How To Avoid Spectrum Fees

by Daniel Smith | Updated 12/23/23

While Spectrum isn’t the worst offender, Spectrum has several fees that could be costing you $30+ a month.

This is on top of Spectrum’s other fees they charge to cancel your service and if you pay late.

At BillSmart, we’ve had many customers from Spectrum come to us to get out of the high fees that they’ve been charged.

We’ve been able to help them quite a bit.  Our clients save $352 on average, and we’ve saved Americans $1.5mm+ to date.

Want to get out of a fee that Spectrum charged you?

Sign up for BillSmart by clicking the button below.

Spectrum Broadcast TV Surcharges

The worst Spectrum fees are the recurring ones.  The biggest buckets of monthly fees we’ve seen are the Broadcast TV Surcharge and state/local sales tax fee charges.

For most Spectrum customers, the broadcast TV surcharge is $21 a month.  You have no way to avoid paying this broadband fee.

The best you can do is to negotiate your Spectrum bill lower or just cancel your Spectrum service.

The Broadband TV surcharge was added because broadcast networks like ABC and CBS were greedy and wanted to get monthly subscription revenue from cable companies.

Eventually, Spectrum caved and it fixed this profit margin problem of theirs by just passing it to the customer.

While smaller than broadcast tv fees, state/local sales tax can take a bite out of your budget as well.

These fees vary widely.  We’ve seen them range from $0.07 to $14.39 a month.

One thing that we’ve noticed is that pure internet accounts don’t have these fees.  That’s because these TV fees were made up by Spectrum to cover the rising costs of delivering TV content.

Like the broadcast fee, there’s no direct way to get these fees removed from your account without canceling your Spectrum service.

Just see what promotions you can get with Spectrum or work with a bill negotiation company to get your bill lower.

spectrum broadcast tv surcharge examples

How To Save On Spectrum Internet

While Spectrum internet service has a lot fewer fees compared to their TV service, there’s still a bunch of ways you can save on your bill and put money back in your pocket.

One prominent example is Spectrum’s $5 a month wifi service.

Much of the population is not tech literate so they don’t understand what this $5 a month charge is for.

It’s basically to manage your Spectrum router.

If you have your own modem/router, you don’t need to pay for this service.  We see many customers continue to pay $5 a month forever even if they aren’t getting any value from their service.

Another common Spectrum fee is charging you for leasing a modem from them.

The most common monthly cost for leasing a Spectrum modem is $10 a month.  If you go online, you can easily find a much better modem than what Spectrum provide for $60.

If you plan on staying with Spectrum for more than 6 months, I recommend just bringing your own modem.

Spectrum will still provide technical support if you ever have internet problems.  They just want your money.

Spectrum Late Fees

The maximum Spectrum late fee if you miss your payment date is $8.95.

Most customers pay this amount, but we’ve seen late fees of $4.75 and $6.75.

Spectrum doesn’t provide a set late fee amount because late fees depend on which state you live in.

To avoid late fees, pay your Spectrum bill before your payment date.  Your payment date is 21 days after you receive your bill.

If your account becomes seriously past due, Spectrum will turn off your account.

To get your account back, you’ll need to pay your full outstanding balance and put a deposit of one month of your service cost as a credit to your account.

Spectrum Installation Fees

Spectrum generally only charges an additional installation fee if they must do more work for your account than usual.

Common examples include additional visits to your home to hook up additional devices.  These additional calls are usually priced at $49.99.

Spectrum won’t charge you extra if the technician needs to come to your house after a first visit because your internet isn’t working.

That’s their problem, not yours and they know you’re going to cancel your service if you sign up and their service doesn’t work.

Another instance where you’d have to pay an installation fee is if you want Spectrum to install additional phone jacks.

This requires their technicians to do some home improvement work for you.  It takes some time, and they need to install some equipment that costs them money that they’ve decided not to solely shoulder.

In our experience, the cost to get additional phone jacks installed is about $20 per line.  If you’re doing a first-time installation, you can usually get most, or all these fees refunded.

As someone who’s signed up to Spectrum recently, I wasn’t charged any installation fees even though the tech had to come back to my apartment twice because the first tech messed up.

Spectrum Internet Cancellation Fees

Spectrum Internet doesn’t have a fee for canceling because it doesn’t put customers on long-term contracts.

However, your Spectrum discount has an expiration date and will roll off unless you renew it or negotiate a new discount.

Some Spectrum customers think that Spectrum has cancellation fees because they are charged the full amount for the month or are charged a temporary unreturned equipment fee when they first cancel.

At this time, Spectrum doesn’t pro-rate your service for your cancellation date.  You either pay nothing or the full amount for the month depending on when you cancel.

So make sure to take into account your billing cycle to make sure you’re not paying the full month’s rate for 3 days of service.

Additionally, don’t get confused about the unreturned payment fee.  This fee will go away if you return the equipment you rented from Spectrum.

If you have questions about fees after you cancel your Spectrum service, just chat or call their customer support and they can provide you with an explanation or a fix.

Lower Your Spectrum Bill With BillSmart!

This was a long article because Spectrum has a lot of fees.

Just want someone to take care of lowering your Spectrum bill for you?

Click the button below to sign up for BillSmart.

We can save you up to 30% on your Spectrum bill and our negotiations are free if we don’t save you money.

BillSmart CEO

About the author

Mark Chen is the founder and CEO of BillSmart. As a 7-year veteran of the bill negotiation space, he's saved Americans $25mm+ on their phone and cable bills. In his free time, he enjoys watching shows on TV like Yellowstone and college football.