General Question

Pandora's avatar

Can someone explain how cable companies can get away with this?

Asked by Pandora (29733points) August 5th, 2010

I’ve noticed that cable companies can charge you for service in advance and if you are a day late you can be charged a late fee for services not even rendered yet. How is this possible. Why can’t they make the due date the last date of the service. Then I would understand if you get a late fee. Other than the fact that they do this because they can, why would it be legal in the first place. Actually they are a sub contractor for the cable company. So they don’t even really do anything but charge for possible work that they don’t do most of the year. They only come out and adjust the satelite if its thrown off. The actual satelite company takes care of the day to day and doesn’t even involve them unless its something they need taken care of at the residence.

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11 Answers

MrItty's avatar

You pay your rent in advance too. You pay on August first for the privilege of living there from August 1 to August 31. It’s perfectly legal.

bob_'s avatar

Adding to what @MrItty said, always read the fine print. If you don’t agree with the terms, don’t sign up.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s a contract. You signed it. You agreed to the terms and conditions. If you don’t like it or don’t agree with how it operates you shouldn’t have put your signature at the bottom of it.

zophu's avatar

People let them. A powerful entity that has unfair policies is still a powerful entity. People like agreeing with powerful entities. though this rates pretty low on the unfairness scale

Pandora's avatar

@bob_ and @Lightlyseared Signed the contract because I had no choice. If I want cable of any sort it is the only way to get it. My apartment complex has a contract with them only. So its actually like a monopoly. Only reason I don’t move is because the price for square footage and amenities is really nice. I also can’t complain about the cable company. Just really hate having to pay out 10 bucks a month for services I never use. However if I don’t pay them they can have me disconnected. Every time I have had a problem it was able to be handle by the satelite company either remotely or they would ship a new box to me. This so call other sub company gets money monthly for doing nothing. Everytime I’ve called them they would say they don’t handle that. So why am I paying them. Then I was late by one day and they charged me 5 dollars late fee.
Really sucks to be paying for nothing in the first place. Especially since I have no choice. Can I move somewhere else. Yes, but I wouldn’t find something half as nice for the same price.

zophu's avatar

@Pandora That sucks. I’d rally the other renters and put the blame on the landlord if that were the case. If he can’t get out of the contract, maybe you can get him to convince the company to lay off with the charge—or pay it himself in the form of rent discounts. Doubt he’ll do that, but you might be able to work something out if you get some voices behind you.

or you could, you know, not watch cable tv

Pandora's avatar

@zophu NO CABLE TV. :(
The apartment community would never agree. They get free stuff for locking us in to this rotten deal.
To many people are really apathetic about needed changes. I know. I use to rent apartments myself. We use to send out forms for residents to fill out and list any impovements they would like to see. Out of 200 residents we were lucky if we got 10 forms back. They would complain once in a while but many never saw a reason to actually make a written complaint. So we would talk to the owners about needed changes but without anything written in significant numbers it was just our word and they figured if only 10 out of 200 complained than the other 180 was content with the status quo.

zophu's avatar

@Pandora . . . maybe you guys just did a really good job with the apartments? that’s depressing Well, you never know till you try. Why not hand out flyers before and after work hours as people come and go.

Pandora's avatar

When the apartments hand out forms on peoples doors here, you will see the cleaning crew picking up the forms off the floors the next day. They don’t bother to read it unless its an eviction notice or they owe rent or something like that. Same use to happen at our apartments. Sometimes I think people are either afraid to be singled out or they are just to wrap up in their day to bother.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Pandora You did not have to sign the contract. It is possible to live with out TV you know.

Pandora's avatar

@Lightlyseared True. I could live without it. I lived without cable for 3 years in Japan. However there was a lot to do there to keep me busy but everything was close. Everything here that is interesting to do cost money and its far to boot. So I really won’t be coming out a head there for entertainment.

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