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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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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedSeptember 17th, 2019