New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther of Sullivan County has proposed a bill to stop cable companies from applying early termination fees to dead customers. That's right, if you thought dying was a reasonable way to cancel your cable or phone contract early, you'd be dead wrong. Sure, the companies don't expect you to pay the fee—that would be ridiculous. They just expect your family or whoever is left in charge of your estate to pay it for you.
Assemblywoman Gunther described the practice as an “unseemly demonstration of corporate greed." Her bill, if passed, "prohibits providers from imposing a fee for termination or early cancellation of certain service contracts in the event a customer has become deceased before the end of such contract."
Gunther drafted the legislation based on a personal experience. After her mother's death, she and her sister received a bill from her mother's cable company, charging her an early termination fee.
The bill doesn't just cover cable companies however. It also prohibits this practice for any "provider of telephone, cellular telephone, television, internet, energy, or water services." Furthermore, violations would cost the offending companies a penalty of up to $1,000. So before you ask what the point of state government is, remember what Aileen Gunther is trying to accomplish: making death affordable.