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When looking at my Aliant/Bell bill I noticed something _VERY_ interesting.

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Notice the "System Access Fee, 911 Fee" on the same line? Mixing CRTC/Federally regulated costs with another fee decided completely by the Telecommunications company on the same line. It seems to be done only for deceiving purposes - that is, someone who quickly looks at their bill could think that 911 is $9.50 instead of two small charges both less then a dollar. Aliant/Bell before broke apart the SAF very far from each 911 fee (in Nova Scotia we have 2 fees, one which pays for Emergency Response Staff, the other which pays for the telecommunications company the ability to bring the 911 service)

Is this a trend other telecommunication providers will try? Is this going to be a legal thing?
 

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Neither the SAF or 911 charge are federally regulated, or mandated by the CRTC (BTW the CRTC does not regulate the wireless industry).
Both are just charges that the carriers decided to charge, sort of like the "delivery charge" on my hydro service.

The only mandated fee on your bill is the NS Govt 911 fee.
 

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I still find it odd that Telus is still only charging $6.95 SAF when Bell upped theirs to $8.95 long ago.

Either way, it's a ******** fee, just like Airport Improvement Fees and Fuel Surcharges and Freight and Delivery on cars, etc. etc.

I love how they advertise a cell phone plan being only $20 a month. Add SAF+911, any txting/features, LD, extra minutes, and tax, and you're lucky to get out with $35.
 

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From the CBC link:
The system access fee was originally a tax collected from consumers by the government as a license for the airwaves their cellphones were using. The fee was handed over to cellphone carriers to collect in the early 1990s, who have since used it to help pay for their spectrum acquisition and licensing costs.
I find it hilarious that the government has no problem with a "hidden" fee as long as it's going to them, but as soon as it's going to the service provider, it's evil and "fictitious" (is McGuinty a Michael Moore fan?).

The solution to Byzantine pricing models (and high prices, etc., etc.) is to free up the wireless industry to real competition. As long as the wireless companies are insulated from a true free market, they have no reason to be responsive to customer demands (save threats of more and more government regulation).
 

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hidden fees

This bill will only make the companies show you what they charge you for. It doesn't mention anywhere I've read that it would waive the fees. When I signed my contract yrs ago, with Rogers, I was told upfront what the charges were actually going to be. Before i even signed the contract!
As for the 9-1-1 fee. When you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone you are connected to the 9-1-1 from the town where your tower is. Bell (and Bell only) will actually go the extra mile to help the operator triangulate where you are so they can save your life. Now that's what I call proper charge of a fee. If the other companies can't use that money to go the extra mile & help the customer, they should just give it back to the 9-1-1 center of where the bill is sent.
As for the monthly service fee, well if someone was smart enough to put up new towers in remote areas and cover the country entirely, I wouldn't mind paying it but right now, I don't know what type of service I get with that... Hell even in Ottawa the network is full at times (think of Canada day). What's the point of service fee if the service is not available at all times?
 
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