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Consumers Union Echoes Lawmakers’ Call for Transparency in Telephone, Internet Fees

Consumers Union Echoes Lawmakers’ Call for Transparency in Telephone, Internet Fees

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to take the mystery out of the fees tacked on to Internet and phone bills, a group of U.S. Representatives sent letters today to the major wireless and wireline providers requesting more transparency and clarity in their billing practices. The letter contends that the “below-the-line-fees” added to monthly service bills – often cited as administrative, recovery, or service fees – add up to hundreds of millions of dollars for the providers at the expense of consumers.

The letter was signed by Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Jim Matheson (D-UT).

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, joined the call for arming consumers with more information and certainty in what they are paying for each month.

Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “Too often, consumers are quoted one price for their service, only to face a higher bill riddled with additional vague or confusing fees. Consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re paying for. That means being informed of any fees up front, before they receive their first bill. It’s only fair that consumers have all the information they need to compare providers when making important decisions about their Internet and phone service.”

The letter requested responses detailing information on current billing practices from AT&T, AT&T Mobility, CenturyLink, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Communications, and Verizon Wireless.

“We look forward to learning more about these companies’ current practices and ensuring that they are consumer-friendly,” Derakhshani said.