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Frontier Adds New $1.50 Surcharge to Broadband Bills; Customers Told It Will Improve Service

Phillip Dampier August 23, 2011 Competition, Consumer News, Data Caps, Frontier, Rural Broadband 7 Comments

Frontier Communications is adding a new $1.50 monthly surcharge for broadband customers not currently enrolled in a “price protection agreement.”  Labeled the HSI Surcharge, the new fee started showing up on customer bills this month, with only a vague explanation buried inside the bill:

Courtesy: Manmaniac

Frontier's Fast One.

Customers attempting to get an explanation of what this charge was all about got a myriad of answers from Frontier customer service representatives:

  • It’s a broadband tax;
  • It’s a surcharge to help pay for network improvements;
  • It’s a charge for customers who refuse to take a price protection plan;
  • It’s a rate increase.

Stop the Cap! called Frontier this afternoon and was told it was designed to collect additional revenue to fund network expansion and was, effectively a rate increase.  Even customers on 1-3 year price protection agreements will eventually pay the “surcharge” as their agreements expire.  It is not a government-mandated charge or tax.

Effectively, this rate increase allows the company to advertise their Internet service at a deceptively low price, until customers discover Frontier’s modem rental fees and surcharges.  In 2009, during Stop the Cap!‘s flirtation with Frontier DSL, we found the “out the door” price for their 3.1Mbps service was actually higher than that charged by Time Warner Cable’s 10Mbps Road Runner service.

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Elena
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Elena

We have to stop these stealing as Frontier will continue to do so in the future!!!

Annie
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Annie

And even if you have what you think is a price protection plan, they can add this surcharge to your bill. Two and half years ago I signed up for an internet package with a price guaranteed for life, but because of the fine print that says the guaranteed price doesn’t include taxes or surcharges, Frontier effectively raised the cost of my service. I know Frontier/Verizon was losing money on FIOS — is this their way of recouping some of that?

Dave
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Dave

Thanks for this article, STC. I’ve been in an exchange of views with Frontier’s office at 41st St. in Everett, WA. Here’s the fifth excuse for the HSI surcharge: “The official reason is this: This pass thru surcharge on High Speed Internet service is due to increased costs brought on by the rapid volume growth of services like internet video.” That’s an exact quote from someone in the Customer Relations/GM Partnership Team, who also offered up a ‘but we’re not as bad as Comcast’ argument. Great way to make the sale, eh? $1.50 times unknown tens of thousands of customers… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

The class-action lawsuit is in Minnesota. Here’s the link.
http://enterpriseitexperts.com/customers-sue-frontier-over-broadband-surcharge/

Julia
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Julia

We have to stop this junk fee. If we don’t, frontier will continue to charge more under the name “state taxes and other charges”!!

john
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john

I know its an all post but it is the current top list for “hsi surcharge” searches.

Just talked to a frontier rep “it is a federal fee mandatory for all internet subscribers”
The modem rental fee is mandatory from Frontier regardless if you have your own modem or use theirs.

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