Language included in year-end budget deal would require cable and satellite TV providers to disclose all fees before consumers sign up for service, provide option to cancel within 24 hours without penalty


Washington (December 19, 2019) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), co-authors of the Truth-In-Billing, Remedies, and User Empowerment over (TRUE) Fees Act (S.510/H.R.1220), today applauded passage of the year-end budget package that included provisions of their legislation that would require cable and satellite TV providers to disclose an “all-in” price to consumers, including fees and taxes, before consumers sign up for a service. It also mandates that consumers receive a formal notice of fees and “all-in” prices within 24 hours of signing up for a service, as well as grant consumers 24 hours to cancel after receiving formal notice of fees, without penalty.


“We welcome surprises hidden under the Christmas tree, but not in our monthly cable bills,” said Senators Markey. “It’s time for cable and satellite companies to tell the truth and give consumers the option to say no to these sneaky fees. The language based on our TRUE Fees Act would require video providers to tell consumers what will be the total monthly charge and then give consumers 24 hours to cancel without penalty. This bill also ensures transparency by requiring an itemized breakdown of all fees and charges on every monthly bill. I thank Congresswoman Eshoo for her partnership to make these important consumer rights the law of the land.” 


“Cable companies habitually blindside customers by selling a service for one price and then tacking on hidden fees and extra charges at the end of the month. These ‘below-the-line’ fees add up to $28 billion a year at the expense of the American people,” said Rep. Eshoo. “I’m proud that Congress passed key provisions of the TRUE Fees Act which require cable companies to be transparent about their prices. The President must sign the legislation and cut the cord once and for all on hidden fees.” 


Introduced in February, the TRUE Fees Act, was endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients; Consumer Reports; Consumer Federation of America; and Public Knowledge.