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Consumer Reports applauds the FCC for moving forward with vote to require cable companies to display all-in price on consumer bills and promotional activities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to move forward with a vote in March to finalize rules that will require cable and satellite providers to display an “all-in” price for video programming on consumers’ bills and promotional materials. Consumer Reports welcomes the decision to move forward with a vote and has long advocated for greater transparency in the cable TV marketplace and the elimination of “junk fees,” a tactic cable companies use to obscure the total price for service with a low advertised price that does not include many add-on fees which serve to inflate the cost of services, frustrating consumers in the process. 

“Consumers are fed up with the muddy and less-than-transparent pricing practices of cable companies,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports. “All-in pricing will reduce the sting of junk fees, allowing consumers to make better choices when shopping for a provider by requiring those fees to be included in the advertised price. This ruling also has the potential to enhance market competition by enabling consumers to easily compare real, total prices when shopping for a provider. We encourage all FCC commissioners to vote yes on this ruling to protect consumers from junk fees in the cable marketplace.”

In April 2023, CR conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,121 U.S. adults to learn more about their experiences with hidden fees across a range of products and services in the last two years. Among those who had encountered an unexpected fee with their cable, internet, or phone service in the past two years, CR found that 51 percent said that hidden fees caused them to exceed their budget for that service, and two out of three Americans (68 percent) say they are paying more in hidden fees now than they did five years ago.

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org