Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing rules to protect consumers from video service junk fees, including early termination fees.
Under the proposed rules, cable and satellite operators like Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, and DISH Network would no longer be allowed to charge subscribers hefty fees – often over $100 – for canceling their TV subscription before the end of a long-term contract. Providers would also be required to issue prorated refunds for any paid service that went unused if a customer canceled mid-billing cycle.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director of Public Knowledge:
“This proposal is a huge win for consumers that have felt trapped by expensive and restrictive cable contracts.
“Early termination fees are anti-consumer restrictions that make it difficult for households to switch video providers or even change their subscriptions. They can even create yet another moving expense for people who leave a provider’s service area, when many people can least afford it. They prop up incumbent cable monopolies and discourage customers from seeking out better services, obtaining lower prices – or simply cutting the cord.
“For too long, Big Cable has gotten away with using sneaky fees and unreasonable early termination penalties to take advantage of their subscribers. This FCC proposal rights that wrong and removes a major obstacle preventing consumers from finding the best deal or canceling unneeded service.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.