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House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Passes Eshoo Bill to Crack Down on Unfair Billing Practices

November 14th, 2019

Legislation Holds Telephone, Cable, and Internet Providers Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee advanced Rep. Eshoo’s Truth-In-Billing, Remedies, and User Empowerment over Fees (‘TRUE Fees’) Act as part of the Television Viewer Protection Act to require phone, cable, and internet providers to include all fees and charges in the prices they advertise for services.

“Cable, telephone, and internet providers have been pulling a fast one on the American public for decades by charging customers hidden fees to enrich themselves,” Rep. Eshoo said. “Consumer Reports estimates cable companies pocket an estimated $28 billion dollars a year by advertising one price to customers but adding other charges to their bills. On average, they generate close to $450 per year per customer from company-imposed fees, excluding federal, state, and local taxes. I’m pleased for consumers that the TRUE Fees Act was passed by the Subcommittee and that the bill will now move to the full Committee and the full House.”

Background

The TRUE Fees Act requires phone, cable, and internet providers to include fees, charges, and surcharges in the prices they advertise for service; allows customers to end their contract without early termination fees if their provider increases prices; and prevents hikes on equipment fees unless providers improve equipment.

The TRUE Fees Act has been endorsed by Consumer Reports; the National Association of Broadcasters; Public Knowledge; the Consumer Federation of America; New America’s Open Technology Institute; Truth in Advertising, and the National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients.

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