Canceling your cable subscription can be easier said than done. Major providers generally require subscribers to call if they want to disconnect service, as this gives the sales agents an opportunity to talk the consumer out of their decision. (Listen to this viral phone call in which podcast host Ryan Block tries for eight minutes to cancel his Comcast subscription.) On top of that, many customers sign a contract that requires them to pay hefty early termination fees if they want to pull the plug before its end date.
California Assemblyman Mike Gatto proposed an in-state bill that could address the first hassle by requiring companies that allow online cable or internet subscriptions to also allow customers to cancel those services with just one click.
“It just makes sense, that if you are able to sign up for a service online, you should also be able to cancel it the same way,” Gatto said in a press release.
Gatto’s press release goes on to mention Block, who purportedly spent 18 minutes on the phone with a Comcast representative trying to cancel his service and arrange for return of his cable card.
Comcast declined to comment on the bill, citing that the proposal is not a Comcast-specific issue. It directed Credit.com to the California Cable and Telecommunications Association, which did not immediately respond with comment.
Paying for Cable
Gatto’s bill would have to pass before any change to the current system would be implemented — and, even then, it would be restricted to California.
If you currently feel you’re paying too much for your cable service, you can call your provider to see if they offer a “skinny” package, which is a slimmed-down list of channels for a lower price. You also might research prices of different cable packages in your area and then either switch your service or use the possibility of cancellation to broker a better deal with your current provider.
In either case, it could help to improve your credit beforehand, as providers generally offer lower rates and fees to people with good credit scores. You can see where you currently stand by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com. If your score is in rough shape, you can fix your credit by disputing any errors on your credit report, addressing your credit score killers and focus on maintaining smart spending habits, like making all payments on time.
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