Consumer Reports: Easy-to-read broadband pricing

Consumer Reports: Easy-to-read broadband pricing
2 months 3 days 15 hours ago Thursday, May 16 2024 May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024 7:15 PM May 16, 2024 in News - Consumer News
Source: Consumer Reports

Wouldn’t it be nice if shopping for internet service was easy to read and simplified like an itemized invoice? Even a nutrition label? Starting this month for many customers, that’s a reality. Consumer Reports explains the goal is to give you accurate information for comparing plans.

The new labels show the provider's name, the plan's name, and the base monthly price for internet service, along with any additional one-time or recurring fees—like installation charges, modem rental fees, and other equipment-related fees—which must be separated from the base price.

The new labels are mandated by the Federal Communications Commission after nearly a decade of lobbying by Consumer Reports and other advocacy groups.

Cable bills are one area where there are the most consumer complaints. Sign up for one plan, and then you're getting a broadband modem fee, you're getting a regional sports package fee, you're getting a weird tax that's four letters, that you don't know what it is. These are often monopolies, so they can get away with it, and you don't have a lot of choices. But now you know what they're charging you.

The terms and length of promotional pricing must be outlined. Along with the price of service once the promotion expires. Companies should have links to information about discounts if customers bundle their internet with TV or other services. 

The rule applies to all internet services. Smaller ISPs have until October to comply. The FCC says consumers can file a complaint if they believe an ISP isn’t complying with the new rules. 

It’s welcomed news for customers who depend on a good internet connection for a reasonable price.

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