Ting now charging me "Multijurisdiction installment collection" taxes last 2 months

Anyone else receive a new line item in their Ting bill titled "Multijurisdiction installment collection"?  I have been charged this new tax for the last two months ($2.46 for my most recent bill) and Ting will not elaborate on who the tax is for or why.  Here is the Ting response when I asked for details on why I'm being charged this new and unknown tax:

 

Michael S. (Ting Help Center)

May 19, 21:09 EDT

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your email.

I guess the best way to say it is it's the tax system syncing itself up.  We get this information directly from tax authorities and it codes in the taxes.  We don't have any say in it.  Essentially their system omitted some small taxes last year and this is their way of rectifying it.
 
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Comments

64 comments
  • Hi Jason,

     Thanks for bringing this up. I'm looking into finding out more specifics for this and will get back to you with a response as soon as I can. The team that handles this is off for the holiday weekend in Canada so I probably won't have news until Tuesday. 

     I appreciate your patience and will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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  • Hi Jason,

     I heard back this morning and this is what we know. You aren't the only one who is seeing this fee on your billing, it is for missed taxes and it is based on your location. This usually doesn't happen and we were only made aware of this when we found out that we weren't collecting enough taxes. I understand your frustration with this and while we don't know the specific taxes that were missed in your area I would assume that it would not have been for one specific tax. 

     Being a nationwide network we see all the different states charging various amounts based on their region and the only role that we play is as a facilitator for the taxes. We don't have any control over the taxes that get charged to you monthly, we can only comply and pass along whatever information that is available to us. 

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  • Again, no one at Ting will tell me what taxes were not paid.  I need details, dates, names, etc.  Ting CANNOT simply add line items to bills without a DETAILED explanation.  This is unacceptable.  I will cancel all four phones unless this information is received, and I will perform a chargeback on the amounts.

    C'mon Ting, you're better than this.

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  • I have to say, this is very un-ting-like behavior and I'm a little disappointed.
    Might I suggest to ting that they take their usual open and honest approach and send out an informative email explaining what happened? If possible, include a summary to each customer that shows what is owed, so we can understand how much and how long the added charges will be collected.
    That is the ting I fell in love with.

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  • I just (auto) paid my bill. I was curious as to why my bill had suddenly jumped $.69. When I signed in to see the itemized accounting, I saw the additional fee was this:                                                                      Multijurisdiction installment collection $0.69.

    I understand all companies need to charge taxes, but as other commenters have mentioned I would have appreciated either a heads-up or some comment from Ting either before the charge was implemented or even as a * in the bill itself.

    To just, as it appears, simply add the additional fee without any reference as to why it is added to our bill, is a tactic of major cellphone companies, to slip in an additional fee, or raise the monthly charge with no explanation, and a big reason I broke away from them.

    Ting, if you are listening, be courteous to your subscribers.

    Please don't become as sly and disrespectful as all the others.

     

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  • We are definitely listening and we are looking at what went wrong so that we can prevent something like this from happening in the future. The multijurisdiction installment collection was something that we were made aware of, we believed our system was set up and we were charging all the taxes that we were told to charge then we were informed that we weren't collecting the full amount in all the areas. We had to start collecting the full taxes right away but because it is based on location it meant that not everyone had missed paying the taxes, this was not something that affected every account. Those that weren't charged their full taxes were also not all paying the same amount and this made it difficult for doing a mass notification.


    We are working behind the scenes to add more transparency to this issue but it takes time because of the scope of the situation. We appreciate everyone's patience as we work on this and want to let everyone know that your concerns are being listened to and we are working towards preventing something like this from happening again.    

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  • Ting may be "working on this issue", but they still have not shown me what taxes were underpaid.  I simply think Ting doesn't "get it".  Show us what taxes were underpaid.  If you can't do this, then don't charge us until you've sorted out your system.  If the company who manages your (Ting's) taxes can't tell us, then find another company.  All I keep hearing is Ting blaming their tax management company along with optimistic sugar-coasted emails and replies.

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  • On my mortgage, if the amount of property tax increased during the year, the company sends me a note telling me about the shortfall and exactly how much my monthly bill will change to cover it. I am then given two options: 1. Pay for the shortfall in one payment or 2. Spread it out in monthly payments. Ting's answer above does not convince me that I am paying only for my own shortfall. If they neglected to collect a specific tax how are they determining my specific amount?

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  • First, the excuse from Ting that they could not do a mass notification because not every account was charged this prior tax fee is lame to put it mildly.  Their billing system knows which accounts are charged; therefore a selective notice system is a bunt.

    Second, none of the Ting responses tell us how long these extra charges will go on.  If the charges are for prior year uncollected taxes then, at some point, all of the prior year taxes will have been collected and this line will disappear.  So Ting, your tax service must be able to tell you this and you must have this by account, so you must be able to tell the individual customer how many months this will go on.

