Category Archives: taxes

Telecoms and Taxes

OK, I’ve tried to be cool… I’ve tried to be calm.  But I’m really tired of telecom companies and their taxes, tariffs, surcharges, fees, pass-throughs, regulatory issues, etcetera.  It’s not that telecoms are inherently bad.  I like many of them (ok, most of them).  But I’m tired of them passing along all of the various government taxes and fees that they have to pay.  In the rest of the world, we call that “the cost of doing business”.

I’ve tried for years to get things down to “sales and use” taxes.  Invariably, if I want to get the contract completed, I have to agree to the pass-throughs.  I guess I’m just sick of bending on this.

The reason, of course, is that these taxes, fees, surcharges and other such additional costs ARE NOT THE DEFAULT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CUSTOMER!  That’s right – the telecoms themselves are responsible for paying these various fees.  But the telecom lobbyists have been quite successful in making sure that the laws and regulations requiring payment of these fees don’t talk about whether the telecoms have to pay them themselves.  So what do they do?  They pass along the fees to the customer.  Again, they’re passing along the cost of doing business (ie: taxes levied by the government).  Heck, sometimes they don’t even attempt to mask it – they call it a “Cost Recovery Fee” right on your invoice!

Can you imagine if you were able to successfully pass along YOUR costs for doing business?  So that not only did you get the fees for your product or service, but you got additional fees based on the various regulatory taxes and surcharges you had to pay?  I wonder what would happen if various businesses started tacking on additional fees for services provided to the telecom companies.  Do you think they’d want to pay them?

Has anyone else grown tired of this?  I can’t be the only one.

[PS.  Other regulated industries do this too, just not as blatently.  Need proof?  Check your most recent energy-related bill.  See any “fees” not actually 100% related to your usage?]

[PPS.  We’ll talk about telecom tarrifs one of these days, too.]