A little bit back, Cringely had a brilliant column about billable events and the last mile. Everything the telcos (and others) do these days is primarily aimed at creating billable events. This includes the net neutrality debates.
In fact, at&t is so skilled at revenuing, they can generate billable events out of nothing at all. Here’s a short quote from a recent phone bill:
The FUSF pass through fee charged to some customers has been reduced and credit may be due. Due to the large volume, any applicable credits generated in 2005 or 2006 may appear on a future bill. The average one-time credit will be less than $1.50.
No problem manufacturing extra charges in “large volume” since at least last year, but when it comes to refunds (and very partial refunds from the look of it), it sure takes a long time.
Speaking of long times, another thing the telcos aren’t very quick about is transferring service. Took them 11 days to establish service at my new address, with a $37 billable event to boot. But I’m back online now. If you’ve sent email in the last 2 weeks and haven’t seen a response, it might be a good idea to resend. -m