Today Congresswoman Anna Eshoo introduced the TRUE Fees Act. The bill requires that below-the-line fees from communications providers be included in the advertised price. Below-the-line fees are hidden fees companies add on to their users’ monthly bill but do not disclose in their advertised prices. The bill also prohibits forced arbitration agreements for wrongful billing and requires transparency in equipment fee increases.
Statement of Michael Copps, FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser
Below-the-line fees have been a pernicious problem in the communications marketplace for years. These hidden fees are typically “administrative fees” or “service fees” companies have to pay as part of the cost of doing business but pass on to their customers only after advertising the service price. They’ve been able to get away with this due to lack of competition and harmful contractual clauses that prevent their customers from suing in court or seeking other appropriate recourse.
Congresswoman Eshoo’s bill would give consumers much-needed transparency in their bills and the tools they need to get justice for wrongful billing. At a time when broadband prices are at an all-time high and remain unaffordable for millions of Americans, we need to put an end to telephone and cable companies abusing their power through deceptive fees. We applaud Congresswoman Eshoo for introducing this bill and look forward to working with her on this issue.