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house Bill H.R. 4356

Should Families of Fallen & Critically Injured Servicemembers be Able to End Phone, Cable & Internet Services Without Penalties?

Argument in favor

When a servicemember is killed or wounded serving overseas, their family is under tremendous strain. There’s no reason to make these situations harder by allowing companies to impose penalties for cancelling no-longer needed services on grieving military families. Making this allowance for families that have made great sacrifices for the U.S. is a drop in the bucket to large phone, cable, and internet companies — and it’s the right thing to do.

jimK's Opinion
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11/12/2019
Absolutely. I would like a bill to publicly list every instance where any telecommunications provider chooses to impose these termination fees on families having a loved one lost while in-service to our country and while protecting the rights of those telecommunications providers to be such assholes.
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Tracy's Opinion
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11/12/2019
Of course these companies should not impose penalties on these families. Managing to live a life, maintain a relationship and possibly a family is difficult enough without companies adding to the financial burden by taking advantage of every single opportunity to levy fees. I had a hard time with this same thing after a bad accident and long hospital stay - I can’t imagine how much worse it is for military families. Our soldiers have a hard enough time as it is. They make sacrifices I don’t have to. Fighting with the cable company seems petty compared to that, and I don’t think their families should have that burden.
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Just.Dave's Opinion
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11/12/2019
The cancelation fees should be cancelled altogether. Hold companies accountable. If they provide a terrible service, they should reap what they sow. It's not the consumer's fault they are terrible, its their fault. They only want to trap consumers because they know they won't stick around without a contract. Maybe offer more competitive pricing... Try better customer service... Yes, especially report the abuse by these companies of the family and loved ones of fallen soldiers. But this should really be done away with altogether. Let's see what happens in a true, free market. Update: You really can't limit this to death and injury. A good friend of mine was renting from Westmont Properties and he gave them a 30 day notice that he was going active duty in the Army. Their reaction: they tried to evict him and charge him for early release of his rental contract... A judge dismissed this, and told the reps from Westmont to let him stay for that month and do his inspection immediately before he leaves. They didn't show up for this inspection, and later sued him for $6,000.00 in flood damages... He didn't cause the flood, and they knew it. They just don't care about our service people, only the lining in their pockets.
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Argument opposed

Phone, cable, and internet companies rely on the steady revenue from contracts to keep their businesses solvent. While military families’ losses are tragic, they don’t nullify legally binding contracts — so, unfortunately, they still need to pay early termination fees and applicable penalties like any other customers if they end phone, cable, or internet contracts early.

