Comcast is Upset That it Must Disclose Its Hidden Fees & Wants The FCC to Change The Rules





Comcast Cable Truck

Comcast recently filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over a federal law passed in 2021 requiring companies to fully disclose all fees to customers. The law requires broadband customers to be provided with a label clearly outlining exact pricing information as well as additional fees, discounts, bundle deals, and connection speeds at the point of sale.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the broadband label rules in November of 2022, though the new customer-friendly guidelines have yet to go into effect until the federal Office of Management and Budget reviews the labels as part of the U.S. Paperwork Reduction Act.

Once the review is completed, companies will be required to provide a complete list that outlines all broadband prices, introductory rates, data allowances, internet speeds, and links to more information about ISP’s network management practices and privacy policies.

“The label hasn’t even reached consumers yet, but Comcast is already trying to create loopholes. This request would allow the big ISPs to continue hiding the true cost of service and frustrating customers with poor service. Congress created the label to end these practices, not maintain them, and Comcast offers no compelling reason for the FCC to violate Congress’ intent,” said Joshua Stager, Policy Director for Free Press.

He went on to say, “Comcast already succeeded in watering down the label last year when they defeated a requirement to display the label where customers would actually see it – on their monthly bill. Despite strong support for this common-sense rule, the FCC didn’t have the votes. It’s a loophole that many ISPs, which are notoriously adept at hiding billing disclosures, will try to drive a truck through.”

In the complaint, Comcast stated, “Recent filings regarding the Commission’s underestimation of the burdens associated with implementing the broadband consumer label rules.” 

Apparently, instead of taking it upon themselves to simply explain Comcasts’ billing practices, the company would prefer to continue exasperating customers with the complex task of figuring out what they’re being charged for and why. Comcast would prefer the FCC reword the law to say “ISPs may, but are not obligated” to inform customers of various fees and avoid having to provide them with itemized bills.

Comcast doesn’t make it easy for customers to get a clear picture of their monthly charges. Several sources have reported that Comcast’s “poorly trained customer service reps have been known to falsely tell customers that fees created by Comcast are mandated by the government.”

“These rules are important for informing consumers about the basis for the cost of broadband and to ensure that ISPs comply with the rules,” said Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge. “In other words, they do exactly what the statute instructed. The reasons given to change these rules were not compelling when the trade associations files their petition for reconsideration, and they have not become more compelling now.”

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