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Regular Contributor
Jeff64D
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-20-2011

Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

What the heck is a Franchise Fee? 

 

Why all the hidden charges?

 

I guess it's more marketable to say you have the:

 

$119.99 Package 

 

and not the

 

$160.87  Package

Email Expert
CCCarole
Posts: 28,884
Registered: ‎05-21-2006

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?


Jeff64D wrote:

What the heck is a Franchise Fee? 

 

Why all the hidden charges?

 

I guess it's more marketable to say you have the:

 

$119.99 Package 

 

and not the

 

$160.87  Package




Doing a search brought up this below:  OR- you can call 1-800 comcast and speak with someone in the Billing Department too.

 

A Franchise Fee  helps the town or city in which you reside support its cable related needs and interests - this fee is not related to the line of business (cable, internet, phone) you are subscribed to. These fees usually appear in the form of access programming channels for town specific public, educational and government information and are federally regulated. 

 



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Service Expert
Queen-Evie
Posts: 14,211
Registered: ‎02-04-2004

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Also this:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_television_franchise_fee

 

A cable television franchise fee in the United States, the stems from a community's basic right to charge for use of the property it owns. The cable television franchise fees represent part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for the cable operator's occupation and the right-of-way use of public property. A franchise fee is not a tax; it is a rental charge.

 

Franchise fees are governed under Section 622 of the Cable Communications Act of 1984. Section 622, states that municipalities are entitled to a maximum of 5% of gross revenues derived from the operation of the cable system for the provision of cable services such as Public, educational, and government access (PEG) TV channels.

 


 

You pay the fee to Comcast, who then gives it to your city/town.



 


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Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

In other words, it's a tax.

Regular Contributor
Jeff64D
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-20-2011

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Would make sense if it was paid by comcast but how do I benefit to charge myself a fee. Is there anyway to opt out of them?
Email Expert
CCCarole
Posts: 28,884
Registered: ‎05-21-2006

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

No.



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Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

You can't opt out of sales taxes, why do you think you should be able to opt out of these taxes?

 

If Comcast didn't report them as line items in the bill, they'd simply include them in the price of the service. Either way, if they have to pay them, they have to get the money from somewhere, and customers are the primary revenue source.

 

The reason they split them out is because the fees are different in every town, but Comcast prefers to have a single price for the services across all towns in an area.

New Visitor
ostynb
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-23-2012

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I should be able to opt out.  Comcast is giving me channels I already get free over antenna and then is charging me for them.  I should be able to tell comcast to cancel those channels and opt out of the fee

Service Expert
Queen-Evie
Posts: 14,211
Registered: ‎02-04-2004

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

[ Edited ]

Customers of other cable companies feel the same way about franchise fees.

 

Comcast is not the only one who recovers the fee from customers.

 

If you could opt out you would, as Barmar said, end up paying the fee when it's built into the cost of service.

 

 



 


Comcast employees must be authorized to post in the forum in an official capacity. Employees posting here have their names in red and are designated as employees. Names not in red are customers.

This is done to protect customers and for assurance that they are dealing with a Comcast employee.
Non-Authorized Employees are allowed to post but cannot state they are employees nor can they allude to being employees.

New Visitor
larrysmith1000
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-11-2013

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

It is understandable that the fees be paid.  However, it should not be separated out of the advertised price.  Comcast, as a business, rents the property for the infrastructure.  Rent is a business expense, not a consumer expense.  I understand the argument that the services would cost the same regardless, but that is not the issue.  The issue is the change in advertised price.

 

Imagine if McDonald's (whose franchise owner rents the building) was located across the street from Burger King (who's owner owns the building).  McDonalds advertized hamburgers on their sign for $0.99, and Burger King advertised on their sign $1.69 Burgers.  Then, at the drive through menu it says the same.  Then when you arrive at the window to pay, the have you eat your burger first, then pay.  When it is time to pay for what you already ate, they say, "That will be $0.99 plus a franchise fee of $1.30 for a sub-total of $2.29, plus 10% sales tax = $2.52."

 

You ask, "What is the franchise fee?"

and they say, "It's pay rent on the building, and for all the McDonald's equipment."

 

It's a classic case of bait and switch, which is illegal.

 

The example above is not even the full story of what comcast is doing.  A customer in the example above could go to Burger King the following day.  Comcast, however, used to make you sign a contract agreement for required service period.  The only reason they don't anymore is they lost a lawsuit over the tactic, and the minor change of removing the service agreement and allowing for a 30 day money back guarantee is a legal loop hole to the tactic.

 

It's time for another class action.  Are there any lawyers out there ready to take on the task?

New Visitor
Sha138
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-11-2013

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

TheyThey'd should tell you these fees up front when you are signing on as well as telling you theRe is an activation fee which they don't.   They are crooks!

 

Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-11-2003

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I noticed the Franchise Fee this month after my cable bill went up $30.  I recently got HD and knew my bill was going to go up $9.95/month but then, of course, they tack on Franchise Fees, which was another $5.32 per month, plus. I was forced to downgrade my Internet to Economy Plus just to save some money. I also think I'm going to be getting rid of HD. I don't really notice a big difference between regular TV and HD. I've had it with Comcast going up and up. They also recently just started charing $1.99 PER OUTLET for anyone that has an adapter when they went from analog to digital. Their bill said the DTA was $.50 per outlet, but the customers service rep told me last night that it was a misprint, and they will be correcting this. They raise prices every 6 months, and I find myself holding my breath when each bill comes in. They upgrade their buildings, but want the customers to pay for it.  I'd be willing to bet that if they lowered prices, more people would join them because Verizon sucks, too.  

New Visitor
sunnycheevah
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-04-2013

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

By rights the percentage should come from comcasts revenues and a tax on them, but somehow they interpret the law as charge the added percent from the customer.  Theres a reason monopolys are outlawed.  Comcast-worst customer service ever.

New Visitor
dqgandfamily
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-03-2013

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I agree that this indeed is a fee that must be paid somehow and will come from someone. I am just wondering where this line item lands on the balance sheet at tax time for companies that use this line item fee. I will look further but, I would think that the businesses are writing this off as an buss. expense. I would love to total all of these fees from the electric co.,  phone co, cell phone co., water district, waste management co., etc...  and deduct these from my own taxes. I'm just saying.

Contributor
Franchise_Fee
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Thanks for the info. I will look into this regulation. But I disagree with your statement. (this fee is charged to Comcast. There for Comcast must pay this fee) Not give to the athority. It is my belife that this fee is not mandatory to be paid buy the customer rather Comcast chooses to charge the customer because the FCC said it was OK if they did.

 

Give    Comcast doesn't give anything...As I have noticed. They are business. Goal to make as much money as possible. Unlike some good business that do give back to the community. 

New Visitor
garyferguson13
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-13-2014

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee and a franchise related fee?

Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee and a franchise related fee?