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Member Since: ‎01-20-2011
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Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

What the heck is a Franchise Fee? 

 

Why all the hidden charges?

 

I guess it's more marketable to say you have the:

 

$119.99 Package 

 

and not the

 

$160.87  Package

Posted by
Email Expert
Member Since: ‎05-21-2006
Posts: 29,244

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?


Jeff64D wrote:

What the heck is a Franchise Fee? 

 

Why all the hidden charges?

 

I guess it's more marketable to say you have the:

 

$119.99 Package 

 

and not the

 

$160.87  Package




Doing a search brought up this below:  OR- you can call 1-800 comcast and speak with someone in the Billing Department too.

 

A Franchise Fee  helps the town or city in which you reside support its cable related needs and interests - this fee is not related to the line of business (cable, internet, phone) you are subscribed to. These fees usually appear in the form of access programming channels for town specific public, educational and government information and are federally regulated. 

 



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Posted by
Service Expert
Member Since: ‎02-04-2004
Posts: 15,192

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Also this:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_television_franchise_fee

 

A cable television franchise fee in the United States, the stems from a community's basic right to charge for use of the property it owns. The cable television franchise fees represent part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for the cable operator's occupation and the right-of-way use of public property. A franchise fee is not a tax; it is a rental charge.

 

Franchise fees are governed under Section 622 of the Cable Communications Act of 1984. Section 622, states that municipalities are entitled to a maximum of 5% of gross revenues derived from the operation of the cable system for the provision of cable services such as Public, educational, and government access (PEG) TV channels.

 


 

You pay the fee to Comcast, who then gives it to your city/town.



 


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Posted by
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Member Since: ‎04-27-2004
Posts: 18,241

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

In other words, it's a tax.

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Would make sense if it was paid by comcast but how do I benefit to charge myself a fee. Is there anyway to opt out of them?
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Member Since: ‎05-21-2006
Posts: 29,244

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

No.



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Posted by
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Member Since: ‎04-27-2004
Posts: 18,241

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

You can't opt out of sales taxes, why do you think you should be able to opt out of these taxes?

 

If Comcast didn't report them as line items in the bill, they'd simply include them in the price of the service. Either way, if they have to pay them, they have to get the money from somewhere, and customers are the primary revenue source.

 

The reason they split them out is because the fees are different in every town, but Comcast prefers to have a single price for the services across all towns in an area.

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎12-23-2012
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I should be able to opt out.  Comcast is giving me channels I already get free over antenna and then is charging me for them.  I should be able to tell comcast to cancel those channels and opt out of the fee

Posted by
Service Expert
Member Since: ‎02-04-2004
Posts: 15,192

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

[ Edited ]

Customers of other cable companies feel the same way about franchise fees.

 

Comcast is not the only one who recovers the fee from customers.

 

If you could opt out you would, as Barmar said, end up paying the fee when it's built into the cost of service.

 

 



 


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Non-Authorized Employees are allowed to post but cannot state they are employees nor can they allude to being employees.

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

It is understandable that the fees be paid.  However, it should not be separated out of the advertised price.  Comcast, as a business, rents the property for the infrastructure.  Rent is a business expense, not a consumer expense.  I understand the argument that the services would cost the same regardless, but that is not the issue.  The issue is the change in advertised price.

 

Imagine if McDonald's (whose franchise owner rents the building) was located across the street from Burger King (who's owner owns the building).  McDonalds advertized hamburgers on their sign for $0.99, and Burger King advertised on their sign $1.69 Burgers.  Then, at the drive through menu it says the same.  Then when you arrive at the window to pay, the have you eat your burger first, then pay.  When it is time to pay for what you already ate, they say, "That will be $0.99 plus a franchise fee of $1.30 for a sub-total of $2.29, plus 10% sales tax = $2.52."

 

You ask, "What is the franchise fee?"

and they say, "It's pay rent on the building, and for all the McDonald's equipment."

 

It's a classic case of bait and switch, which is illegal.

