(Columbus) - The Ohio Department of Commerce is reminding Ohioans that now is a good time to closely examine their cable television bill.

Many cable companies raise their fees and rates in the beginning of the year. Ohio law requires the cable provider to give the consumer 30 days advance written notice of a rate increase. The notification could appear on the November or December cable bill.

“Take this opportunity to do some comparison shopping amongst cable providers,” said Andre Porter, Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. “Many providers may offer holiday or promotional pricing to attract new subscribers during this time of the year.”

The Ohio Department of Commerce has some helpful questions Ohioans should ask themselves when comparing prices and services.

Is the rate being offered promotional?

Will I be notified when the promotion expires?

Does the rate include costs for equipment, installation, taxes and surcharges?

Is there a penalty for early termination? If so, what is the amount?

How much will my rate increase after the promotion expires?

If I add additional services or premium channels will I lose the promotional rate?

What channels are included in the promotion?

If the promotion includes free premium channels, how long are the channels free and must I act to cancel the premium channels before the promotion expires?

How much will the premium channels cost if I do not cancel them prior to the end of the promotion?

How long will it take before a technician could install the cable service in my home?

Consumers should not be afraid to contact their current cable company and tell them that they are considering another provider. Their current provider may be able to beat or meet the other company’s offer.

Ohioans who have questions or concerns regarding their cable service or need assistance resolving an issue are asked to please contact Commerce’s Cable TV Consumer Hotline at 1-800-686-7826.

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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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