Verizon had a recent court case that I was made aware of because I got an email about it. It had to do with charging an administration fee that they may have to refund due to the court case. I was one of the people affected.
Of course, I applied for that and hopefully, I will see the refund soon. Even though I have Verizon FIOS now I switched away from them from cell phone use because their prices were so high and I was unhappy with the service. There are some competitors finally to Verizon in optical and I will be trying them when I move to my new apartment soon.
Verizon said that it has a right to charge that fee and not only will they continue to charge it, they might increase it. That to me screams Monopoly power. When you can raise prices and there isn’t a viable alternative, that business needs to be broken up just like Ma Bell did in the 80s. No company should have a monopoly power and it always hurts everyone.
Now some people will say that the consolidation of business is required due to the investment in the infrastructure it requires. That might be a reasonable argument if that was happening. Right now major carriers like AT&T are being sued because their infrastructure contains dangerous ingredients that pose a risk to human health and a huge cost to fix. If they were investing in the infrastructure, they wouldn’t have these very old systems that are often original. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say infrastructure costs money and then hide the non-spending on said infrastructure.
For example, when I was younger I wanted to get faster than 56K modem and DSL at my residence. I contacted the local phone company and they said that running a fiber optic line to my house would be the only way since they wouldn’t do the work for just one customer. It was less than a mile, but their estimated cost to me was about $80,000 in the late 90s. Of course, I didn’t have that kind of money and it was ridiculous they thought that a single subscriber would pay that. However, if I did, then I would basically be paying for more customers to join them for free since I had paid the main line and everything else was just profit for them. How is this fair to a customer?
Even if I did have that money I would not have paid it for something I didn’t own. It makes no sense. If each subscriber owned part of the telephone network that would be fair. We would pay for what we use and own that part. If we used it less, then we would get paid for what use we did get. If we used it more then we would pay more for the cost of the hardware/power it took to run it. Just like cloud computing, we only need what we can use and no more. Sadly the phone companies don’t work this way. They depend on people not using what they pay for, and that is where they can make their profit.
Which makes this lawsuit and their response silly. If Verizon gets money for people not using what they pay for, why shouldn’t they pay when they aren’t available to be used? I shared before that Verizon FIOS and even the cell phone service had gone out on me. That should have been a credit on my bill. It isn’t strange that we accept we pay for usage, but we don’t get the credit of not being able to use what we paid for. In the future companies will refund what isn’t working, and Verizons game of thinking they are above the law will be over.