16 CFR Part 425: "Rule Concerning the Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans" #543809-00039

Submission Number:
V Cusick
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 425: "Rule Concerning the Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans"
None of the free trail offers on TV are ever free. They all require us to give them a credit card number in order to qualify for a "free trial" and should be illgal. Once a company gets your cc number you are locked into a contract that you never get to see and consider before ordering. This is not only a TV problem, I live in a rural area and we have only one TV and online service and they use the same practice, all services are done over the phone and we are given so much information it is hard to remember anything they said about what package you are finally ordering and how much it costs. We are FORCED to accept a 2 year contract if we want TV {the antenna & boxes are useless, we get 2 PBS channels} and internet service, we are never offered the option of applying the payments to the purchase of the modem or other equipment, we pay rent forever, I am sure, way beyond the cost of the modem. It took the tech 3 1/2 hours to set up my TV & internet and I should have been given the contract to read during that time instead of at the last minute when he was leaving and then told to "just sign it" as well as being charged for "insurance" on the equipment monthly. {mandatory fee} The TV companies also promise so many channels, once you get the service you suddenly realize that MOST of the channels are infomercial & general info about their company, they should NOT be allowed to count these as channels we have access to. I currently have more infomercial, TV co. info, ppv and Spanish channels than real channels I can watch for entertainment, all for $74.38 a month. They promise you a $50 reward for getting others to sign up to their company and then {after you call & call & finally get them to live up to the deal} they tell you that you will get a $5 a month discount on your bill! This is a monopoly and an abusive practice since there is only one company you can get service from, no way to shop around and find a competitive price. 2 years is too long for a contract like this and the companies involved should be required to mail you all the info about the different packages and list ALL channels accurately BEFORE you ever order services from them. The local phone company should be held to the same standards. All companies {including utility companies} should have to mail you a disconnect form when you move and discontinue their services with the date clearly listed, I have tried dealing with Sprint for 4 years over this problem and ended up with them sending my "bill" to a collection agency & putting a collection notice on my credit report even though they didn't disconnect the service after they were told to. I never even got an acknowledgement to several registered letters I sent to Sprint so I gave up. We need stricter consumer laws for dealing with these kind of preditory practices.