Cell phones for “free,” well not really !

Currently there are mailings going to people from Assurance Wireless. Headline from this mailing offers a free cell phone to the addressee at no cost to the addressee. The cost is covered by the Universal Service Fund, FCC. Well actually by the citizens who own cell phones, use cable, or even the internet. Imagine that! You work and pay for your cell phone, or your cable and internet, all the while you are supporting someone else, so they can have a cell phone.

Take a close look at your cable bill and your phone bill. I am being billed over 2 dollars a month for this Universal Service Fund. That adds up to a lot of money when you consider how many citizens have cable and cell phone or even house phone. So the FCC receives this money monthly. Who is in charge of the money? Where is it spent? Since the FCC receives this money, why then must they also receive tax dollars from the budget? Questions I intend to look into.

Regulation costs are passed onto the consumer!

If the legislation that is being passed affects the bottom line for a business, such business will pass the cost to the consumer!

Take the Universal Service Fund; passed in 1997 by Congress. This regulation is defined from the FCC website as:Universal Connectivity Fee (Universal Service Fund), Federal: Because telephones provide a vital link to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, it has been our nation’s policy to promote telephone service to all households since this service began in the 1930s. The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. Congress has mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item, often called the “Federal Universal Service Fee” or “Universal Connectivity Fee”.

Consider the sentence” Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers chose to pass their contribution cost on to their customers …”

Seriously, did the Government really believe that a corporation would not pass the cost onto the consumer, after all the corporation is in business to make money!

Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law on July 21, 2010 by the President, is the – Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111 – 203. This law according to the summary is touted as follows:

Create a Sound Economic Foundation to Grow Jobs, Protect Consumers, Rein in Wall Street and Big Bonuses, End Bailouts and Too Big to Fail, Prevent Another Financial Crisis”

Yes, you read that correctly. So legislation is written and signed into law in July 2010, according to the summary we should now have ‘Sound Economic Foundation to Grow Jobs…”, but I have witnessed the opposite happening. We have lost more jobs. We have added cost to the consumer, we have a Housing market crisis and etc. I do not believe this is working!

Let’s look at the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, sometimes referred to as the Dodd/Frank bill; because Barney Frank and Chris Dodd wrote the bill.

Since the passage of this legislation, consumers are paying more on credit card interest rates-

(even when they had a history of good credit), and recently; Bank of America tried to pass the cost onto their customers with a debit card fee. The customers from Bank of America were upset, so the company withdrew the mandate. While this move shows that BofA eventually listened after its customers squealed for months,” source listed below. Bank of America will find the way to recoup the fee. The corporation is in the business to make money, not lose money. Regulations passed by Congress do cost the consumer!

Regulation is now a code word for increase to the consumer, you the tax payer. First and foremost, regulation destroys jobs. Secondly, regulations cost a family with increase in their daily living expenses.

We the people, the citizens of this great nation, must stay diligent with regards to the legislation being considered for passage in our Government, even in our local government.

Fighting for Liberty means no longer being silent when the time comes for you to be outspoken. We the people can no longer afford to sit back and rest on our laurels. Doing so will cost us! And it will also cost our children’s children!

FCC Website Universal Service Fund

Assurance Wireless

Dodd Frank Bill

Bank Of America Will Find New Fees, Stock Worth $11 – Forbes

Fees from Visa and MasterCard due to Dodd Frank Bill

3 thoughts on “Cell phones for “free,” well not really !

  1. Jack, I pulled the report from the FCC form their website, and I am sorry to tell you that you are totally incorrect. It doesn’t generate anything. The goverment spent over $8 billion dollars on 8,556,525 enrollees. I actually did the math, and they spent $945 per customer, so unless those folks are generating over $1100 dollars in tax revenue, which they are not, this program is not “generating” anything. It is losing $686 per year, per customer. I bet I could get a pretty good cell phone for that price.

  2. Ms. Smith:
    Just to clarify Lifeline services began in the mid 1980’s under the Ronald Reagan administration. Also, your story failed to mention that in the case of Assurance Wireless the carrier pays for the cost of the phone, the charger, the manual, the shipping and the account maintenace. You also neglected to mention that a report based on a study conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation and published by the New Millenium Research Council showed that the Lifeline phone program has been an important economic tool, which generates an average of $259 (per participant) per year. If all all adults eligible for Lifeline Assistance were to pariticpate in the program and earn at the same rate and level as the sample, it would result in $3.7 billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor. In large states, such as New York, Florida,and California, the gains would exceed $250 million. A phone is a vital part of being able to find employment.