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Mike45

join:2011-04-27
Berlin, MD

[DE] Mysterious line item on my bill

I have been a Mediacom customer for 15 years. Recently I have found that I do not watch that much TV so I decided to drop it and keep just the internet. For this I was charged a disconnect fee of $29. I then noticed something odd on the following month’s bill. These are the three line items present:

09/01 - 09/30 High Speed Basic ............................................................................................ 15.00
09/01 - 09/30 High Speed Residential .................................................................................. 49.95
09/01 - 09/30 High Speed Modem ......................................................................................... 5.00
Subtotal ........................................................................................................... 69.95
Breaking it down I believe that
High Speed Residential is the actual internet service.
High Speed Modem is the DOCSIS modem rental.
High Speed Basic is ???

So I decided to call Mediacom support at 1-855-633-4226 this morning and followed the prompts to talk to someone in billing. I spoke to a nice girl and she explained to me that the High Speed Basic line item is actually a separate service that is required in order to be able to use the internet. This seemed strange as the HSR line item is the actual internet service. After talking with her a bit I asked to speak with her supervisor and explained it was nothing she did wrong, I just wanted to speak to someone who may have access to more information. She said someone would call me back but never did.

I called several hours later and talked to another girl who explained roughly the same thing. Again I asked to speak with her manager. After a short wait I was on the phone with someone who claimed to be a supervisor. I asked if she was brought up to speed on my call and she said she was. We discussed the question for a bit and I ended up getting the same answer; it is a service that allows me to access the other service.

Again I was not buying that explanation as valid. It makes no sense to charge a service fee to be able to access the transport line to be able to access the internet if I am already paying for that internet service itself.

When I questioned it the story slightly changed saying that the service fee is not necessary when you have TV on your account because the “cable is for TV”. This does not make much sense either because the cable also provides access for Mediacom’s internet service.

It seems very strange that suddenly there would be an access fee so I questioned it again. Again the story changed. Now the reason for the line item is that Mediacom has to install equipment at the splitter to “filter out the TV signal”. While this may be true, is this not what the disconnect fee was for? Why is this now a monthly fee? And if this is in fact the case, why was I first told that it was an access fee? I am not sure I believe this either.

So I questioned that assertion. The story changes once more. Now she tells me that the line item was not on my bill previously because it was a discount applied to accounts that have internet as well as either TV or phone. I can somewhat believe this explanation. However, it still seems very unusual. If it is indeed a discount, I would have expected the HSR line item to increase rather than a NEW line item to appear. So I asked then what the HSB line item actually means if this were the case. The story shifts back to it being an access charge.

At this point I do not believe anything this woman is telling me. I thank her for her time, tell her I will reevaluate my agreement with Mediacom, and hang up.

None of this really makes much sense.

If it is an access charge then why is it only present when there is internet only? And why does this exist at all? It is absurd to charge a customer a fee in order for the customer to have the privilege to pay for the service they really want.

If it is a filter on the line then why is it a monthly charge? Is the filter not applied once? Is there even hardware associated with something like this or is it just a configuration change in the Mediacom system? In this case I am actually being charged to not have a service on my account, completely independent of the internet service.

If this is a discount for multiple services, why does it show up as a new line item that masquerades as some sort of other high speed internet service component? Why not simply roll it into the HSR line item?

I work in IT and manage many internet accounts. One of our accounts is a Mediacom business class connection. I decided to call them and use our company’s account# as my support experience with them has typically been much better than residential. I ask them the same question. The conversation went as follows:

“On a residential account with a High Speed Residential line item, would you expect there to be a High Speed Basic line item as well?”

“Yes, every account has a basic line item.”

“What does that line item mean?”

“That is a good question… I don’t actually know. No one ever actually told me. But every account at Mediacom must have a BASIC line item.”
This guy I believe.

I would like to know what this line item ACTUALLY is and why it is there.

Does anyone know?

wth
Premium
join:2002-02-20
Iowa City,IA

A. You can save $5/month and buy your own modem.
B. The $15/month charge is basically a penalty for not subscribing to family cable. You save $15/month when you bundle the 2 services.


Mike45

join:2011-04-27
Berlin, MD

I don't mind spending the $5/mo for the modem. I have had modems go bad before and I think that the service is well worth the cost.



MediacomChad
Mediacom Social Media Relations Team
Premium,VIP
join:2010-01-20
Gulf Breeze, FL
kudos:103

1 edit

wth is correct, the 15.00 is the basic charge for having just the internet service. If you add any other service to your account, the basic charge will be removed.


Mike45

join:2011-04-27
Berlin, MD

So "High Speed Basic" literally means "Penalty Charge"?



Tehrasha

join:2004-12-15
Vinton, IA

It is a surcharge.

"High-Speed surcharge (applies to customers subscribing only to Mediacom High Speed Internet services) $15.00"

And yes, essentially it is a penalty for not purchasing a cable TV package.



Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2
reply to Mike45

Yes and that fee has been around for years. You just found out about it once you downgraded to internet only service. The $29 one time fee was to roll a truck to install a trap on your line. BTW if the proper trap was used you maybe able to get basic cable channels (provided with no support).
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.


Mike45

join:2011-04-27
Berlin, MD

I checked, the filter removed everything. There are no channels available, which is fine. I didn't expect to get anything after cancelling the service.

If the bottom line here is that the line item is a penalty charge for not having TV, then I wonder why it masquerades as some sort of internet charge? Does anyone else question how ethical it is to put a line item like that on customer bills that appears to be purposely deceiving and that provides no actual goods, services, or is for any sort of tax?


k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1

said by Mike45:

If the bottom line here is that the line item is a penalty charge for not having TV, then I wonder why it masquerades as some sort of internet charge? Does anyone else question how ethical it is to put a line item like that on customer bills that appears to be purposely deceiving and that provides no actual goods, services, or is for any sort of tax?

It should really be listed as an account administration fee, as that is what it is. That you see it as a "penalty" is your choice.

It is easy to realize where it comes from if you recall that first and foremost a cable franchise started in a community as a means to provide television. Telephone and internet are all late comers to that structure. The pricing structure first developed for television includes the overhead costs of paying for account administration, and so it doesn't need to be charged again for telephone or internet when those are added to a television account. If you look at the telephone pricing, you will see that it is also a tiered pricing, depending on whether you have television and other services or not.

I agree that it is deceptive not to make that cost apparent in the advertisements. And calling it by this new name doesn't help any in people understanding what it means.

Mike45

join:2011-04-27
Berlin, MD

That makes much more sense than what the Mediacom reps kept saying. Thank you!


Zoomer30

join:2003-05-01
Mason City, IA
reply to Mike45

Ah the curse of bundling reers its head again I know they did something like that, $49.99 if you have cable, more if you dont. Its the same game everywhere.

What I hate is how my bill starts at $130 or so and by the time the fees are on there its $149. Thats the real "odd" thing.