Consumers are paying a lot for the internet services they receive from major internet companies.
But the prices they pay aren’t what they paid for them in the first place.
The big broadband providers that provide the majority of Internet access and the broadband services that consumers use are paying much more for Internet service than they paid when they bought it.
That’s the takeaway from a new study that found Dish and Cox were being unfairly treated by big cable and phone companies.
The study by consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, published Wednesday in The Washington Post, found that big Internet providers were charging customers a lower price than the prices their customers were paying when they purchased their service from the providers themselves.
Dish and Cingular declined to comment.
Consumer Watchdogs is one of a growing number of groups that has been trying to bring the companies to account.
The groups have found that cable and wireless companies are charging customers much higher prices than the price they were paying before they purchased the service from them.
The price of broadband is set by the government, and the companies are responsible for getting it there.
But consumers are being denied access to broadband when they want to buy it from them, because of price.
The government’s definition of broadband includes voice and data services.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the average monthly cost of an average broadband connection is $10.79, compared with $4.20 for voice and $7.65 for data services for those using data-only services.
It is $8.39 for data plans with unlimited data.
Consumer groups say that the problem isn’t with the companies’ pricing or pricing that’s being artificially inflated.
They say that consumers are actually paying for the cost of broadband services when they are using it.
“In fact, the price of a typical residential broadband connection may be significantly higher than it was when you purchased it,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement.
“If you’re using a phone plan and paying $40 a month for a 4G Internet connection, you may not be paying for that same speed that you paid for before you purchased that plan.
But if you’re a consumer using voice and video services, you’re paying for those same speeds that you used before you bought that service.”
A spokesman for the companies said the companies were reviewing the report.
“We take all consumer complaints seriously, and we are reviewing this report to see if we can do anything to resolve the issue,” spokesman Michael Nogales said in a written statement.
Consumer advocacy groups are concerned about what they say is an unfair treatment of consumers who are paying more for broadband than they were in the past.
“When the price and service are the same, you can expect to pay less for the same service,” said Josh Horwitz, a senior vice president for advocacy at Consumer Watchings.
The report came on the heels of a recent lawsuit that was filed by a New Jersey woman, who alleged she was charged $100 more than the minimum amount for a phone call she wanted to make.
The woman’s complaint, which was dismissed in December, says she was able to use the service because of a loophole in her insurance policy that allowed her to use a phone for a short-term payment to cover the cost.
That loophole was put in place in 2014 and became available to people buying a phone service from a small carrier.
The filing was the latest in a string of consumer complaints about Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other major cable companies.
Comcast has also faced criticism from regulators for its treatment of customers who are suing it.
The company recently lost a federal court case in New York state over charges that it unfairly charged customers more for data than it would pay for voice services.
But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, has made a concerted effort to get the companies back on track.
The commission is considering a proposal to make it harder for companies to dodge the caps and charges.
Pai is also considering new rules that would require companies to make their customer service representatives available to customers in person, or by email, at the customer’s request.
That could include more help for consumers who have questions or are having trouble getting answers from their service providers.
The FCC also has set up a commission-run Consumer Care initiative, a consumer-led initiative that is looking to improve broadband service for people who are living paycheck to paycheck.
That effort is looking at the problem of disconnection, and how it can be addressed.
Consumers can call the FCC’s Consumer Care hotline at 1-877-382-4357.
The agency is also working with states to address how consumers can file complaints with the FCC about service quality, the amount of data a company is collecting from customers, and other problems.
FCC Chairman Pai’s commission has been working to change how companies operate.
Last year, the FCC began requiring that internet providers make their websites and apps available