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Customer Service Standards

The Cable Customer Bill of Rights

Has this happened to you?

Were you charged for services that you did not receive?

Were you charged for services that you did not request?

Were your contracted services or rates changed without notice?

Was the customer service representative unable to address your complaints courteously and effectively?

Please be aware that:

You are entitled to courteous, accessible and effective customer service.

You are entitled to notice of rate/program changes that affect your contract.

The Company cannot charge for services you did not request.

The Company’s billing must be accurate and consistent with the services you agreed to purchase and in fact received.

Consumers Should Understand these Terms:

Negative Option Billing: 

Federal law states, “[a] cable operator shall not charge a subscriber for any service or equipment that the subscriber has not affirmatively requested by name.”  A subscriber’s mere failure to refuse a cable operator’s offer to provide new services or equipment does not satisfy these federal requirements.  Further, “the negative option billing prohibition protects consumers not only from intentionally deceptive practices, but from ‘having to take on the burden of identifying and negatively responding to charges for services that appear on a bill that are not desired and for which no request has been made,’ as well as the ‘inadvertent payment of such charges.’”  The FCC entered a 2017 Consent Decree that established special procedures for affirmative informed consent and purchase confirmation before a cable provider may bill for new services.

Download the Federal Regulation Prohibiting Negative Option Billing.

Download the FCC 2016 Consent Order.

FCC’s Consumer Guide for Cable Customers

Unfair Trade Practices (“Bait and Switch”): 

Under New Mexico law, unfair or deceptive trade practices and unconscionable trade practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful.  Such prohibited practices include making false or misleading statements of fact for the purpose of obtaining appointments for the demonstration, exhibition or other sales presentation of goods or services.  It is the intent of the New Mexico legislature that “in construing this state’s Unfair Practices Act the courts to the extent possible will be guided by the interpretations given by the federal trade commission and the federal courts.”  Federal law prohibits “[b]ait advertising,” that is, “an alluring but insincere offer to sell a product or service which the advertiser in truth does not intend or want to sell; rather its purpose is to switch consumers from buying the advertised merchandise, in order to sell something else.”

Download the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act.

Download the Federal Trade Commission’s Guide on Bait Advertisements.

Please view the Customer Service Standards to learn your rights.  They are your Customer Bill of Rights – among the strongest in the country.  Learn and use them to protect your consumer interests!