Higher Monthly Bills with Cox’s Hidden Cable Costs
Many consumers love the convenience of cable television. Tons of channels, interesting movies, current sporting events, and 24-hour news programming are just a few of the many benefits that cable subscribers enjoy.
If only it were as much fun to get the bill.
Unfortunately, some cable companies’ bills and fee structures are hard to interpret, leaving subscribers with higher-than-expected charges that can disrupt their planned monthly expenses. Cox® cable plans are no different in this regard, so consumers must be cautious as they shop around the company’s TV packages. If you’re considering a Cox cable plan, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the company’s fee history and to know where to look for possible hidden costs before you sign any agreements.
Hidden Cable Expenses with Cox Plans
Cox has a history of implementing hidden fees into their pricing structures, giving some consumers an unpleasant surprise when they receive their monthly bill. In 2015 alone, the company faced at least two class action lawsuits aimed at these hard-to-find fees — one over undisclosed charges for the Advanced TV plan, and one over cable box costs. Though neither suit seems to have had much impact on Cox’s current practices, they’ve done a good job of alerting the general public to the need to be vigilant when checking out the company’s plans.
Shoppers considering Cox TV services need to note any potential pitfalls and hidden fees before they subscribe to a cable plan — not after. Here are a few areas where unfamiliar charges may be hiding.
Taxes and Fees
Commercials and advertisements frequently tout Cox cable plans as affordable, but, as with most communication service providers, there’s usually some fine print that discloses additional fees and boosts the final pricing. City, state, and federal taxes, for example, rack up on top of those seemingly reasonable subscription rates. As you’re looking into Cox cable services, carefully review all advertised monthly charges and ask for specific information about the taxes and fees that will be added before making the decision to subscribe to a plan.
Another frequently misunderstood offering that leads to unpleasant bill surprises is the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee. If a consumer is unhappy with Cox’s service, programming, or support, they can receive a refund on standard installation orders within the first 30 days of their subscription. However, non-standard installations, Pay-Per-View programming, and sports packages are exempt from the guarantee. If you feel you may need to take advantage of this money-back guarantee, you’ll want to be aware upfront of which selected services will be protected.
While most customers understand that certain cable equipment rentals will increase their monthly expenses, many don’t realize how quickly those fees can add up if left unchecked. Expensive set top boxes and the taxes that go along with each rental can add up to $30 or more per month. DVR services alone can add a whopping $19.99 per month to an average bill. Prior to signing up for Cox cable services and agreeing to pay for certain equipment, make sure you understand exactly how much each item will add to your monthly bill.
Increases after Introductory Pricing
When potential subscribers hear about Cox pricing, it’s usually through an attractive advertisement that boasts low monthly rates. Beware of that initial number, though, as it isn’t the total cost you’ll pay for the service. Depending on the plan you choose, your monthly price may increase after the first 12 months, if not sooner. If you fail to take those post-introductory period increases into account, you may end up on the hook for a budget-busting cable bill.
Not only do service prices increase after the introductory period, but Cox also charges fees to customers who terminate their services prior to the stipulated agreement end. Canceling past the 30-day money-back guarantee point but before the service agreement expires can lead to some hefty termination charges — in some cases, you may end up paying close to what you would have paid if you hadn’t canceled at all.
Most consumers understand that late bills will incur late fees. Sending in payment a day or two past the due date may add several dollars to your overall monthly costs. Cox’s website doesn’t stipulate the exact cost of late fees, so determine grace period limits and fee amounts before signing the contract to avoid any excessive charges on past-due bills. Additionally, these charges can be largely avoided by simply paying your monthly bill on time.
A robust cable package is a wonderful addition to any home and can be a budget-friendly way to enjoy an evening in, catch a popular movie, or engage in a fun sports event. If you don’t pick your plan carefully, however, hidden fees can derail your budget. Fortunately, you can beat these expenses by examining the above areas before signing any service agreement, vigilantly checking your bill every month, and requesting all sales promises in writing.
*Costs and contracts are subject to change. Packages and prices may not be available in all areas.