Cable TV

Cable Companies Are Desperate to Trick You into Coming Back…

Cable TVRecently we have heard from many new cord cutters who say cable systems are telling them it is less expensive to get Internet plus TV rather than just Internet. WARNING: IT’S A TRAP!

Let’s breakdown a few of the hidden cost that many of these companies hide.

First, there are taxes, and there are a lot of taxes with TV that Internet-only customers do not have to pay.

Second, they add in fees such as an HD fee, local sports fees, device fees, and rental fees. We recently broke down one customer’s bill to show how Comcast added over $40 in fees and taxes.

2016-02-17 14.59.37There is also a new wrinkle many cable companies are adding. They promise to lock in your rate for one year, but there is a catch. They forget to add that the free HBO and Showtime they add is not locked in at that rate. They only lock the basic cable in at that rate and after 3 months they start billing you for HBO or other premium channels. If you want to cancel HBO or other premium channels you have to pay a cancelation fee. Yes, some cable companies are now charging cancelation fees to drop premium channels.

The other trick we are hearing from readers who took these so-called deals is the contract lock. The price may be good for 12 months but you signed up for a 24-month contract. In the past people would try to renew their contract after 12 months to get a new promotion. Just be warned: we are hearing some customers are being told that with the deal they have they cannot renew until the contract is over, meaning they will be paying two or three times what their promotional rate is.

Also be careful of free TV for a year deals. Some companies are offering a deal that says if you sign up to their fastest Internet plans you can get cable TV free; however, they sock you with fees and taxes. Then after the free year of TV you are locked in to a two-year contract unless you want to pay termination fees.

In short, this all comes down to two different truths. Nothing is free and if the deal sounds too good to be true…

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  • risingtide

    It’s surprisingly very easy to trick people by advertising a very low starting price only to realize that in order to get everything you want, you will end up paying almost double. Sling is using the same old tricks too but that’s expected since it’s owned by a cable/satellite company.

  • mnsportsgeek

    I realize this isn’t the norm for all areas, but I can get Comcast with HD DVR for the first year plus internet for about $80/month including taxes and fees. I can get that indefinitely by cancelling and resubscribing every year.

    I don’t do that because I wanted to experiment with OTT services because I’m a sucker for new stuff, but Comcast is extremely competitive in my area. Right now I pay $29.99 for internet plus $38 for DTVN, so I’m saving marginal amounts of money at this point with the hope that DTVN becomes a real cable replacement and I don’t have to deal with cancelling and resubscribing to comcast every year.

    • Evan

      $38 for DTVN? Why are you paying $3 more dollars?

      • mnsportsgeek


        • Evan

          Sales tax? What state adds $3?

          • Ben M

            Florida adds almost 15% for any streaming service…netflix, hulu, etc. I don’t have any of the streaming cable packages but would assume the tax rate applies to those as well.

          • Trumpette

            Depends on the state sales tax rate. I pay $37.50 for the DTVN $35.00 package due to sales tax.

          • Evan

            Which DMA pays $37.50? Why do you choose to live in a sales tax state? You could live in any of five sales tax free states. A sales tax state makes no economic sense as they pay more for what we get at the advertised price. It always annoyed me to no end that there was price dishonesty. It’s $35 but not really. It’s some arbitrarily determined price in excess of the promised deal. What good are prices if they are pre tax prices? Stores should take the effort to calculate post tax prices. If they don’t know what each widget is worth why shop there?

          • Trumpette

            I obviously have a hard time getting as excited about $2.50 a month as you do.

          • Evan

            Excited? You don’t appreciate the vakue of money. Do you work? $2.50 is the difference between solvency and debt. Why pay a penalty (tax) when yiu don’t have to. They are banking on us paying fees because we don’t care. Money is freedom. Why am I stupid to care about freedom? Why should I just be normal and accept everything from corporations? I live in sales tax free NH and right now it works for me. This is why America is in debt beacuse we don’t care about wasting money.

          • Trumpette


          • Evan

            Fine. You don’t care. I wonder how much more they could charge you before it became too much.

          • Trumpette

            Ask Cox cable. They know the answer.

          • Chuck Roast

            But you live in freakin’ NEW HAMPSHIRE! That’s way, way, waaaaaaaaaaay too steep a price to pay to avoid sales tax.

          • Evan

            There are five sales tax free states:

            1) New Hampshire

            2) Delaware

            3) Montana

            4) Oregon

            5) Alaska

          • Evan

            What do you have against the great state of New Hampshire?

          • Magnus Thunderson

            states tax in various ways and yes NH has no sales tax and Florida has 6% but no state income tax which NH has also NH has higher Property tax’s and Florida the highest closing cost in the county and both states have hidden business tax’s that tax you and higher utilities but cheaper home owners insurance.
            And the reason for our debt is WW1and 2 but was being Played down by both republican and democrat and the ratio of income to debt was the lowest when Regain took office and that jerk started spending like mad and that became the template for the GOP since with democrats being the much thriftier with every democrat reducing our debt ratio till Obama who was handed a cup a worms and had to spend to reverse our course into the second great depression so he cannot be blamed for that

          • TaiPeng

            Renters don’t care about property taxes though. It only indirectly affects their rental rates.

          • Magnus Thunderson

            A rental property when new has a mortgage and interest payments property tax’s and over time the interest paid go down but is replaced by increasing maintenance and operational costs and of course the profit margin which all directly impact rental rates but it not apparent.
            and when people realized how much tax and interest is paid they might as NH has the 2nd highest property tax’s with both state and local tax’s with only NJ paying slightly higher on average but of course you can not do any thing about it other moving to a low property taxes state but then again you get taxed in other ways unless you want to be a begging bum and live under a bridge

            for my self I spend 830 in property tax for my 240k house in Florida which is half the Florida average of is 1,773 and with the average property tax in NH which is 4,636 so even if I was paying the Florida average I be saving 2,863 a year and even with 7% sales tax in Tampa I never in my life have paid even half of that in sale tax in a year

  • Chris

    Directv is a blatant offender for sure. Tried to get me to switch back to them after switching to PS Vue and promising a rate comparable to PSVue , and then finding out that they set me up for an order without my consent after I wanted it in writing and then never received that offer in writing! They fraudulently set me up with an order that was much higher than psvue! that fraudulent order was cancelled thankfully and I’m still on psvue and loving it and never going back to cable again! Beware of cable companies trying to defraud you back to their cord choking high rates and hidden fees!!

  • Vegas Steve

    Yeah, this is one of those industries that the Justice Dept. should investigate for deceptive/predatory practices (good luck there!). I had a friend that had a $100 a month cable bundle (internet, phone, TV) for two years. Except after fees and taxes the $100 became $150. AND after one year of their two year ‘deal’, the cable company raised them up to $180 a month. Gotta read the fine print and ALWAYS figure the cable company is trying to screw you over!

  • BigO

    I put the onus on the consumer to ask the relevant questions as there is a ton of information out there for them to lean on. Personally, I cannot imagine going back to cable as I love our setup.