS package, this is something that the company has to pay for certain television stations, and it’s something that might end up charged to you as a line item.

Broadcast TV Fee

This is an itemized charge which can increase with very little warning, based on the cost of giving you local broadcast stations and is something you will see as a hidden fee if you have TV as part of your package.

Other service providers

Companies that have deals with Verizon FioS, like Netflix, get billed to you if you use them. This applies if you have these other services, and have the TV as part of your package.

Regional Sports fee

This is another hidden fee that has to do with the cost Verizon FiOS incurs for providing you with regional Sports networks. This is something that then trickled down into your monthly bill.

Rental fee

If you rent any equipment like your modem or your TV box, that will be a separate line item that you see on your bill.

Regulatory Charge

This is a regulatory charge that the FCC charges companies on an annual basis and they allow the company’s to recover their fees by charging subscribers. Verizon FiOS charges consumers on a monthly basis or this regulatory charge to recuperate their costs even though they are not legally required to do so.

Administrative Charge

Verizon has an administrative charge that, like most telecom companies, is explained as an overarching charge to help offset the cost of doing business, regulatory obligations (including those which they charge you for in your monthly bill, separately), and property taxes.

Gross Receipts Surcharge (By State)

There are different state taxes and charges that Verizon FiOS might have to pay and depending on where you live, there will be a different set of taxes that end up as hidden fees in your monthly bill. This is one of them.

Local business license surcharge

This is another tax that might appear as a hidden fee on your monthly bill depending on where you live. Certain States will charge local business license surcharges to companies which is equivalent to 0.5% of their gross revenue, another line item that Verizon is not legally required to pass on to consumers but chooses to.

Taxes, Governmental Surcharges and Fees

There are a wide range of other taxes, governmental surcharges, and fees that might end up on your Verizon FiOS bill as a hidden fee depending on where you live. In some places there might be Federal fees, State fees, and even local Municipal fees. These are usually all bundled together in the form of one line item.

State 911 fee

The first is a state 911 fee, which is charged by each state. The amount varies from one state to another and this applies to all phone companies so if you have a landline or wireless phone as part of your bundle package you will see this line item.

Communication sales tax

This is another line item that you might see if you have a phone with part of your package.

Can I refute hidden fees from Verizon FiOS?

If there were hidden fees, you can try to reach out to customer service to refute them or get a refund, or simply have them taken off for the remainder of your contract, but this doesn’t always work. Some of the hidden fees might simply be fees that fall under the category of taxes or surcharges and if they are government fees, there’s not much Verizon can do. However, if they are Verizon fees, it is worth investigating.

More importantly, if there are hidden fees that have to do with your service, something like an unexpected charge for a particular product or service that you previously received for free or for a discount because of a promotion, customer service might be able to help you with that especially if the advertising was misleading, or if a promotion simply wasn’t honored.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If you were incorrectly charged a fee, and you tried to use Verizon FiOS customer service to fix it but they weren’t able to help, you still have two legal options:

  1. You can go through small claims court if your case qualifies and only if you have the time. There are different rules for each state.
  2. You can choose an easier and often faster method: consumer arbitration. With consumer arbitration you have more flexibility, can usually get a faster resolution, and what’s more, we can help.

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