How to understand your bill from Verizon FiOS

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If you signed up for Verizon FiOS to help you with your telecom services, you might sign up for a base rate that is somewhere between $50 and $100 but when you start to get your monthly bills you see a lot of line items that might not make sense, things that you didn’t realize you had agreed to pay. So what can you do, and how can you understand your bill from Verizon FiOS better?

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Step-by-step guide to understanding your bill

What am I paying for?

When you look at your Verizon FiOS bill, you might see a lot of information there, and a lot of line items. But what are you actually paying for?

FiOS TV, Internet & Phone Bundle

First thing you will notice on your Verizon FiOS bill is whatever bundled price you are charged for the service to which you subscribe. If you choose to get all three of the services they offer that might include internet, home phone, and television. This for example is called the FiOS triple-play and it is advertised as a two-year contract at $79.99 per month with taxes, equipment charges, and other fees.

Additional Services, Equipment & Discounts

There are also sections on your monthly bill that have to do with additional services, equipment, and discounts.

HD DVR

This is a fee that you have to pay for an HD enabled, DVR enabled box. The amount will vary based on the bundle you have and the number of boxes, and number of devices, and services that you have whether it is HD only or DVR only, or both.

Extended Savings 24 Mo. Discount

Verizon FiOS offers a lot of discounts when you sign up for a bundle package. This is a discount line that you will see on your bill and it’s going to vary based on what package you have and subsequently what discounts you received as part of your bundle.

Fees & Other Charges

Underneath section you will also find the fees and other charges that you have to pay on a monthly basis. 

State and Local Sales Tax

These will vary depending on where you live. They are taxes imposed on telecom companies and if you have more than one service with your package, you will have higher taxes, listed as one line item. 

Telecommunications Relay Service

There are fees imposed on landlines for relay services and if you live in a state that imposes this, it will appear on your bill. 

E911

This is a state charge to help 911 services. The amount will vary based on where you live, and will apply if you have a phone service as part of your package. 

Federal Universal Service Fee

This is a fund handled by the FCC and it helps provide service to areas that might otherwise not get it, like low income areas or rural areas, and it will appear in your bill each month even though the charge actually goes to Verizon FiOS, not consumers, but Verizon is allowed to pass it on to consumers each month. 

[State] Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge

This is a tax imposed by the state government based on the amount of money that Verizon FiOS generates from consumers in that state so it will vary based on how many consumers use the same services as you where you live, and what state you live in.

Video Franchise Fee

There are agreements between most states and counties that charge television companies to be able to operate in that area and it’s usually around 5% of the revenue. Verizon passes this on directly to its consumers and that changes in amount based on where you live.

Regulatory Recovery Fee – Federal

In order for the FCC to operate, it charges companies regulatory fees on an annual basis but Verizon FiOS charges. To its subscribers on a monthly basis.

Fios TV Broadcast Fee

This is a fee charged to consumers on a monthly basis under the auspices that it offsets the cost of negotiating rights with local broadcast operators based on where you live. Again this is a cost that can fluctuate very easily and there’s no generic information on price because it is based on where you live. 

Regional Sports Network Fee

This is a fee that you will see on your bill if you have channel bundles which include Regional Sports. It is charged to cable companies to offset the cost of these Regional Sports and gets passed on to use the consumer.

FDV Administrative Charge

This is FiOS digital voice charge that you will see every month and it is allegedly to defray account servicing costs.

Can I refute the charges from Verizon FiOS?

If you see charges on your bill that you don’t think you deserve, these incorrect fees can be refuted. If you are charged for something incorrectly your first step is to go to customer service. There are plenty of situations where customers have complained with the Better Business Bureau because simple mistakes were made where promotions weren’t honored and in these cases, going to customer service is a good way to bring that error to their attention and have the issue fixed.

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

If you were incorrectly charged a fee on your Verizon FiOS bill, the first step is to reach out to the customer service personnel to see if you can get the issue fixed. If that doesn’t work, 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, which varies by 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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