Tomorrow the United States Senate will hold hearings about the high cost of cable TV fees. One of the groups that will be testifying is Consumer Reports. This is all part of a bill in the Senate that would force cable companies to include the fees as part of the advertised price for cable TV. This is part of a hearing about Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act.
There is also a second bill that was introduced back in February by U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo from California, and Senator Ed Markey, called the “Truth-in-Billing, Remedies, and User Empowerment over Fees Act of 2019’’ or ‘‘TRUE Fees Act of 2019.”
If this proposed legislation passes, companies would have to alert a consumer of any increase no later than 21 days before it goes into effect, giving the consumer ample time to cancel the service and/or switch to another cable provider if they choose to. The hope is to put an end to the sudden and often unexpected price hikes that come when promotional offers end.
Bills like this have been tried in the past and so far have not been successful. As of today, this new TRUE Fees Act of 2019 is still in its early stages. We will have to keep an eye out to see if there is any support for this bill in Congress.
Here is the email that Consumer Reports sent out to readers who sent in copies of their bills:
Thousands of you recently sent us your cable TV bills so we could figure out how many fees were buried in the fine print.
Because of that effort, we’ll be testifying TOMORROW before a Senate committee about the enormous amount of hidden fees we found in your bills, and the need for a new law to help end these sneaky charges.
*****, it just so happens your U.S. Senator is on this key committee and could be a critical vote in ending hidden cable fees. Would you send a quick message right now backing us up as we testify, and asking your Senator to help end these fees?
Cable fees have gotten out of control. Our analysis of a sample of your cable bills found the average customer was charged $450 a year in company-imposed fees – a 24 percent surcharge on top of the advertised price.
These ballooning fees are a way for cable companies to effectively pad profits while leaving their advertised rates unchanged: We estimate the cable industry could be making some $28 billion a year from fees!
****, can you ask your Senator to help end the cable industry’s sneaky fees? The hearing is tomorrow and Big Cable will be speaking too, so we need a big push today to make sure consumers are not drowned out by industry!
We wouldn’t be testifying before a Senate panel if it hadn’t been for so many consumers joining together to hold the cable industry accountable and demand honest pricing! Please, after you take action, forward this email to friends and family in your state so they can join you in asking your Senator to help end hidden fees.
If you want to support this bill, make sure you reach out to your representatives in Washington and tell them you support the Truth-In-Billing bill. You can find out how to contact your representatives here.
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