If there is one thing we can say for cable companies, they are very good at being confusing.
Recently in an effort to keep more video subscribers they have worked hard to make their pricing even more difficult to understand. As part of that effort they have started to make it look like getting TV plus Internet is less expensive than getting Internet only.
Just think about that for a minute… Do you really think the for-profit cable companies will give you more for less? The truth is, they won’t…
Let’s take a look at how they are tricking potential cord cutters.
Recently in an effort to hide the true cost of cable TV many cable companies have started to increase fees. This allows them to advertise low TV rates but hide the real costs in a bunch of fees that are not shown on banner ads.
The following is just a selection of typical fees:
- Broadcast TV fee: $7
- Regional Sports fee: $5
- HD Technology fee: $9.95
- DVR fee: $10
- Adapter fee: $5.99
Right there is $37.49 in fees; however, if you have two extra TVs in your house after the primary set they charge you a second $5.99 bringing the fees to $43.48. Let’s not forget the $10 modem rental they will push on you, which brings the fees to $53.48 a month…
Remember the advertised price is not the price you will pay.
#2 Installation Fee & Taxes
According to Comcast’s website, your first bill will also include “Any activation, installation, or one-time fees, with applicable taxes.” What does this mean? Let’s take a look…
According to a post on DSLReports some Comcast installation fees are as much as $59.95. Broken down over 12 months that is about an extra $5 a month (on top of the $53.48 a month in fees).
So now that crazy good $50 a month deal for TV and Internet is really costing $108.48… That’s even before we talk about taxes.
In most areas of the United States you pay taxes on your TV service—taxes you do not typically pay on streaming services and Internet. Remember when you sign up for traditional pay TV to ask what your local taxes will be. They can vary wildly even in the same state but typically do not apply to Internet and streaming services.
Also remember to ask what the installation fee is. Often if you are a current subscriber the company will waive the fee, but they will often try to add it if you don’t ask.
#3 Promotional Rates
Here is where they really get you… They will advertise the full price of Internet but compare it to the promotional rates. For example, a TV package that is listed at $69.99 a month may jump to $99.99 plus taxes and fees in the second year. That means the real cost of the package over the 2-year contract is $84.99.
The company also has the right to raise that rate at any time. So make sure you know what the rate will be when the promotional rates end. I have even heard that some of these promotional rates only last a few months now.
#4 Never Trust What They Say on the Phone
Get it in writing… I often hear people say they told me this or that, but when they get the bill it’s very different. Get it in writing or do not trust what they have to say.
So, as always, ask yourself whether a for-profit cable TV company would give you more for less…
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