Servicemembers Can Be Charged Cancellation Fees When they Deploy; Cantwell, Fischer Offer Fix

Senators introduce bill to shield military servicemembers from pay TV and internet cancellation fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced legislation with Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), ensuring military servicemembers are not charged cancellation fees for pay TV and internet services when they deploy or change duty stations. 

Under existing law, servicemembers may break rental leases, cellphone contracts, car leases, and other contractual agreements without penalty if they are relocating or deploying on official orders. The Cantwell-Fischer bill would extend the same relief to cover pay TV and internet service contracts for relocating or deploying servicemembers and eligible dependents.

”We send our brave servicemembers all over the country and around the globe, asking them to leave their homes, families, and loved ones,” said Cantwell. “When our troops get new orders, they shouldn’t be charged costly fees to meet those orders. This bill makes it quick and easy for servicemembers to avoid cancellation fees so they can focus on their families and training for pending deployments.”

“America’s military men and women place their very lives on the line to defend our freedom. They should not be worried about unnecessary fees when deploying on missions far from home. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to ensure our troops can focus on doing their jobs and keeping Americans safe,” said Senator Fischer.

Currently, there are limited protections for servicemembers who are issued orders to move or deploy, and have to break their pay TV and internet contracts as a result. While some companies voluntarily waive these fees, contract cancellation penalties can reach into the hundreds of dollars, often times impacting credit scores and affecting servicemembers’ peace of mind.