Here Are Three Ways Cable Companies Trick You Into Overpaying


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A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phone

A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phoneIf there is anything cable companies are good at it is being confusing. They are experts at getting you to sign up for a bigger package than you need so they can make more money at the same time they trick you into thinking you will be saving money.

So here are three ways they trick you into overpaying.

Confusing Packages and Promotional Prices

Recently cable TV has been trying to push the idea that if you get phone, TV, and Internet it will be less expensive than Internet only. Just think about that for a minute. Will a company really want to give you more for less?

They pull this trick off on many Americans by being confusing in their pricing. First they often will tell you a promotional rate for the TV service but quote you the full rate for Internet. It may seem less expensive at first but in a few months the promotional rate ends and you are locked into a 2-year contract and are paying double or more.

They also have a way of saying its only $39.99 for cable TV, Internet, and phone; however, when you read closely you will see it is $39.99 EACH. That means the real cost of the plan is $119.97 a month.

Many of these confusing tricks occur over the phone where you don’t have all the numbers in writing in front of you. All you are hearing is the representative from the cable company telling you how much cheaper it is. They will often drop in words like plus fees and taxes but never tell you what these fees are. The truth is the average Comcast customer pays over $150 a month.

Always ask yourself why is a company so desperate to give me more for less? They are doing it because they know in the long run they will make more.

Fees and Taxes

Here is where they get you. They quote you a price but have over $50 in fees hidden deep in the contract or on a second page.

Let’s take a look at some of Comcast’s fees.

$7 a month broadcast TV fee

$10 a month DVR fee

$9.95 a month HD technology fee

$5.99 a month adapter fee per extra TV

$10 a month modem rental

$2 a month voice technology fee

So if you own two extra TVs and have their triple play plan with voice, Internet, and TV you will pay an extra $55.93 a month. Over a year the fees add up to an extra $671.16 on top of the price for the service you saw in the ad. You have to dig down deep to find these fees.

Overselling You

Often cable companies try to get you to sign up for the largest plan possible. They do this with TV by trying to get you to buy more channels, and they do it with Internet by trying to get you to buy the fastest speed.

You don’t need the fastest speed possible to stream content online. I recommend getting a plan as low as 25 Mbps down. Netflix says to get HD all you need is 5 Mbps down. If you want their 4K Ultra HD streaming they recommend 25 Mbps down. (Note: There is an extra fee and not part of their $10 a month plan.)

So avoid letting them talk you into getting the fastest Internet speed they sell.

Hopefully this has helped you save some money by avoiding many of the common tricks companies play.

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