Customers beware: when looking for a cable or satellite TV service, make sure to understand your contract before signing it. This is because you might end up with bills that you are not prepared for.
Most TV providers, like DirecTV, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable, use misleading advertisement to reel in customers then end up charging them more money than they expected. Here are some of their usual practices reported by disappointed customers:
- It is in the fine print. Some services, instead of highlighting important subscription information in the contract, they are instead written in tiny print at the bottom, the so-called fine print, where most customers fail to really look. Therefore, some people fail to really realize that what they are signing up for. For example, very crucial conditions like that the subscription should be a minimum of 24 months, otherwise customers have to pay $480 to cancel. Such information is, in comparison to the very low monthly rate printed in huge bold writing, hidden away at the bottom for no one to see. Other times, it seems that the low monthly rate is only valid for the first of two years, afterwards, the service is not anymore as cheap as they advertise it to be.
- Bills just go up. As stated earlier, the cheaper monthly bill might not stay so the entire period of the subscription, a fact that most stay unaware of, until they receive their first bill on the second year. A more than 100% increase in the monthly bill will definitely shock subscribers, giving them the impression that these Cable and Satellite TV providers value newer customers more than their loyal, existing ones. Unfortunately for most, they are still stuck for another year in their contract.
- Forget about cancelling. Other than the big fee one has to pay to cancel, one has to deal with the annoying calls of the “retention specialists”, who try to change their minds by informing them of how much it will cost them to change or leave the service.
- Surprises on your bill. Customers have to deal with some vague items on their bill, like taxes and fees for items like modems or other equipment that they were not aware that they have to pay for.
- In the end, no one really knows how much they will have to pay for at the end, which is how subscribers plan it to be, because there is no way they can attract customers should they really know at the beginning what trap they are falling into. So ask, read reviews and of course, read the fine print before you sign up for that contract!