Time Warner charged Nick $0.23 for the Home Shopping Network coupon included in his monthly bill. The “Adhsn fee” listed on his bill was an oversight, according to a Time Warner representative, who defended the omnipresent charge as something that is usually “just bundled somewhere else.” Nick writes:
I’m a Time Warner customer in Charlotte, NC and recently got my August bill. Looking over it as usual, there is a new fee “ADHSN Fee” of 23 cents. I know FCC and taxes, but ADHSN I didn’t comprehend. After calling customer service the agent was perplexed and finally realized that they were charging me for the Home Shopping Network ad/coupon they included in my bill. Apparently, they claim this charge has always been there, it’s just bundled somewhere else. I think they are full of crap. Plus he claimed he couldn’t remove it. So now I have to pay to be advertised to. 23 cents to 100,000 cable customers is $23,000 to put little useless ad in my cable bill. Shouldn’t the home shopping network foot the bill?
Telecoms and cable companies revel in passing every imaginable cost on to the consumer, aided by staff neologists who obscure fees with nonsensical and misleading names. Fighting a $0.23 charge is about principles. If you really want it off your bill, call back and escalate to a supervisor.
We called Time Warner to ask if charging for coupons was standard practice. Though they have yet to get back to us with an official comment, one Time Warner representative offhandedly remarked: “Oh God, I hope it’s not standard practice.”