We hope you enjoy the following guest post from Luke Bouma, one of the cord cutting experts behind CordCuttersNews.com.
In a desperate attempt to keep customers from cutting the cord, cable companies everywhere are advertising crazy cheap TV ‘deals’.
WARNING: IT’S A TRAP!
These ‘deals’ are not new. For some time now, cable companies have tried to hide the real costs of cable TV behind fees and taxes.
But there is a new trick cable TV is using: they promise to lock in your rate for one year, but the catch is that the fees and taxes are not price locked. That is why many cable TV customers are finding out their TV bills are going up despite expecting to pay a specific rate.
There are fees for HD, local sports, broadcast TV, device rental and more.
For example, one customer’s recent Comcast bill added over $80 in fees and taxes each month:
- Additional TV Services: $18.91
- Additional Internet Services: $13
- Additional Products, Services & Equipment Fees: $33.96
- Other Charges & Credits: $13.23
- Taxes, Surcharges, & Fees: $8.39
You can find a full break down of what these fees and taxes are HERE.
Instead of paying that much just in fees every single month, you could invest $80 once for a device like Roku or Amazon Fire TV and enjoy free streaming apps for years.
The other trick we are hearing about from readers who jumped on these so-called deals is the contract lock. The price may be good for 12 months, but the contract is for 24-months meaning the consumer winds up paying two or three times the original promotional rate for a year before being able to cancel without a penalty.
Also, be careful of ‘free TV for a year’ offers. Some companies are offering cable TV packages for ‘free’ when you sign up for their fastest internet plans. However, that ‘free’ TV comes with fees and taxes and after the first year, you’re again locked into a two-year contract unless you want to pay termination fees.
In short, this all comes down to two different truths. Nothing in life is free (well, except Over-the-Air TV) and if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Luke Bouma graduated from Grand Valley State University and has spent the last 3 years as a dedicated Cord Cutter. He has been featured as a cord cutting expert for many publications like Wall Street Journal, Maxim, Refinery29, and many more. He has also been a guest on Clear Channel Radio to talk about Cord Cutting. Luke Bouma founded Cord Cutters News, LLC back in 2014 and also writes for Mohu, Ting, and has guest blogged for Roku.
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