With the advent of the triple play, a marketing term for offering cable, internet and phone for one price, the country’s cable providers have been in a mad rush to attract consumers to bundle their services for these basic utilities. RCN, Verizon and Comcast are just some of the providers bundling these services.
As part of their promotional campaign these cable companies sometimes offer incentives for new customers, such as a free Netbook if you sign up for a two-year agreement.
One example from 2009 appeared on a Comcast website:
HD Starter Triple Play
NEW SUBSCRIBERS: Get a free Dell Netbook with the HD Starter Triple Play for only $99 a month for 12 months and a 2-year minimum term agreement. Plus, you’ll continue the savings the following year with a price of just $10 more per month.
o Free HD – no HD access fees or equipment fees.
o Over 80 digital cable channels.
o Thousands of On Demand movies and shows.
o Internet downloads up to 15 Mbps, uploads up to 3 Mbps with PowerBoost®.
o Unlimited local and long-distance nationwide calling – rated #1 in call clarity.
o Voice Mail and 12 popular calling features including Caller ID, Call Waiting and more.
Special Comcast.com Price!
$99.00 for the first 24 months $129.99 per month thereafter
In some instances, however, consumers have signed up for subscription plans like this, but never received the product they were promised.
The reasons given by the cable companies for failure to provide the product vary, but include some of the following: (1) you no longer qualify (even though your already signed up for the subscription plan), (2) the terms of the contract have changed and you are no longer entitled to the product, (3) you didn’t pay your bill on time, or (4) you didn’t register for the product in time. Other times, the company may falsely tell you that the product is in mail, or they simply fail to provide any reason and instead give you the run around.
Practices such as these are misleading to consumers and are leaving them forced to pay for a cable subscription plan without receiving the rebate that enticed them into the subscription plan in the first place.
If you have experienced this practice with a cable provider, please contact us immediately. You may have rights to exercise if your contract was not fulfilled.