EDEN PRAIRIE,Minn. - If you've noticed a price hike in your cable bill recently, you're not alone.
"We've got six TVs in the house, it's ridiculous for two people," smiled Eden Prairie's Michael Behrendt.
Ridiculous, maybe, but it's all about convenience and Behrendt's home is fully wired.
Still, half a dozen units will add a few bucks to the cable bill.With his first bill in 2013,his $100 Comcast bill increased by a few bucks.
The first increase included his digital starter cable service, which increased $2.50.
Next, the HD DVR, used to record programs, increased a $1.00
Finally, he now pays nearly two bucks for boxes that convert the digital signal into analog for his older televisions. That used to be a free service.
"We're seeing a $1.99 [increase] for the individual boxes we currently have in the house," said Behrendt. They have two of the boxes, for another $3.98 increase and a total increase of $7.48.
This is just one bill in Eden Prairie. Comcast customers in other cities have complained about similar increases. In fact, KARE 11's Facebook page has an entire list of people who said they have seen an increase in their bill as well. Apparently, it's not only Comcast, but other cable and satellite providers, as well.
Behrendt took his complaint to the city of Eden Prairie.
While cable prices are regulated at the federal level by the Federal Communications Commission, in Minnesota each community also has a local franchising authority who helps determine rates. Eventually he called Comcast directly.
"It's almost like checking into a hotel, you always should ask, 'Do you have a better rate for me?'" he said.
In Behrendt's case, they offered him a rate at two thirds the price, which he hopes is reflected on his next bill.