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Old 03-17-2016, 02:30 PM
 
9,090 posts, read 9,250,395 times
Reputation: 4676

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I was looking at my cable bill which is $127.89 + $7.95 for optional premium channels.
TAXES, SURCHARGES & FEES are $36.06 or 26.55% .

Now I think everyone knows that companies are increasing fees so as to mask the true cost of services from their advertisements. You see it in tv, phone, hotel rooms, air tickets, etc. Everything is surcharges and fees. Off price airlines can be huge percentages where they often charge you a handling fee just to pay for your ticket. Even concert tickets that you buy right at the boxoffice are charging handling fees.

What is so hard about the government protecting us by putting a hard limit on fees? I know it is traditional to line item taxes, but why can't there be a law that says if you go above a certain percent, you have to include your costs in the base price.
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:23 AM
 
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,271 posts, read 15,262,514 times
Reputation: 7877
I agree with you, which is why so many people are cutting the cable and switching to Hulu and/or Netflix.
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:16 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,028 posts, read 25,842,934 times
Reputation: 39498
The government is never going to limit fees and taxes because it is the government collecting those fees and taxes. The government can add a fee and by not calling it a tax, they can just add it without getting approval from anyone.
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:20 PM
 
9,090 posts, read 9,250,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
The government can add a fee and by not calling it a tax, they can just add it without getting approval from anyone.
The government is not getting the majority of the money in this section called surcharges and taxes.Let me use my cable bill as an example.

Everything that is a tax is labelled "tax" and goes straight to the government
$0.66 State Sales Tax Internet
$0.79 State Sales Tax Cable
$0.26 Federal Excise Tax Telephone
$0.13 State Sales Tax Telephone
$1.62 State Gross Receipts Tax Telephone
$3.46

Fees are money that go to the government eventually
$2.63 Franchise Fee Cable
$1.65 City 911 Fee Telephone
$0.06 Regulatory Fee Cable
$4.34

These charges are all money that goes to the cable company. The use of the terms "federal" and "state" are designed to make them look like taxes.
$8.50 Federal Subscriber Line Charge Telephone
$1.73 Federal Universal Service Fund Telephone
$0.08 State Telecom Relay Surcharge Telephone
$10.31

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fcc: FAQS - Telephone
What is the Subscriber Line Charge and why do I have to pay this charge?
The Subscriber Line Charge is a fee that you pay to your local phone company that connects you to the telephone network. Local telephone companies recover some of the costs of telephone lines connected to your home or business through this monthly charge on your local telephone bill. Sometimes called the federal subscriber line charge, this fee is regulated and capped by the FCC, not by state Public Utility Commissions. It is not a tax or a fee charged by the government. The money received from the subscriber line charge goes directly to local telephone companies.
Roughly half the money below is just the cost of doing business with Cable TV. The government has permitted the company to line item these charges. The cable company wants you to know that some of the money that you pay them goes to TV networks (as if that wasn't known). This section is just pure deceit since it permits the cable company to advertise a lower rate.
$7.78 Broadcast TV Surcharge Cable
$5.57 Sports Programming Surcharge Cable
$4.60 Entertainment Networks Surcharge Cable
$17.95
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,874 posts, read 51,413,686 times
Reputation: 27770
Vote with your feet. Dump 'em.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:51 AM
 
Location: la la land
27,301 posts, read 11,418,546 times
Reputation: 19325
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
The government is not getting the majority of the money in this section called surcharges and taxes.Let me use my cable bill as an example.

Everything that is a tax is labelled "tax" and goes straight to the government
$0.66 State Sales Tax Internet
$0.79 State Sales Tax Cable
$0.26 Federal Excise Tax Telephone
$0.13 State Sales Tax Telephone
$1.62 State Gross Receipts Tax Telephone
$3.46

Fees are money that go to the government eventually
$2.63 Franchise Fee Cable
$1.65 City 911 Fee Telephone
$0.06 Regulatory Fee Cable
$4.34

These charges are all money that goes to the cable company. The use of the terms "federal" and "state" are designed to make them look like taxes.
$8.50 Federal Subscriber Line Charge Telephone
$1.73 Federal Universal Service Fund Telephone
$0.08 State Telecom Relay Surcharge Telephone
$10.31



Roughly half the money below is just the cost of doing business with Cable TV. The government has permitted the company to line item these charges. The cable company wants you to know that some of the money that you pay them goes to TV networks (as if that wasn't known). This section is just pure deceit since it permits the cable company to advertise a lower rate.
$7.78 Broadcast TV Surcharge Cable
$5.57 Sports Programming Surcharge Cable
$4.60 Entertainment Networks Surcharge Cable
$17.95
Yep, you are exactly right & the reason they do that is so they can offer a 'guaranteed rate' for a year or two and raise your rate in spite of that by raising it on all of these line item services. That's why I dumped Directv.
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:13 PM
 
9,090 posts, read 9,250,395 times
Reputation: 4676
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Yep, you are exactly right & the reason they do that is so they can offer a 'guaranteed rate' for a year or two and raise your rate in spite of that by raising it on all of these line item services. That's why I dumped Directv.
$7.78 Broadcast TV Surcharge Cable
$5.57 Sports Programming Surcharge Cable
$4.60 Entertainment Networks Surcharge Cable
$17.95

I do understand a company wanting their customers to know some of their costs of doing business. At the same time I don't want to get a hotel bill and see itemized charges for the cost of the hotel's water, or a per room estimate of the electric bill, etc.

The honest way would be to raise the rate by $18 and then have somewhere on the website that shows you what they are paying for each channel. I guess they don't want thousands of phone calls and e-mails that say that they are paying too much for some channel (ESPN is by far the most expensive network) and that they would rather drop that channel in favor of more money.

I still don't understand why that information can't be posted. If I go to a movie, I know that half my ticket price goes to the studio, and the theater company would go broke if nobody bought the overpriced candy. The movie circuits still stay in business even if we know that. Why should cable TV be any different.


When I see this $7.78 Broadcast TV Surcharge Cable I think that there are probably a million people in the Philadelphia area who can pick up all the major broadcast channels with an antenna. As I am 42 miles from the antenna farm, and there are two mountains directly in my way, I can't get any of these channels. It would be nice if there was a Roku channel for $15-$20 that just retransmits the broadcast channels (like the now illegal Aero TV). I say $15-$20 since that should result in enough money so that you could pay all the broadcast stations a reasonable fee for a signal they are broadcasting anyway.

While broadcast TV mostly sucks, it does have the major football, hockey and basketball games.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,246,068 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
What is so hard about the government protecting us by putting a hard limit on fees?
What is so hard about someone reading the fine print and totaling up the final cost for themselves before committing to a purchase?
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:01 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,866 posts, read 18,937,245 times
Reputation: 25133
I always ask what the total will be with taxes and fees before I commit to anything. Generally the salesmen will know exactly how much the taxes and fees will be.


Personally, I ditched cable ten years ago. I bought a good indoor antenna for less than the cost of cable for a month, and I've had a streaming Netflix subscription for six years. I never watch regular TV anymore, just read the news online and watch TV series on Netflix and occasionally get a blu-ray movie from the Redbox.

Even an outdoor antenna, which you might need with the mountain issue, would be cheaper than cable.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:17 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
11,441 posts, read 13,990,339 times
Reputation: 10950
All of these ridiculous fees make it hard to compare prices on goods and services.

I have a Vonage home phone line, and pay $25.99 a month, they add $6 in additional fees every month.
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