14 Aug

(c) Carrie Devorah May be cited. May be used under License

Jim’s Crystal City is getting Ping Pocketed by DC. In all fairness to Jim, he probably doesn’t know Arlington taxes are crossing the Potomac each time a Sprint or other cell carrier is being paid. But they are.

In all fairness most customers don’t either unless they look past the DUE amount and read the surcharges. In all fairness, most customers don’t read the surcharges on their Telecom bills. Not only is it painful to shell out more money for reasons unexplained or necessary in light of Obamaphones being distributed to persons who at times get multiples they ‘fair-share’ maybe even sell but for sure support Carlos Slim whose wallet is getting fatter one Obamaphone at a time.

What is sure is this? One constituent of Jim’s caught the Tax Theft to DC and got back $13.20 of a $69.20 ‘surcharge’ which included DC, the District of Columbia in the wrap up.

IF YOU CAN FIND Sprint Surcharges where they are hidden under “Details” and if the link is clicked, the consumer Sprint’s Monthly statement reads: “Sprint Surcharges are rates we choose to collect from you to help defray costs imposed on us. Surcharges are not taxes on you or amounts we are required to collect from you by law. Surcharges, other charges incurred to recover costs associated with governmental programs and certain taxes associated with government programs and certain taxes imposed upon Sprint. The amounts and certain taxes associated with governmental programs, and certain taxes imposed upon Sprint. The amounts and the components used to calculate Surcharge amounts are subject to change. Federal-Univ Serv Assess LD Federal-Univ Serv Assess Non-LD District of Columbia State-911
Surcharge District of Columbia State-Telecom Serv Tax Administrative Charge Regulatory Charge
TOTAL DUE [ make a payment ]

No wonder this crucial bill segment is hidden. “…rates WE CHOOSE to collect…” “…to help defray costs imposed on us…” “… other charges incurred to recover costs…” “…associated with governmental programs…” “…. Certain taxes associated with government programs…”

Need more be said…. Actually, yes….

Sprint Corporation (S) -NYSE
Prev Close: 7.01
Open: 7.07
Bid: 6.99 x 6600
Ask: 7.00 x 23000
1y Target Est: 7.28
Beta: N/A
Next Earnings Date: 21-Oct-13S Earnings announcement
Day’s Range: 6.96 – 7.10
52wk Range: 5.61 – 7.26
Volume: 7,669,265
Avg Vol (3m): 42,562,600
Market Cap: 21.15B
P/E (ttm): N/A
EPS (ttm): -1.44
Div & Yield: N/A

Its not about Customers, its about bottom lines. Sprint’s has been saggin’ a while. And the District’s? Well,…. cant say anymore about how sad the Seat of Government has become with one Legislator crisis after another.

The explanation from Sprint was, well, should have been a Jay Leno intro… “Did you hear the one about the Arlington taxes that crossed the Potomac into Vince Gray’s constituency? Just like his shadow campaign… now you see the taxes in DC and now you don’t see them in Virginia…”

Sprint Customer Service Person #1 gave was the signal searches for a tower to PING from. Since Arlington is close to DC, given the choice of towers, the signal PING’d DC’s. Grin. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. Sprint states it doesn’t profit from PING taxes on cell phone bills. Sprint says the Tax money flows through to DC. Arlington County Virginia has 220,565 residents. Crystal City has around 11,000 residents and approxiametly 30,000 transient workers. Adressing the telecom carrier Sprint only at this time, this is potentially alot of revenue lost to Virginia, no telling how far back the river jumping of Tax Dollars to DC has been going on.

Is this JUST a Virginia/DC issue. Most likely not. Is it a tower issue? Most likely not. Is it just an America problem? Not in a global economy with Markets & Mergers happening as quick as a blink of an eye. It is an everywhere problem of lack of oversight all the way down from Congress to the Constituent.

How would a legislator or local BID or mayor find out if their tax dollars are being PING POCKETED by telecom carriers or other jurisdictions?


A- Random sampling & B- Approach & C- Determination A(i) Pick 3-9 residents in each of your jurisdictions A(ii)Determine where the Cell Towers are in your jurisdiction A(iii) Determine where the Cell Towers are in your bordering jurisdictions

B(i) Annoint your 3-9 Constituents “rockstars” B(ii) Your “Rockstars” will provide you their cell phone bill SURCHARGE SECTION for a period of (moving forward) 6 months B(iii) Your “Rockstars” will provide you their cell phone bill SURCHARGE SECTION for a period of (moving backward) 6 months, if needed 12 months, if needed 18 months (you get the point. Bills go back without charge for 18 months)

C(i) If determining your Constituents tax monies have been passed forward to another jurisdiction, you will connect to that jurisdiction to determine if they are losing tax dollars too
C(ii) Reach across the state line to others to determine Patterns (call me but not on your land line to lay this out for you…wink… Sprint makes big bank on land to cell calls racking up overage charges in no time at all)

D(i) Call for Congressional Oversight by the FCC and the Energy & Commerce Committee D(ii) Make sure EACH AND EVERY TAX DOLLAR overcharged to another District, county or state goes Directly back to the Consumer. NO. Lawyers are not needed neither are class action suits

E- for edification sake, ask your constituents E(i) do they receive their monthly statement by mail or by email
E(ii) do they read their monthly statement cover to cover (determined if is a snail mail bill or an email) E(iii) do they read their email bill or just follow the Payment Prompts and pay without reading the small print E(iv) have they ever read their online bill from beginning to end
E(v) do they want a simpler one page bill online or did they like it better when the bills came by mail…. (rooting for the USPS)

F- thank your “rockstars” publicly- McDonalds, anyone?

Legislators, just don’t get caught with your pants down getting PING POCKETED…. again


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