FCC Aims to Combat Video Service ‘Junk’ Fees

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposes a new way to eliminate junk fees.

FCC Aims to Combat Video Service ‘Junk’ Fees
Photo of Jessica Rosenworcel courtesy the FCC

November 21, 2023 – The head of the Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday a proposal to eliminate video service junk fees incurred by cable operators and direct broadcast satellite service providers.

The proposal by Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel would prohibit cable operators and DBS providers from charging subscribers early contract termination fees and require those providers to issue a prorated credit or rebate for remaining days in a monthly billing cycle after cancellation.

It will be voted on at the commission’s open meeting next month.

“Because these fees may have the effect of limiting consumer choice after a contract is enacted, it may negatively impact competition for services in the marketplace,” said a press release.

“No one wants to pay junk fees for something they don’t want or can’t use.  When companies charge customers early termination fees, it limits their freedom to choose the service they want,” said Rosenworcel.

In October, President Joe Biden addressed his administration’s effort to combat junk fees, part of a larger goal to provide consumers choice by way of cost reduction outlined in an executive order on which was signed into effect in July of 2021.