Relief from hidden cable TV fees: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Look closely at your cable bill — you might be surprised to find fees you never heard of that are driving up the cost.

Some of those fees include Broadcast TV fee, regional sports fee, set-top box or rental fees and many more. Add it all up and, according to a Consumer Reports report, the average cable subscriber pays near $450 in customer-imposed fees every year.

So, how can you cut those pesky fees? If you guessed cutting the cable TV cord, you’re right. A good quality digital antenna costs around $35 dollars and can tune in to local TV stations for free.

Streaming services on your smart TV or smart device might charge a monthly subscription fee, but that’s it.

Relief might be o the way from Washington. Congress passed a law last December that does three basic things:

  • Requires cable companies to disclose at the point of sale, meaning right when you’re going to sign up for the service, of what your total overall price will be. This includes all fees and taxes.
  • If you don’t like the price, you have 24 hours to change your mind and cancel without any penalty.
  • You no longer have to pay for equipment that the cable company gives you, like a Wi-Fi router.

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