The FCC has made it clear that apartment complexes can’t force residents to use a specific cable company, but Amy Davis at KPRC in Houston reports that there’s a sneaky way to get around this restriction. The residents of one Houston apartment complex don’t have to go with the building’s chosen provider, but if they opt out they’ll have to pay an extra $40 per month for trash and water.
Davis writes that the residents of the complex received a notice “late last year” from the management company:
It reads the complex “has teamed up with a cable company to bring you an exclusive offer that will allow you to enjoy expanded basic service at a greatly reduced rate.”
The couple who sent me the letter say they don’t want the complex to choose their cable company; perhaps they don’t want cable at all.
The problem lies in the next line of the letter.
“If you have not yet chosen to opt in, the reduced rate of $40 will be added to your water and trash bill once your renewal takes effect.”
Davis says the concept is called bulk billing, and it’s legal. However, the FCC is “very close to making a decision on bulk billing,” so now is your chance to speak up if you think it should be banned.
You can still let the FCC know what you think about bulk billing by sending them your comments online. Click on the link that says “submit a filing.” In the blank for “proceeding #,” type in 07-51.
“Can Complex Choose Cable Company?” [KPRC Houston]