Consumers Union finds misleading fees in Wisconsin internet bills

A Consumers Union analysis of more than 22,000 home internet-service bills, including bills from Wisconsin, has found that many of the documents obscured the true cost of service and included “junk fees” to increase the amount owed.

On average, Wisconsinites paid $75 a month not including bundled services such as cable television, according to Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. That amount mirrored the national average.

Company-imposed fees, that may appear to be required by the government but are not, sometimes added more than $10 to a bill. The fees enable internet service providers to raise prices without seeming to violate marketing or contractual price commitments.

Consumers Union found that more than a dozen internet service providers included “junk fees” on their bills under names such as “network enhancement fee, internet infrastructure fee, deregulated administration fee, and technology service fee.”

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