Cable subscribers to services like Comcast often pay exorbitant fees. It is one of the driving forces of the cord-cutting era. Not only are the cable contracts long and binding, but the fees pile up. Subscribers may not even know where some of those fees come from.
Worse off, the providers might not even know where some of these minuscule charges come from. Of course, the broadcast provider is the one charging the fees. Regardless, Comcast recently told the FCC that it is simply too difficult to explain where some of the fees on users’ bills may come from.
A Comcast filing with the FCC said the intricacies of these fees are hard for everyday users to get a grasp of. This is in response to the FCC’s request to clarify what people may be charged for. Its official statement to the FCC said it wants to streamline these labels, which could hide the fees further.
“Two aspects of the Commission’s Order impose significant administrative burdens and unnecessary complexity in complying with the broadband label requirements,” read part of Comcast’s statement.
Consumer Reports found that these fees pocked the cable industry over $28 billion per year. Unsurprisingly, that fee per customer is well above the advertised rate they thought they signed up for. At times, it can be 24% higher.
Cable subscribers on Comcast can use streaming to escape fees
Individual streaming services are much simpler in how much they charge. For example, Paramount+ is becoming $5.99 at the end of June. That is how much it shows up in bank statements. Granted, cable subscriptions are more complex. There is more hardware, potential phone and internet connections and arguably more users. However, the FCC is simply asking brands like Comcast to demonstrate where all the fees come from.
Perhaps the lack of clarity is contributing to cable subscriptions in the United States dipping to their lowest point in the last 30 years. Cable subscriptions are down 7% on an annual basis.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Wirestock
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