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Cable Companies are Accused of Deceptive Business Practices

As America is preparing for the transition from analog to digital television in February 2009, Comcast is reporting record sales for their digital cable subscriptions. Many consumers are choosing to subscribe to digital cable, rather than converting their analog TVs by buying a new converter box.  This new influx of orders has earnings up 38 percent for the nation’s leading cable provider. The controversy surrounding this very popular cable company is that Comcast may be taking advantage of the conversion to increase their revenue.

Comcast Cable and other cable companies are currently under investigation by the Consumers Union and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as the Federal Communication Commission. These government agencies are checking into alligations of deceptive business practices to benefit from the transition to digital television. As reported by NPR, the Consumers Union describes these deceptive practices as:

Cable operators appear to be leveraging content to strong-arm confused consumers into paying much more every month for cable programming they have previously received at no extra fee.

We’re hearing from many consumers that cable companies are taking away some channels, requiring them to rent more expensive set top boxes.”

These actions are actually defeating the purpose of switching over to cable in order to not have to deal with buying converter boxes and digital antennas.

Of concern is the very real possibility with rising costs and an unstable job market that consumers may come to a time when they can’t afford a cable television subscription. If they do not choose to buy these boxes now with the government coupons currently available, it could cost them a lot more in the future to watch television. Current cable customers may eventually find themselves in the dark, along with a good part of the nation’s lower income class who cannot currently afford cable or to buy the new boxes and digital antennas.

Written by acwriter

Ref: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96311177

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