Last month, a California state Senate bill that sought to stop telcos from charging consumers a fee to keep their phone numbers unlisted was shelved for the second consecutive year under what was described as intense opposition from service providers. Now, the Los Angeles Times is taking a closer look at those fees, and the difficulty that some service providers have in explaining why they do it and what the money goes toward.
The report by David Lazarus actually keys in an odd practice by Time Warner Cable, which charges customer 99 cents to unlist their numbers, but does not publish a directory from which to unlist them. TWC and other service providers the newspaper talked to can't seem to clearly explain their reasoning or even what goes into the process of unlisting a number. Unlisted phone number fees generate controversy from time to time, though there never seems to be a wide enough outcry that service providers cave. Maybe they have some real need to charge the fees, but if they do, they should be able to explain why.
California adopted new rural service laws last fall