    Third, if this is for past taxes that were not collected, then that should mean that one of the tax items collected was insufficient or some other new tax item was omitted.  If either is the case, then one of the existing tax items should have been greater than a prior month (usage being equal) or there should be an additional tax item listed.  Neither is the case for me.  So I am left thinking that all the normal tax items listed on my bill are the same.  So what was uncollected?

    What the heck is going on?

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  • I too saw this "Multijurisdiction installment collection" line on my May-June statement for an extra $2.40, and like others here, I was unpleasantly surprised with the increase.  Knowing that it is NOT Ting that charges taxes, it is the government (in this case, multiple states' governments), I can only imagine what a nightmare it is for Ting to try to stay in compliance - especially collecting for some of the more tax-happy states around the country.  Nonetheless, a brief heads up notification from Ting explaining the situation would be nice.

    Bryce,

    Please keep us in the loop on whether we should expect to continue seeing this charge or if it is instead just a (hopefully) one-time catch-up.

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  • Chill, folks. Ting owes the benefit of our doubt, given their transparent behavior in the past, & our heat toward them isn't helping matters. Is than <4% extra tax enough to jump to another service? We're not under contract, remember?

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  • This 'multijurisdiction installment collection" item continues to show up on the June bill. Ting's explanation of this on the separate page of the bill is 'multijurisdiction installment collection" without any elaboration. This seems either from ignorance on Ting's part or Ting acting like tax collectors in Jesus' time. I expect more from Ting "given their transparent behavior in the past" as one customer stated.

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  • Hey Sungnam, 

    The link Ted posted has a lot more details about the Multijurisdictional installment collection on Ting: https://reddit.com/r/ting/comments/8ksoht/anyone_else_notice_a_new_fee_on_their_bill/

    The long and short of it is these are past-due taxes. We can't not collect taxes for services rendered. Once the total amount of past-due taxes are collected, the installment will fall off,

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  • I've followed the "we're sorry, but we have to do this" story.  After three bills with amounts charged of $2.91, $2.95, and $2.85, I've received no communication explaining how it's calculated, which of my jurisdictions are involved, and when it will end.  Ting has been candid and transparent in the past, so this is quite disappointing.  IMO, if Ting made the error, they should correct it going forward, but not retroactively charge us.  If a third-party was responsible for the error, they should absorb it.

    Last week, I ported out our two heavier usage devices/users.  This issue was not the only factor, but it definitely influenced my decision.  A few days ago, I opened a Help case stating all of this and got what I would characterize as a "form letter", directly quoting what has already been posted in this thread.  I responded to the follow up feedback request with "unacceptable", but have had no further contact.  What happened to the old Ting?

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  • Hey Martin, 

    We're still the same old Ting. We don't have insight into the total that was missed over all the accounts affected by this. Our tax assessor let us know that these had gone uncollected, and that we needed to collect them. Rather than ask for a lump-sum from each account holder for past-due taxes, we split them up into small amounts.

    The "multi-jurisdiction" part of its name just means it's a combination across the US of some local, state and federal jurisdictions. Multiple taxing authorities are concerned here, but on some accounts it may only be one. That's the part about taxes -- there's a lot of them. In New York, there's a surcharge on all Ting bills to pay for the local mass transit system: http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/383556-tax-day-every-day-new-york-citys-stealth-tax-problem

    The only way to fix that is to vote in local elections. 

    This isn't an ongoing charge, either. Not all Ting customers are affected by it. Each account was assessed its past-due tax amount (some having $0 past-due taxes), and installments are placed in small chunks to pay it off. Once the amount is paid, the installments will disappear from your Ting account. 

    If it were up to us, we would have forgiven the past-due amounts. We can't not pay taxes, though. Taxing authorities don't like when you don't pay taxes. If you know of a way to hand-waive thousands-upon-thousands of dollars in taxes, we may need to hook you up with our accountants.

    But in all seriousness, if the few dollars in legally-required taxes we're now collecting means you feel you can't be a Ting customer anymore, we understand that. We're disappointed, but our hands are tied when it comes to taxes. Please know you're always welcome back at Ting if your new phone company doesn't work out.

    Believe me, it's not simple to code up a way to show what the total amount for each account is, or we'd have done it. I agree with you that communication on this could and should have been clearer, and I'll be taking that feedback to the people in charge of this. If you have concerns about it, please reach out to me directly. I'll be stepping in on your help request shortly and we can discuss your concerns and a possible solution.

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  • Same old excuse by Ting about this issue.......month after month.  It's always "not Ting's fault".  Except that it is.  And I have NOT YET received any details from Ting after many months regarding why these back taxes weren't collected or exactly who they're for.

    I'd be embarrassed to be Ting in this situation.  

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  • Hey Jason,

    We are not able to provide any further insight beyond that. This issue and how it was handled will be taken into consideration if or when any future decisions like this need to happen. We always do want to be as open and forthright as we can and there was probably a better way than this. In this case, we were always going to have to apply the taxes but I can agree with you that the charges (and the reason behind them) could have been clarified in a much clearer way.

