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Dissatisfaction with Pay TV Companies a Bipartisan Issue

Ever open your cable or satellite bill to find your rate has skyrocketed? After some phone calls and research, you discover the promotional rate has ended and no one warned you? It seems like this has happened to some law makers and they are not taking it sitting down.

Legislating Against Sneaky Rate Hikes

A bill in Michigan proposed by House Democratic Whip Jeremy Moss from Southfield, Michigan, would require cable companies to notify customers of ending promotional rates before they end. The bill also has 12 co-sponsors.

“The plan would keep customers from being caught unaware by price hikes and give them time to shop for better deals,” said a Moss press release announcing the proposal.

“Many cable providers offer discounted promotional rates that are good for several months or years, but when that time is up, customers are often caught by surprise by a cable bill that’s suddenly much larger,” Moss said in the press release. “My bill would simply warn customers that the promotional period is about to end, and that their rates will soon increase.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Martin Howrykak, R-Troy; Kristy Pagan, D-Canton; Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon; Cara Clemente, D-Lincoln Park; Bill Sowerby, D-Clinton Township; Pam Faris, D-Clio; Sherry Gay-Degnogo, D-Detroit; Leslie Love, D-Detroit; Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids; Scott Dianda, D-Calumet; Peter Lucido, R-Washington Township, and Yousef Rabhi, R-Ann Arbor.

The overwhelmingly bipartisan support for this bill seems to indicate that frustration with these long-standing sneaky promotional pricing tactics knows no political affiliation.

Frustration with Cable a Longstanding Issue

With all of these fees and billing tricks, maybe it is no surprise that only one-third of cable TV subscribers are happy according to a study from Parks Associates. And as these frustrations reach a breaking point, more and more people are deciding to ditch traditional pay TV in favor of online streaming and free over-the-air content.

The cable TV industry is consistently rated as having the lowest average consumer satisfaction, and Comcast reigns supreme in terms of being America’s most hated company. From constantly increasing and unpredictable prices to generally poor customer service experiences, Americans across the board are tired of the status quo. Even former presidential candidates aren’t safe from missed appointments and other woes of Comcast’s service.

More than half of Americans are considering cutting the cord, and unfortunately, many of them feel trapped thanks to some of these tricky tactics pay TV companies employ – like bundling phone and internet services with your TV package so that if you remove one, suddenly the price jumps up significantly and you’re stuck paying for services you don’t want or need.

Survey Shows Cable Company Dissatisfaction a Bipartisan Issue

Last year, Mohu conducted a survey with Public Policy Polling that found that American TV viewers across both major parties are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their cable companies with 50% of respondents saying they have an unfavorable opinion of cable companies.

“In today’s polarized environment, it’s rare to see Americans agree on anything – but this poll shows broad agreement across every demographic category and political affiliation – people are fed up with being locked into expensive cable TV packages and are looking for alternatives, both to save money and increase access to the entertainment content they desire,” said Jim Williams, a polling analyst at Public Policy Polling.

Cord Cutting Trends Likely to Continue

Cord cutting accelerated in 2016 with data suggesting that the trend is only going to continue to rise. Nearly 2 million people ditched pay TV last year, which is almost double the number who cut the cord in 2015.

That means that about 13% of all households in the US do not subscribe to a traditional pay TV package, and that number is expected to double over the next five years. And 15% of broadband-only households use an over-the-air antenna for all of their TV viewing.

If pay TV providers are wondering why so many Americans are becoming cord cutters, the evidence seems pretty clear. Not only can you save money but you can also break free from crazy billing tricks that these cable companies pull.