Spectrum is one of the largest internet providers in the U.S. with coverage in 41 states. Spectrum services are popular for many good reasons―for instance the straightforward pricing. However, as it is with any new service, some things can take a while to get used to, especially the billing. With an unfamiliar bunch of fees, surcharges, and taxes on your Spectrum bill, you’re bound to find yourself confused.
In this article, we discuss how to view and understand your bill―learn about the most important components of Spectrum billing so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
How to View Your Spectrum Bill
While Spectrum does send paper bills to customers who want them, a greener approach with paperless billing is appreciated. Anyone who does not enroll in paperless billing can receive a paper statement in their mail each month. For many customers, especially the senior citizens, it is essential to have a physical copy of the bill as they find it easier to pay.
Even so, the global environmental crisis has led most providers to offering paperless billing as the preferred option, and Spectrum is among them. Customers who opt for this service can view their Spectrum bill online via the web portal or My Spectrum App.
Here is how you can view the digital copy of your Spectrum bill online:
- Sign into your Spectrum account with your Spectrum credentials (only an account holder with Admin or Primary privileges is eligible to use this service feature)
- Go to the Billing section of your account.
- Here, you can view your bill, download it, pay it, see the outstanding charges, access 24 months of billing data, enroll in paperless billing, and even set up auto-pay
To view the bill on the free My Spectrum App, this is what you need to do:
- Sign into your Spectrum account via the App
- Select the Billing tab and click on View All Statements
- Here you can select a specific statement to view additional bill details, and also make the payment
Understand Your Spectrum Billing
Once you are able to view your Spectrum bill, the next part of the process is certainly making the payment. But before that is a much more important phase―understanding your Spectrum bill. What have they charged you for? What are all the peculiar numbers listed on the bill? Is there something you ought not to be charged for? So on and so forth.
To make this grueling exercise a little easier, here is a review and a brief explanation of the charges, fees, and taxes you can expect to show up on your bill.
- Broadcast TV Surcharge: Under Federal Law, local U.S. broadcast TV stations (affiliates of networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, etc.) charge cable and satellite TV service providers a fee that allows them to carry the broadcast signals.
- Business License Fee: This is a fee Charter is charged for operating in your state or locality.
- E911 Charge: This is a charge imposed by the local government to help with the cost of 911 services where available. It is collected as part of your Spectrum phone bill and paid to the provider of that service.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Fee: Fee that Charter has to pay to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the regulation of Spectrum cable service.
- Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) Fee: FCC created the USF to help provide phone services to all Americans―especially low-income households living in high-cost areas. USF also provides phone services to non-profit schools and libraries that serve low-income communities, as well as rural healthcare providers. All providers are mandated to pay the USF fee every month, and allowed to roll it over to the customer via monthly phone bill.
- Franchise Fee: Charter collects a franchise fee on behalf of your local government and municipality, each month. It is paid directly to the local government for using public rights of way in order to deliver the cable service. The amount of the Franchise Fee is itemized on the Spectrum bill, and it varies depending on your location. Another factor that plays a role in determining the fee is how many pay-per-view or on-demand movies and events you place an order for in any given month.
- Late Payment Fee: A late fee is when you have an unpaid balance from a prior billing month. One late fee is evaluated per account, for each month that you’re past the due date―as long as an outstanding balance exists. The amount of the late fee may vary from state to state.
- Line Access: Monthly per-line charge to cover the cost that Spectrum incurs when it provides local network support to enable you to make and receive interstate as well as international calls.
- Public Education and Government Channels (PEG) Fee: Similar to the Franchise Fee, this is imposed by cities and municipalities, and is used to support their PEG access channels that are used by educational institutions for educational programming. The money collected is paid directly, in its entirety, to the local municipality.
- Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Public Service Commission (PSC) or Utility Gross Receipts Fee: This state regulatory fee supports the operations of the PUC or PSC, which acts as a regulatory body responsible for maintaining oversight of the telecommunications industry in any given area. Charter passes it onto customers on a pro-rated basis.
- Regulatory Cost Fee: This fee allows the Federal government to support the FCC operations in the area. And also supports the telephone number system and portability.
- Retail Delivery Fee: Fee imposed by the state on all deliveries by motor vehicles with at least one article of personal property that is subject to state sales or use tax.
