Cable companies. You love them and you hate them. While you like the services they provide, your dislike for telecom companies is strong. They consistently rank in the top worst businesses on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
What is it we loathe so much about our cable companies? Some would say losing a signal in the middle of a big game or important show. Others might complain about poor customer service.
One contentious matter that can rile even the most composed cable subscriber is the pricing. You sign a contract at a set advertised “discount” price and the next thing you know, your monthly bill has skyrocketed. How is this possible? Let’s find out.
The hidden fees behind your cable contract
A recent Consumer Reports’ in-depth exploration into the cable industry revealed an ongoing practice of adding on a host of company-imposed charges to your monthly bill.These hidden fees can add up to an additional $450 every year. You may recognize some of the culprits such as the Regional Sports fee, Broadcast fee or the Set-Top box rental fee.
These fees, while common, are not mandated by the government. They are costs the cable industry deems necessary for providing your television lineup, which means a padding of 24% above your advertised pricing.
According to Consumer Reports, “cable companies could be making an estimated $28 billion a year from charging company-imposed fees.”
This staggering figure should make every cable subscriber rethink their love-hate relationship with their provider.
How you can avoid extra fees
If you are part of the 96% of consumers who report hidden fees as a nuisance, there are some steps you can take to avoid the costs. First and foremost, being an informed consumer is your best weapon when dealing with companies big or small. When it comes to hidden cable fees, there are a few tips that may help you reduce your cable bill.
- Ask if they would waive a fee (Don’t be afraid to ask).
- Threaten to cancel when your promotional period is up.
- Buy your own modem.
- Skip premium movie channels.
Want a surefire way of eliminating the hidden costs? Cut the cord. Join the 30% of U.S. households that have said goodbye to cable and its fees and hello to options. If you are interested in learning more about streaming TV and what you need to get started, we have a collection of resources here at Komando.com.