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A recent analysis done by The Consumerist, a non-profit website dedicated to providing consumer news and information, found some pretty interesting things about your cable bill. The organization reviewed cable and internet bills from the seven biggest providers and tried to make sense of all those fees and random charges. Here’s what they found.
1. You Are Getting Nickeled and Dimed (And Some Companies Are Worse Than Others)
They are tacking on fees for everything. According to the Consumerist study, there are fees for cable modems, set-top boxes, HD programming and even regional sports. As an example, some satellite companies have added a $8 insurance fee for the equipment. The Consumerist suggests you think about if you really want to pay for that insurance.
2. Companies Apply Two Approaches To Keep The Bill Confusing
On one end of the spectrum, companies like Dish and Charter roll all of their taxes into one line item to keep things are opaque as possible. On the other end is AT&T Uverse, which breaks down each detail. By doing this, it creates an equally confusing bill which makes it almost harder to understand and dissect.
3. Longtime Loyal Customers Are Getting The Worst Deal
The most common theme found in bills was that longtime customers had bills that were $10-20 more than new customers in the same neighborhood.
It’s recommended to try shopping around (if you have other options in your area) and renegotiate your bills annually. In 2015, Consumer Reports published a survey and found that 45 percent of people who tried to renegotiate received a substantial drop in their bills. As I always say, it can’t hurt to try.
For more details on The Consumerist findings check out their full report.
Photo by uberculture