 

The example above is not even the full story of what comcast is doing.  A customer in the example above could go to Burger King the following day.  Comcast, however, used to make you sign a contract agreement for required service period.  The only reason they don't anymore is they lost a lawsuit over the tactic, and the minor change of removing the service agreement and allowing for a 30 day money back guarantee is a legal loop hole to the tactic.

 

It's time for another class action.  Are there any lawyers out there ready to take on the task?

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Member Since: ‎01-11-2013
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

TheyThey'd should tell you these fees up front when you are signing on as well as telling you theRe is an activation fee which they don't.   They are crooks!

 

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I noticed the Franchise Fee this month after my cable bill went up $30.  I recently got HD and knew my bill was going to go up $9.95/month but then, of course, they tack on Franchise Fees, which was another $5.32 per month, plus. I was forced to downgrade my Internet to Economy Plus just to save some money. I also think I'm going to be getting rid of HD. I don't really notice a big difference between regular TV and HD. I've had it with Comcast going up and up. They also recently just started charing $1.99 PER OUTLET for anyone that has an adapter when they went from analog to digital. Their bill said the DTA was $.50 per outlet, but the customers service rep told me last night that it was a misprint, and they will be correcting this. They raise prices every 6 months, and I find myself holding my breath when each bill comes in. They upgrade their buildings, but want the customers to pay for it.  I'd be willing to bet that if they lowered prices, more people would join them because Verizon sucks, too.  

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

By rights the percentage should come from comcasts revenues and a tax on them, but somehow they interpret the law as charge the added percent from the customer.  Theres a reason monopolys are outlawed.  Comcast-worst customer service ever.

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I agree that this indeed is a fee that must be paid somehow and will come from someone. I am just wondering where this line item lands on the balance sheet at tax time for companies that use this line item fee. I will look further but, I would think that the businesses are writing this off as an buss. expense. I would love to total all of these fees from the electric co.,  phone co, cell phone co., water district, waste management co., etc...  and deduct these from my own taxes. I'm just saying.

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Thanks for the info. I will look into this regulation. But I disagree with your statement. (this fee is charged to Comcast. There for Comcast must pay this fee) Not give to the athority. It is my belife that this fee is not mandatory to be paid buy the customer rather Comcast chooses to charge the customer because the FCC said it was OK if they did.

 

Give    Comcast doesn't give anything...As I have noticed. They are business. Goal to make as much money as possible. Unlike some good business that do give back to the community. 

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee and a franchise related fee?

Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee and a franchise related fee?
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎01-16-2015
Posts: 1

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Did you know that a franchise fee is charged on each movie you rent?  I rented two movies at 3.99 each and paid a .44 charge for franchise fee.  Why am I being charged on movies as well as equipment?

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Member Since: ‎01-25-2015
Posts: 1

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Comcast's net income for 3 quarter through September 2014 was 11 billion dollars. Their customer service is an embarassment and HUGE time waster to get anything done.  Check out the financial results yourself:

 

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/CMCSA/3890592165x0x788073/8223BBD4-1846-4382-BA24-E1C959FBB44...

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Member Since: ‎01-26-2015
Posts: 2

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

What I'm finding interesting is the taxs. I had a partial monthly credit of $10.63 that amount was added to the sales tax amount and then removed so they get more money. They are charging sales tax on the broadcast fee, franchise fee and the FCC Fee. I'm not  a lawyer but this seems a little illegal. First the Broadcast fee, franchise fee and the Fcc are part of them doing busines not subject to sales tax as they are already a tax. Second if I receive a partial month credit that should be taken off the top of the bill not the bottom after taxs. Seems to me that this is a Federal crime since this bill was sent through the federal mail.

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Member Since: ‎01-27-2015
Posts: 1

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

[ Edited ]

we all need to put pressure on the states attorney general to investigate the business practices of Comcast that are deceptive/illegal/ fraududlent/ in nature.  since they routinely have agents that lie to us, supervisors that try to steer us to soliutions that suit comcast and don't help us as customers  much or at all etc. etc. 

