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Cutting the cord has become a common phrase for consumers switching from traditional cable providers to internet and streaming television options. Traditional cable packages can cost anywhere from $50 to over $200 per month, making cable one of the higher monthly utilities in your home. The Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) oversees the cable industry in Massachusetts and works to ensure that Massachusetts residents receive high-quality communications services at just and reasonable rates. DTC put together the below tips to help you save on your monthly cable bill, whether you are a new or existing customer.

  • Be mindful of over-subscription.  Prior to subscribing to service, consumers may request a channel lineup for available programming packages. To reduce monthly bills consumers may consider subscribing to the lowest programming tier including their desired channels.
  • Review channel line-up. Cable providers have the ability to change channel line-ups after subscription. It is recommended that consumers consistently review their subscription channel line-ups. Massachusetts regulations allow consumers to request subscription downgrades at no cost as a result of the channel loss within the 30 day period following receipt of a channel removal notice.
  • Eliminate unused equipment or premium services.  Most cable providers charge a monthly fees for additional video equipment and services, such as a digital video recorder (“DVR”). Reduce or eliminate extra equipment or add-on services that are not used regularly.
  • Consider buying a cable modem. To avoid monthly modem rental fees consumers may purchase their own cable modem that is compatible with their cable provider’s network and services. This requires self-installation and activation.
  • Adjust premium station subscriptions. Premium stations (HBO, Starz, Showtime, etc.) are often included as part of initial promotional offers.  Consumer may request the removal of any unwanted station prior to the end of the promotion to avoid being billed. 
  • Discounts for eligible consumers.  Seniors and consumers meeting certain income requirements may be eligible to receive a discount on cable services. Discounts are not typically applicable for customers subscribed to premium video or bundled services.

We encourage you to contact the DTC office at 800-392-6066 or visit the website for more information.

 


The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry. If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

 

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