Yes, we needed a law to ban rental fees for devices that customers own in full.

A wireless router with an Ethernet cable hooked into it.

Source: Enlarge / A Wi-Fi router.

A new US law prohibits broadband and TV providers from charging “rental” fees for equipment that customers have provided themselves.

Even by the low customer-service standards of the cable and telecom industries, requiring customers to pay a monthly fee for equipment they own is pretty rude. But that’s exactly what Frontier Communications does to its customers, as we wrote in July 2019. Frontier customers who use routers they own themselves must still pay Frontier $10 a month in a “Wi-Fi Router” fee, even if the router they use is fully compatible with the service and requires no additional work on Frontier’s part.

As Frontier’s website says, its customers are forced to pay “a monthly lease fee for your Frontier router or modem—whether you use it or not.” That statement makes it sound like Frontier automatically provides the device to all customers—but the customer in Texas we wrote about never received a router from Frontier and was still required to pay the fee.

Read More