–REUTERS, 11:32 A.M.
XFINITY today announced plans to offer all of its cable packages at more affordable rates. The new rates will go into effect January 1, 2017 in an effort to save customers an average of $137 per month on their cable bills.
“All of our bundles will be under ten dollars a month,” XFINITY Marketing Director Justin DeBaxide said. “We are also guaranteeing customers’ rates for an unprecedented fifteen years. Of course there will be increased fees associated with the new rates, but now we are finally able to offer affordable rates to all of our customers.”
But the math isn’t exactly on XFINITY’s side. The average cable bill in 2016 after taxes and fees was $140 per month. But the new $10 plans come with some hefty fee increases, including an extra $30 charge for connecting to televisions which receive their power from a wall outlet, $35 for connecting to Wi-Fi a computer running Windows, OSX, or Linux, or an Android or iOS mobile device, and $15 per GB after the first 350MB will also be charged. And if you want to pay your bill, you’ll have to pony up the $18 fee associated with that. Consumer advocate group Carmen Cents predicts that after fees are factored, average customer bills will actually be $165 per month.
“It really is out of our hands,” VP of Customer Relations Chaz Moore said. “Our labor costs have not decreased, and we still need to pay the power bills to run the call centers. Other companies charge fees as well, so customers should not consider these fees when they see our rates, they are more like a tax.”
When reached for comment, government regulatory agency Federal Communication Commission spokesperson Phil Pocquettes said, “as long as XFINITY’s checks continue to clear, we have no reason to find fault with these billing practices.”
XFINITY, formerly Comcast Corporation, changed their name in 2011 after the Oxford English Dictionary defined “comcastic” as “a level of customer service so deplorable that it reeks of being a cable company.” The new name is intended to rebrand the company providing limitless ways to aggravate their customers with poor service and ever-increasing charges.