Did you know traditional pay TV providers will raise your fees just based on your zip code? “Regional sports fees” have been under fire for some time as a hidden fee but now we learned that your neighbor may pay less than you?
According to a report from the Consumerist points out that these fees are so bizarrely applied, you may be paying higher or lower fees than your neighbor just a few blocks down the road.
A Minneapolis user wrote in to the website annoyed after her DIRECTV bill recently increased $7.29 a month because of the Regional Sports Fee. Amusingly, she used a tool on DIRECTV’s website that lets you see what fees will be applied to your specific zip code, and discovered that DIRECTV charges different customers — in some cases just feet away from each other — RS fees of $0, $2.47, $5.83, and $7.29 depending on zip code — even if they’re receiving the same sports content.
The Consumerist followed up and went through and found the same, inconsistent fees in places like Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other major markets. Why is this happening? The Consumerist asked DIRECTV and effectively received an inaccurate non-answer.
Chicago seemed like it was going to all be the same fee level, until they stumbled on 60647, where residents pay $7.29 per month while everyone else pays $5.83 — again, for exactly the same channels in exactly the same market:
The Consumerist says concludes their report by saying:
We sent all these maps to DIRECTV, hoping to get a better explanation than the non-answer given to Connie. After more than two days of waiting, the best the company has been willing to provide is “[Regional sports network] content and thus the costs charged by providers vary significantly by ZIP code.”
Fortunately cord cutters have been able to avoid such random pricing. Service like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW have all been consistent in their pricingand upfront in their fees. So maybe it is time to give cord cutting a second look.
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