- Returned Check Fee: A returned check fee is charged when a payment that is made to Charter is not honored by the financial institution in question. A fee of up to $25 is assessed and implemented on returned checks, electronic funds transfers, or debit and credit cards.
- Secure Connection Fee: Charter invests resources to ensure the connection between a Spectrum receiver or another authorized device and the Spectrum network is totally secure. And this fee pertains to making the Spectrum connection secure for all services that you’re authorized to receive.
- State Telecommunications Relay Service Charge: This fee provides for a telecommunications relay service, which allows for full telephone accessibility to people who are hearing impaired or speech disabled. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some states require all telecom providers to contribute funds for the program. This charge may be recovered directly from customers depending on the state where Spectrum is operating.
- State Universal Service Fund: Quite similar to the USF, this fee helps subsidize local telephone services and make them more affordable for qualifying customers. However, not all states charge this fee.
- Telephone Right-of-Way Fee: A fee that Charter uses to recompense municipalities for employing their street rights-of-way for Charter facilities.
- 988 Surcharge: 988 is the new, 3-digit phone number for all Americans nationwide, that connects to suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. All calls made to 988 are transferred to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and this fee is used to fund the program in your state.
Spectrum State-Specific Fees
- California Advanced Service Fund: This fee supports the cost of providing broadband internet services by telephone companies in rural, high-cost areas of California.
- California High-Cost Fund-A/Fund-B: This fee helps subsidize the cost of telephone services in specific rural, high-cost areas of California.
- California Relay Service & Communication Devices Fund: This fee supports telecom relay services and essential communications equipment for people with speech and hearing impairments in California.
- California Tele-connect Fund: This fee supports discounts on certain telecom services to eligible schools, libraries, government-owned/operated hospitals, health clinics, and community-run administrations in California.
- E911 Equalization Surcharge (Texas): To provide funding for areas where the 911 fee does not fully cover the cost of 911 services. The fee is levied on all customers receiving long-distance service within the state.
- Police and Fire Protection Fee (Wisconsin): This fee goes to fund police and fire protection services in the state.
- State Access Restructure Fund (Michigan): This fee goes to a fund established to provide temporary aid to rural local exchange carriers that lose revenue due to mandated lower access rates within the state.
- Telecommunications Access Fund (Minnesota): This charge funds a program under which communication devices are distributed to qualifying communication-impaired people, and a message relay service is maintained.
- Telephone Assistance Plan (Minnesota): This fee helps subsidize telephone services for low-income customers.
- Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (Illinois): This fee covers the cost of provision and maintenance of utility rights-of-way in Illinois.
- County Sales Tax: This tax is imposed by the county and is the same as sales tax charged on everyday consumer items. The percentage of tax charged varies from one county to another.
- Federal Excise Tax (FET): This is the Federal tax on the basic local service, and it is billed separately from the long-distance service.
- Gross Receipts Tax: This tax is quite like the sales tax, but it is levied on goods or services sold, and is in some cases passed onto the consumer―it is only applicable to certain communities.
- Local Gross Receipts Tax: A gross receipts tax is imposed on all phone dial-tone charges. In the City of Grants Pass, OR, its charged at 7%.
- Local Sales Tax: The local jurisdiction, such as a city, can apply this tax. It is the same as the sales tax charged on regular consumer items. The percentage of this tax varies between different jurisdictions.
- State Sales Tax: The state government levies this sales tax―and as with all other sales taxes, the percentage of this one too varies among states.
How to Contact Spectrum Support?
Spectrum support is available to customers through a variety of platforms. From the time you call in to place an order with Spectrum sales support at 855-423-0918, through the life of your customer experience, there is a channel to reach out for help. Whether it is technical difficulties, billing issues or another concern, engage via Spectrum chat―available 24/7―and find a quick resolution to your problem. You can also explore other ways of reaching out to Spectrum customer care.
We hope this comprehensive discussion about the types of taxes, fees, and charges on your Spectrum bill helps answer your concerns. Keep in mind a lot of what you’re charged depends on where you live, so you’ll see only what is applicable in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I pay my Spectrum bill online?
You can pay your Spectrum bill online, via the web portal. If you have the My Spectrum App, you can also pay the bill through it.
How do I contact Spectrum sales support?
Spectrum sales support is available 24/7 to help you find the best options for your home. Call at 855-423-0918 to check the latest Spectrum service plans and packages in your area.