As the recently merged Charter and Time Warner Cable finish combining their customer bases, some subscribers are getting their first look at controversial fees that significantly raise their cable bills without being counted as a rate hike. [More]
nickeled dimed and dollared
Long-distance and collect calling aren’t something most of us have to think about all that often, anymore. But for the families of the 2.2 million Americans living behind bars, the monopoly contracts that exist on phone companies behind bars, and the exorbitant, sky-high rates that spring from them, are a huge problem — one that the FCC has just taken action to mitigate.
Last fall, Marriott got in trouble for jamming the signals from users’ portable hotspots in one of their conference centers. That’s illegal, and the FCC fined them big bucks for it. Now the hotel chain is trying to make it legal, which has gone over very poorly in the public eye. But wait, Marriott says — we don’t want to stop you from using personal hotspots in your room! We only want to block you from using them in shared spaces where you could actually benefit from having them.
Airlines have long since discovered that they can make billions by charging consumers for everything, from daring to have luggage to calling customer service. Now, it seems, their travel partners up the line are joining them in the bold new future, as hotels find ever more creative ways of adding to your bill.