Sonic Guest wrote:
Do they adhere to this non-existent principle you trolled us with?
Since when is "Companies should be upfront about the actual cost a consumer will pay" a non-existent principle?
And it's really a little depressing to see all the Sonic fans saying "everyone else is just as bad" instead of saying "I think Sonic really has the potential to be a different kind of company and I hope they switch to a more honest advertising approach."
As bad as the competition may be, Sonic has a way to go to get to truly honest and transparent advertising. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to get Sonic service for $40 (even if we leave out the taxes & fees part). As pokute pointed out, Sonic requires you to rent the modem (whether you want it or not) in order to get the $10 off teaser rate. When I was still getting the "discount" I was paying $9.50 a month for a modem that just sat in a box. So the absolute minimum I could have paid was $49.50/month. So telling people that they can get service for $40 (+ taxes and fees) is dishonest.
Now let's look at the whole "taxes and fees" thing. Those taxes and fees are all based on the phone service that Sonic forces you to bundle with your internet service. If they gave an option of only internet, there would be no taxes and fees. There are plenty of threads--going back years--complaining about being forced to bundle phone service, but for the sake of not getting too far off topic let's just assume that Sonic does so for entirely benevolent reasons and that the government imposed taxes and fees are just the cost of being an internet customer. That still leaves the $6.50 "Voice Federal Subscriber Line Charge Fee". That is not a tax or fee that goes to any government agency or fund. That is a fee that is charged by the phone service provider (e.g. Sonic) that goes straight into the provider's pocket. Federal regulations put a cap
of $6.50 on how much the service provider can charge, but there is no requirement to charge it at all. At best it is a cost of providing service that masquerades as a fee. At worst, it is a sneaky, underhanded way that telecom companies use to hide the true cost to consumers.
The Federal Subscriber Line Charge exists because the big telecoms spent millions of dollars lobbying and supporting candidates who would give them friendly regulations rather than supporting consumer-friendly regulation. This is nothing new, but if Sonic is going to claim to be something new, then they should stop taking advantage of this anti-consumer regulation and just put that $6.50 into their price of service instead of hiding it in the "fees" fine print.