The FCC's new labels show you what's actually in your broadband bill

The FCC's New Labels Show You What's Actually in Your Broadband Bill

Reading the nutrition facts on food labels can sometimes save your waistline. Now, a similar type of label could save your wallet.

The Federal Communications Commission is piggy-backing off the U.S. food industry in a push to explain exactly what you're paying for when you sign up for a broadband service.

SEE ALSO: The 7 dumbest last-minute tax mistakes people make

Rather than listing the calorie count, total fat and cholesterol, the broadband labels list information such as monthly fee, speed and data usage.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, "These labels provide consumers clarity about the broadband service they are purchasing, not only helping them to make more informed choices but also preventing surprises when the first bill arrives."

And those surprises are frequent. The FCC reports it gets more than 2,000 complaints about unexpected fees each year.

These new labels aren't required but are recommended. Internet service providers already have to abide by a set of net neutrality rules requiring transparency, so there's a good chance these labels could become common practice.

RELATED: Money-saving online shopping hacks

Money-saving online shopping hacks
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The FCC's new labels show you what's actually in your broadband bill

1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

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2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

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3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

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4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

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5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

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7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

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8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

Photo credit: Alamy


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