Customers of Optimum, a cable and internet provider, may notice an additional charge on their monthly bill labelled as the “Network Enhancement Fee.”
This fee is separate from the base cost of the service plan and is not mandated by any government agency.
Instead, it is a charge that Optimum has implemented to help fund the upgrades and maintenance of its network infrastructure.
In this article let’s see what is network enhancement fee and why it is charged.
Why is the Network Enhancement Fee Charged?
The Fee Covers The Following:
- For Investments in technology
- To Increase internet speeds
- Extend network coverage
- Enhances overall service reliability for customers.
The Controversy Over the Fee
- Some customers argue that the costs for network improvements should be included in the advertised subscription price rather than tacked on as an extra fee.
- The practice has led to customer dissatisfaction and scrutiny from consumer advocacy groups and even state attorneys general, who have investigated the transparency and fairness of such fees.
How to Get Rid of the Optimum Network Enhancement Fee
However, there are a few strategies you might consider to reduce your Optimum’s overall bill:
Call Optimum and Ask to Have the Fee Removed
One option is to call Optimum customer service and politely ask to have the Network Enhancement Fee removed from your bill. Be prepared with specific reasons why you feel the fee is unjustified or unnecessary.
For example, Mary called and said “I’ve had your service for over 5 years and pay my bills on time each month. Could you please remove the $3.50 Network Enhancement Fee as a courtesy for my loyalty?”
While Optimum may not remove the fee, remaining polite and explaining your position clearly can occasionally result in a one-time courtesy credit or ongoing discount.
Bundle Services for Discounts
Bundling multiple Optimum services like internet, TV, home phone or mobile can make you eligible for pricing discounts. Adding a service may lead to a monthly credit that counters the enhancement fee.
For instance, James added Optimum mobile to his plan which included a $10 monthly bundle discount. This discount erased the $5 fee on his internet service.
Switch to a Lower-Cost Plan
Some Optimum plans have the fee while others don’t. Changing to a cheaper alternative may eliminate it. Compare all plan/pricing options on Optimum’s website.
If you’re paying for more services than you actually use, consider downgrading to a more basic plan that still meets your needs but comes with a lower monthly charge.
For example, Sam’s new Optimum Internet 300 plan did not have the fee, saving him $42 per year versus his previous plan.
Consider Switching Providers
If the fee becomes a significant burden, and negotiations with Optimum do not result in a satisfactory resolution, you may want to look into other service providers in your area that may offer more transparent pricing.
As a last resort, look at competitors like Verizon Fios, RCN or Altice Mobile who may not charge the extra fee. Just be sure to factor in all costs like equipment rental and promotions.