Hidden Cable TV Fees Add $450 to Your Cable TV Bill Every Year According to Consumer Reports





Stressed woman looking at papers

Stressed woman looking at papersFor years now we have warned about the high costs of cable TV fees that are hidden from the advertised price. Now according to Consumer Reports, the average cable TV customer pays $450 every year in fees on their cable TV bill.

“Cable companies are notorious for advertising a low price but charging much more by adding a long list of confusing fees to monthly bills,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports.  “These sneaky fees are a real budget-buster that enable cable companies to jack up their rates and disguise the true cost consumers pay each month.”

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the fees you will find with Comcast every month:

#1 Universal Connectivity Charge

This fee is reportedly used by Comcast to help build out its network in low-income areas.

According to Comcast, this fee: “is not government-mandated, but these costs are outside of our control and so are passed through to our customers.” It’s a fee Comcast controls and knows about but does not bundle into the advertised cost of the package.

#2 Regulatory Recovery Fee

This fee is for voice customers and goes to covering the costs imposed on Comcast by federal, state, and local governments.

#3 Franchise Fee

This is a fee that comes from when the city gives Comcast permission to operate in said city. To have the right to offer TV in your city Comcast pays your local city a fee. Comcast knows what this fee is because they rarely change but once every few years. For example, in Philadelphia, this fee was last renegotiated in 2015. So, Comcast could easily include this in the advertised price you see online.

#4 Franchise Related Costs

Comcast not only passes along the Franchise Fee to subscribers as second line but adds a third charge to your bill for related costs of being a franchise in your city.

#5 FCC Regulatory Fee

This fee goes to the FCC to help cover the operations of the FCC. This fee rarely changes and is the same nationwide.

#6 911 Fee(s)

This fee is on every phone line to fund your local 911 center.

#7 Regional Sports Fees

This is one of the newer fees that was added in 2015. Now that regional sports channel that they prominently sell to you as part of the advertised price also comes with an additional fee. Don’t forget in many Comcast markets your regional sports channel is also owned by Comcast.

#8 Broadcast TV Fee

Local channels are some of the most expensive. To help hide the cost of them cable companies added a Broadcast TV fee in 2014. This is one more example of how they advertise your local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates being part of your package but hide the fact that they cost extra on top of the advertised price.

#9 DVR Fee

Want to DVR your shows? That is a fee on top of the advertised price.

#10 Set Top Box Fee/Cable Card Fee

Comcast has been rolling out digital cable across the United States and is now in most markets. This means you need to rent a box to watch even basic cable. You could get a device that uses a cable card, but Comcast also charges a small fee for that.

#11 Cable Modem Rental

Want Internet? If you don’t buy your own modem you are paying a cable modem rental fee. We highly suggest you buy your own modem to avoid this fee. It costs a bit upfront but will save you money over time.

#12 HD Technology Fee

As best we can tell most Comcast Triple Play packages now include an HD Technology Fee. You can buy the basic locals-only SD package for example without the fee but most Comcast packages will charge you this. Especially if you get a DVR as part of your TV package.

Here is an example of how these fees can add up to be over $70 a month.

How much of your last cable TV bill was fees and taxes? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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