Internet & TV Companies Can No Longer Charge You Extra For Owning Your Modem

Internet & TV Companies Can No Longer Charge You Extra For Owning Your Modem

Good news! It is now illegal for internet and TV providers to charge you fees for equipment you already own yourself.

Some internet and satellite TV companies were charging their loyal customers a service fee for their equipment whether they had been using it or not. It sounds like something that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen, but the language within their disclaimers stated that customers agreed to these charges once they subscribed to their service. Unfortunately because of this, the unwarranted charges were allowed until now. One of the companies that added equipment fees to customer owned equipment accounts was Frontier Communications.

Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019

The Television Protection Act was passed last year by President Trump and it specifically states within the act that providers of internet, voice, mobile, data and MVPD services have to be transparent with their sales and electronic billing. It also states that they cannot continue to charge their customers for using equipment that was not provided by their service provider.

You Can Still Rent If You Choose

If you don’t have your own modem and are currently renting from your internet provider, under this new law nothing will change for you. You can still rent your equipment from your internet provider. This law only prevents internet and TV companies from taking advantage of their customers by charging equipment fees for equipment that’s not provided by them.

Many consumers opt to buy their own equipment in lieu of rental fees, but it’s not right for everyone. In some cases it may be wise to choose to rent instead of purchase your own modem. For instance when you decide to rent your modem, its functionality will be guaranteed by your provider. If your modem was to not power on, they would swap it out at no cost to you. Another reason that renting your modem could be a better option for you is if you don’t want to set it up yourself or have had Wi-Fi connectivity problems in the past. Most internet providers have a whole home internet service where they send a technician to your home to set up your modem and router for you. While they are there, they will make sure you have a good Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, even rooms that have given you spotty Wi-Fi in the past. If you decide to go that route, the technician will do whatever it takes to ensure your home is completely covered.

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When Can Buying Your Modem Be A Good Idea

Buying your own modem has its own advantages as well. Many people purchase their modem and router to save money in the long run. If you’re planning to stay with your internet provider for 2 or more years, you could pay less up front for your modem router combo than those two years’ worth of equipment fees combined. The only caveat to this is you will have to choose a modem from your internet providers approved modem list. Providers have these lists to help you pick one that is compatible with their internet service.

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