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  • Either you know exactly how much each account owes and are splitting that over x equal payments (x might vary by the total amount owed, that's reasonable), or you only have a guess and you're just changing the fee every month depending on how close you came to your guess. I mean, that sounds crazy, but I don't have any better explanation for why the fee changes each month. When does ting expect to have finished collecting these back taxes? Can you give any assurances like "the fee will not vary by more than 25% from what it is on your most recent bill"? Can you at all try to explain why the fee changes each month?

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  • I wholeheartedly agree with Carl!!

    We are being told by Ting that 'when' they have recouped these uncollected taxes this fee will drop off our bills.

    However, why don't they tell us how much that amount is, and they have now collected $xx. of $xxx. owed?!

    So, fine. I will accept that Ting is entitled to collect these taxes that they tell us they didn't have any idea they were to collect.

    Most of the comments are from those of us that have not been given any kind of rational response from Ting.

    ('I will get back to you, those that know are out of the office!' 'We are giving the feedback to those that are in charge... blah blah.')

    This group of posts is now 2 months old.

    Ting, again if you are listening, and you do care that so many of us are unhappy with your lack of real communication on this matter, please be considerate with the customer base you still have. 

    All most of us are asking is to be completely (transparent!) truthful with us.

    The fact that we still don't know how much we owe in back-taxes and you apparently do (otherwise why pick the various amounts people are being charged!), why on earth don't you just say???

    We all pay different amounts depending on how many devices we have and how much we use each month in the various categories. 

    You manage somehow to make each bill fit the user.

    So, how difficult can it be to add the amount we each owe to the billing page.

    How can you charge an amount that seems to differ with each subscriber, and not have any idea the total of the amount owed??

    Also, why do we only hear from those in the company that haven't a clue?

    Why doesn't someone that does have an intelligent answer take a moment and post a real answer to our collective queries??

    Cannot you people tell that we are beyond completely disgusted with your behavior?

    As I mentioned in a past post, this is a tactic of big name cell companies and why I left AT&T.

    I knew they couldn't care less about customer service.

    I also felt the 'warm and fuzzies' about Ting when I first decided to join up!

    Not so warm and fuzzy now...

     

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  • It'd be nice to know how much is left to collect. It's kind of shady not knowing the remaining balance on somebody's mistake and not being given advanced notice, at least via e-mail anyway, of some sort beforehand. 

    If you're quick to send out a lame red alert in regards to the STUPID and utterly senseless Net Neutrality BS, then we should have been notified of this "mistake" before it was mysteriously sneaked onto our bills.

    Surely you guys have some sort of general idea on how much is owed by now... it's been THREE MONTHS!.

    Michael B
    BART/011717

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  • I just canceled 4 phone lines on Ting and moved them to Sprint due to this multijurisdiction installment collection crap.  CYA!

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  • Hey Jason, 

    A weird quirk of this tax situation is that after you leave, should you decide to come back to Ting, the multijurisdictional installment shouldn't apply. I know that's not a perfect answer, but I wanted to be honest with you.

     

    Michael, 

    Our customer service agents still don't have visibility on the total for each account -- if you'd like me to take a look at the account and see if there's something else we can try, please send an email to help@ting.com with the subject "Multijurisdictional installment for Mitch Surprenant" and let me know here that you've sent it. I'll pick up your ticket and follow up with account-specific details and possible solutions.

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  • 5 months now. About ten bucks total over 5 months (two lines). It's not going to make me leave, partly that's because I'm lazy, but it's not winning you any referrals either. It still seems ridiculous that you don't have enough information to tell customers how much they owe for how many more months. Only years of reliable service have bought you enough goodwill to let that go without assuming you're just fleecing unsuspecting customers. Do better next time, Ting.

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  • Carl, 

    Please follow the instructions I gave to Michael, and I'll follow up via email there.

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  • So, we have to jump through another hoop, like training a cat to ring a bell for food, to get something started?  Just do it -- follow up.  My name is right here.

    Michael B
    BART/201657
    *EM*

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  • Emailed, although I agree, this seems like an unnecessary extra step.

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  • Emailing in versus me sending an email out is an account security thing, which is something we take very seriously.

    Carl, I'm composing an email to you right now and will follow up there. I think I have a workable solution.

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  • Not so secure when my name is shown here.  It's all you need.  Besides, I GAVE you permission.

    Michael B
    BART/201809

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  • Because we take account security very seriously, we can't use a forum post or just a customer name to authenticate the account. That must be done via our secure help request ticketing system.

    Anything else is a security vulnerability that opens up your account to unauthorized access, and we very much want to prevent that. You wouldn't want just anyone to be able to access your Ting account without your permission. 

    As soon as you send that email to help@ting.com, I'll follow up instantly and we'll work on a solution together.

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