 

I AM GOING TO DEAL WITH THE S.A. office soon. TO TRY TO GET BACK MONEY I PAID TO COMCAST FOR CABLE SERVICE THAT I DID NOT ACTUALLY USE.  Rgardless of the outcome of my personal situatio i will ask the ststes attorny what they are going toi do about comcast.  

 

I will poinyt out al the repeat offenses that comcast customers are routinely plagued with.

 

iF YOU FOLKS WANT RESULTS, you will not get them by just putting a complaint on an online borad or thread regardless of who's site it is.

 

Join me in this new year to put a stop to the shady business pratices of coamcast.  force them to revela all the hidden charges, and contract info up fron before a contract is evere agreed too.  make it so that a written contract is clear, and transparent  and does not contain tricky language or small print. ...

 

I can't do this by myself folks.  we need each other frankly and you all should realize this.  If you aren't going to actively fight and change things that are wrong then stop complaining...

 

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎07-14-2013
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

It's not a "franchise" like a McD's franchise - it's a tax the municipality lays on Comcast to give the "franchise" (i.e., the ability to run their cables through the town) - complain to your local politicians - they're gouging you with what is essentially a disguised tax (like the politicians jacking up diesel gas taxes rather than unleaded gas taxes so primarily only truckers get hit with it and companies have to pass the higher tax on to consumers through higher shipping costs and/or higher prices - so they're taxing you but using an indirect method to hide it - same with this franchise tax

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Member Since: ‎07-14-2013
Posts: 12

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Better check the details of the state and various municipality sales taxes - would not surprise me that the crooks in Springfield (and elsewhere) are assessing taxes on the broadcast fee, etc. - their grubby hands never seem to tire stealing money from folks

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?


treyash9 wrote:

Comcast's net income for 3 quarter through September 2014 was 11 billion dollars. Their customer service is an embarassment and HUGE time waster to get anything done.  Check out the financial results yourself:

 

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/CMCSA/3890592165x0x788073/8223BBD4-1846-4382-BA24-E1C959FBB44...


That $11B you're quoting is operating income, not net income (which is after paying taxes, interest, etc.) - net income was $6.455B (~12% profit margin, which is not excessive) and also note that those numbers include NBCUniversal - it's not just Comcast Cable

 

However they should still provide much higher customer support

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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

I recently switched from Blast Plus to X1 Double-play Preferred. My franchise fee went from $0.62 to $12.80. Why would this cause the "fee" to go up by 2000% ?
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Member Since: ‎01-26-2015
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

All I can tell you for sure is to communicate with them through the chat. They seem to say what ever you want to hear and do what ever they want with billing. I'm in Indiana and was told it is a flat fee not a percentage. This i believe is negotiated with your local government because that's where the money goes.
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

My Village is listed as the franchise holder on my bill. However, when I've checked with the Village regarding companies available for TV service, they have responded that they have no say-so as to who comes into the village with service. In the past the village has had issues with other companies coming into the village, as the vilage was strong-arming other services as to the amount of $$$ the village would receive per households signing up for services. Unfortunately, there are several companies that are rated much more highly by Consumer Reports available out there, but my village has done nothing to make them available. As I said before, the village says they have no say-so as to who may offers service to residents. Unfortunately, because I live in a highly wooded area, I am stuck with Comcast :-(

Posted by
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Member Since: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

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Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-28-2010
Posts: 1

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Interesting that I pay taxes that made the infrastructure they use possible and at the same time I have to pay the company that rents this infrastructure for them using it. This is entirely backwards. In my community they are the only game in town. This somehow seems wrong.

Posted by
Official Employee
Member Since: ‎03-19-2015
Posts: 2,459

Re: Why do I have to pay a Franchise Fee?

Hello Fstkmaro,


I'm sorry for your troubles. I will be more than happy to address your concerns. A Franchise agreement is a formal legal agreement with a government or regulatory agency that defines the terms and conditions under which Comcast may operate its cable system within the specified Federal Communications Commission (FCC) community area. Comcast pays a Franchise fee to exercise the rights granted to it under the Franchise agreement. I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns in the future.

 

Thank You!

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