We have all seen the ads for crazy good cable TV deals. From deals on TV to bundle deals that just look too good to pass up. Yet what happens once you sign the deal but don’t read all the fine print? What fees are added and what can you really expect to pay? Thanks to one of our readers, we can answer that question.
One of our readers was kind enough to send Cord Cutters News their cable bill from 2018. Maybe it’s no surprise that there were a ton of fees but you may be shocked to see they paid $64.89 in fees and taxes on their bundle of TV, internet, and phone from Spectrum.
Today we will break down these fees and show you what you can really expect to pay when you see these ads promoting great deals on cable TV.
I often get told that many of these fees are out of the control of the cable networks because they are placed on them as taxes. So let’s break down the taxes first.
Of the $64.89 in fees and taxes only $9.08 was taxes ($4.74 in TV taxes and $4.34 in phone service taxes). That means $55.81 are fees imposed by Spectrum on the end customer on top of the advertised rate. (Don’t believe us. Check out the screenshots of the bill at the bottom of this post.)
Note: Taxes vary by location. These are the taxes paid by this customer.
You see the advertised deal but what fees will they add on top of that? Here is the break down:
Broadcast TV and Sports Programming Surcharges $11.55
So you paid for your TV package as part of your advertised price right? Not so fast! You also have to pay an extra fee for locals such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC and pay for sports programming on top of the advertised package price.
HD Set-Top Box & Remote Fee/DIG Adapter & Remote Fee
You paid for your TV, so you can now watch it on your TVs right? Not so fast. You now have to pay a rental fee of $11.75 for the HD set-top box and a remote rental for your first TV. (This is the DVR box you will have in your house.)
Yet it does not stop there. Spectrum is rolling out digital TV in their TV markets, meaning you need to have an adapter for each TV in your house. They cost $4.99 each for every additional TV and this customer had five costing $24.95 a month.
For the right to watch cable TV this customer has to pay $36.70 every month. (That adds up to $440.40 a year just for the boxes in your house. You could buy 11 Fire TV Sticks with that money and never pay for a box rental again.)
We have looked at the broadcast TV fee, sports fee, and box/remote rental fees. Now let’s look at some of the other fees.
- PEG Capital Fee: $1.78
- Franchise Fee: $5.67
- Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee: $0.08
Grand total: $7.53 in other fees every month.
Total cost for the TV package plus fees and taxes is $183.10. So the next time you see the great advertised price, remember all the added fees and taxes..
Here are images of the spectrum bill we used for this post:
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