Daryl's Opinion
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11/12/2019
This is a conflict with me. As a veteran, I want things to be better for other veterans and their families, as well as families of the fallen. The issue that I have is telling businesses how to conduct their business. If the businesses have bad practices, then consumers should force the changes. You cant regulate good business practices. The businesses themselves have to figure it out. Government regulation to force those changes is wrong and against liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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Bob's Opinion
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11/12/2019
They should absolutely be able to do so, and I'm sure they do it all the time. Was this even an issue, or is this just an example of government trying to act like the good guy by pushing laws to address nonexistent problems? Getting the government involved is a needless waste of time.
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Dan's Opinion
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11/12/2019
My heart bleeds as much as the next human, and termination fees are stupid. If you want to lay down the law on how to do business, make it apply to everyone. Meanwhile, feel free to individually reimburse service members for their fees, and tweet your disgust of company policies to the world. We don’t need the Fed to solve all of our problems.
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    Absolutely. I would like a bill to publicly list every instance where any telecommunications provider chooses to impose these termination fees on families having a loved one lost while in-service to our country and while protecting the rights of those telecommunications providers to be such assholes.
    Like (52)
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    This is a conflict with me. As a veteran, I want things to be better for other veterans and their families, as well as families of the fallen. The issue that I have is telling businesses how to conduct their business. If the businesses have bad practices, then consumers should force the changes. You cant regulate good business practices. The businesses themselves have to figure it out. Government regulation to force those changes is wrong and against liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Of course these companies should not impose penalties on these families. Managing to live a life, maintain a relationship and possibly a family is difficult enough without companies adding to the financial burden by taking advantage of every single opportunity to levy fees. I had a hard time with this same thing after a bad accident and long hospital stay - I can’t imagine how much worse it is for military families. Our soldiers have a hard enough time as it is. They make sacrifices I don’t have to. Fighting with the cable company seems petty compared to that, and I don’t think their families should have that burden.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    The cancelation fees should be cancelled altogether. Hold companies accountable. If they provide a terrible service, they should reap what they sow. It's not the consumer's fault they are terrible, its their fault. They only want to trap consumers because they know they won't stick around without a contract. Maybe offer more competitive pricing... Try better customer service... Yes, especially report the abuse by these companies of the family and loved ones of fallen soldiers. But this should really be done away with altogether. Let's see what happens in a true, free market. Update: You really can't limit this to death and injury. A good friend of mine was renting from Westmont Properties and he gave them a 30 day notice that he was going active duty in the Army. Their reaction: they tried to evict him and charge him for early release of his rental contract... A judge dismissed this, and told the reps from Westmont to let him stay for that month and do his inspection immediately before he leaves. They didn't show up for this inspection, and later sued him for $6,000.00 in flood damages... He didn't cause the flood, and they knew it. They just don't care about our service people, only the lining in their pockets.
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    I find the argument against this appalling. I truly believe the telecommunications companies will survive, if they don’t get their penalties! Injured and fallen servicepersons & their families deserve better. No penalties for early termination of services!!!
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    Only one percent of us serve in the military. They and their families should be allowed to end/change phone, internet or other services as needed without penalty. And by the way....This was a problem after my father passed away. The cell phone company made it so difficult to change his account to my mom and remove his phone number. I had to bring his death certificate to them 3 times. They had an excuse for everything.
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    Absolutely! And they should be able to end an apartment, condo, house and auto lease without penalty.
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    ALL services should be able to be dropped for the death of ANY person, not just veterans. The contract is not being fulfilled - BECAUSE THE PERSON IS DEAD. Hello! The remaining family is paying for a service which is not being provided. If this doesn't pass, then families of the recently deceased should be allowed to sue service providers for breach of contract.
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    No One should have to pay a penalty for not using something they no longer need and this is especially true for those who have given service to our country.
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    Lost revenue they say. In reality, it will be lost revenue as love ones or family become ticked off and move to another carrier. Also, please consider the actual number this bill will aid. Two to 3 thousand? Short sighted carriers. Why create more problems for these families?
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    This is such a no brained I’m disgusted that it isn’t already the case
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    I can even believe this has to be a bill. If something is in the Military members name only guess what that biller is out of luck. You just give the biller a call tell them the situation, please cancel your not getting any more money have have a nice day and hang up. Term limits for Congress and Senate.
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    Obvious.
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    Take care of these suffering family that gave enough.
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    Military families can be subjected to transfers, relocations and deployments on schedules that don’t align with civilian business structures. These differences need to be accommodated as these transfers occur through no fault of their own.
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    This should the law of the land tomorrow morning! AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and the rest of those companies don’t need to be malicious predators to be financially sound. Every single one of them was built and protected by subsidies and monopoly type assistance on the backs of taxpayers. This is just common decency.
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    If a death or lack of continued funds due to injury, the contracts should dissolved.
    Like (4)
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    When you face a major calamity, internet and other service providers should show empathy about it. Because of their selfish all-about-me attitude and mentality about this, we need to pass laws that give people relief.
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    We should do much more, like fee entrance into the service academies to all who qualify, without cost. Suspension of all state federal and local taxes; and not the worry of losing their house and car. Ending termination fees on phone, cable, and internet is weak legislation. Is this a pork addiction to a bill? I would be ashamed to present it to the body.
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    Yes. They do not need the extra stress after the loss of a loved one. Cable and Phone companies do not need to be that uncaring and greedy
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