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Eshoo Introduces Legislation to Increase Transparency of Telephone, Cable and Internet Fees

September 28th, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the Truth-In-Billing, Remedies, and User Empowerment over Fees (‘TRUE Fees’) Act, legislation that requires phone, cable and Internet providers to include all charges in the prices they advertise for service, and provides remedies for consumers when they have been wrongfully charged.

The TRUE Fees Act gives consumers more information about what they’re being charged, requires phone, cable and Internet providers to notify consumers when their prices go up, and gives consumers options to get out of their contract if they think their provider is taking advantage of them without having to pay extra charges to switch services.

“Customers deserve to know exactly what they’re paying for when it comes to monthly cable and Internet service bills. Today, they’re sold a service for one price, only to be blindsided by higher bills at the end of the month from tacked on ‘service’ or ‘administrative’ fees,” Rep. Eshoo said. “These ‘below-the-line’ fees add up to hundreds of millions of dollars each year for cable and Internet service providers at the expense of consumers who have little to no option than to pay up. The TRUE Fees Act is commonsense legislation that brings transparency to consumers and empowers them when it comes to phone, cable and Internet fees.”

Background

Specifically, the True Fees Act requires cable and Internet providers to include all charges in the prices they advertise for service; allows customers to end their contract without early termination fees if the provider increases fees during the term of the contract; prevents arbitrary price hikes on equipment fees unless there is actually an improvement made to the equipment; and prohibits forced arbitration clauses for wrongful billing errors.

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