VHF license Renewal Notice—WARNING!!

August 6, 2008

We received one of these solicitations when it was time to renew our boat’s license. It looks official, but it’s not. We threw it away. We found the FCC web site renewal process confusing, but a few moments on the phone with one of its helpful customer service people cleared everything up. Our advice: renew by phone.

MESSAGE RELAY FROM RBAW BOARD MEMBER KELLIE HAMMETT OF EDMONDS YACHT CLUB

This subject may have been broached before and many may already know of this scheme. My license is coming up for renewal soon (after ten years). There is an outfit doing business under the name of 'Business Radio Licensing' and they somehow are aware of my impending renewal. From them, I received a rather official looking cover letter and copy of a government renewal form. They are asking for a processing fee of $340.

At first blush, it looked rather suspicious especially considering the amount of the fee, so I just filed it away for future reference. A few days later, along comes a 'Renewal Reminder Notice' from the FCC, so I do some investigating by calling the FCC about how to go about renewing due to the very confusing nature of the 'Notice.' I was then given a web-site (wireless.fcc.gov/uls) to actually complete the renewal process. Too bad this site doesn't appear on the notice (could be so much simpler).

While I was on the phone with the FCC, I inquired about 'Business Radio Licensing' and was told (as I suspected) that this third party just collects the fee plus $180 (FCC fee is $160) and sends the form you completed to the FCC.

So much for our government giving us the protection we deserve and pay for! Why can't they give us some kind of heads-up on something like this? Makes one wonder how many fall for this rip-off.

Cheers,
Kellie

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