Photograph: Joe Raedle (Getty)

A new survey has discovered that an exorbitant variety of cable clients could also be paying their TV suppliers hefty hidden charges amounting to lots of of {dollars} yearly.

A cable invoice survey of two,057 U.S. adults in 2018 by Client Reviews discovered {that a} staggering 85 p.c have encountered shock or hidden charges—particularly non-government imposed charges and people completely different from charges outlined by the corporate for the service—in recent times. In analyzing consumer-submitted payments, Client Reviews discovered that these hidden prices tack on 24 p.c of the service’s base worth to customers’ month-to-month payments.

In analyzing virtually 800 payments for cable companies, Client Reviews discovered that these charges may be for something from set-top field leases to broadcast and regional sports activities charges. Client Reviews stated that based mostly on its nationally consultant survey outcomes, it estimates cable firms could also be pulling in roughly $28 billion yearly from these expenses. These expenses end in about $450 per client yearly in further prices on common, the report stated.

Client Reviews particularly named Comcast as one such firm charging clients for additional companies like broadcast TV surcharges. Further expenses for broadcast TV and regional sports activities in 2015 amounted to about $2.50 a month however now value clients round $18.25 in further prices on their month-to-month invoice, the report stated.

In a letter despatched in May of final 12 months to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and the heads of 10 different main cable suppliers, Jonathan Schwantes, senior coverage counsel at Client Reviews, urged “all pay-TV providers and ISPs to include the full cost of service in the base price so that consumers know the actual price they will pay, and can effectively compare the prices of different services.”

In a June response, Comcast EVP and Basic Counsel Lynn Charytan defended these charges as being disclosed in “rate cards, advertising, online, and during the ordering process,” and attributed the charges to a “vastly expanded” service worth in addition to rising prices of sports activities programming and broadcast tv. Charytan added that “customers must affirmatively consent to all of the charges associated with their order—including the specific BTV and RSN fees that apply to their services—prior to the order being placed.”

“With the proliferation of add-on fees, it’s nearly impossible for consumers to find out the full cost of a cable package before they get locked into a contract—and cable companies count on this,” Schwantes stated in a press release. “These confusing, often misleadingly named charges continue to drive up consumer bills, even if you lock in a promotional rate.”

[Vice]

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