Creative accounting at its worst folks https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141223/07071429511/as-time-warner-cable-defends-merger-plans-it-keeps-gouging-customers-with-obnoxious-new-sneaky-fees.shtml
For years now, the broadband and TV industry has hammered its customers with all manner of creatively sneaky fees, buried below the line to jack up consumer prices -- while leaving the advertised price alone. It's clearly false advertising, though regulators have seen fit to ignore these practices as business as usual -- even though many of the fee names have become increasingly, aggressively ridiculous. CenturyLink, for example, charges its users a $1 "Internet Cost Recovery Fee" and a $1.55 "Non-Telcom Services Surcharge" -- both fees are little more than pure profit and entirely untethered to logic or any actual service rendered.
Other ISPs happily charge customers a non-government mandated "regulatory recovery fee," purportedly to counter ambiguous government regulation -- despite a decade of being deregulated. The latest obnoxious fee trend is a "broadcast TV fee" that has been showing up on many cable customers' bills over the last year. This too is little more than the cable company breaking out a portion of programming costs and burying it below the line -- again to give the illusion of a lower advertised price.
Despite the fact that Time Warner Cable is putting on a polite face to get its $45 billion fusion with Comcast approved, it's certainly no exception to this aggressive sneaky fee parade. The company was just sued for billing shenanigans and the vast difference between promotional and real world prices.
Making false claims regarding the addition of fictional costs on a bill is simply stealing, there is no other word for it. Customers should never be defrauded in this way.