REPS. COSTELLO AND KILMER INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO PROTECT DEPLOYING SERVICEMEMBERS FROM BURDENSOME FEES
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) today introduced legislation to strengthen protections for military servicemembers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). In an effort to modernize existing law, the legislation introduced today would expand the SCRA to allow active-duty servicemembers to end pay TV and internet service contracts without incurring early termination fees when they have military orders to move or deploy.
The bill would streamline the process of ending these contracts by requiring servicemembers to simply provide notice and a copy of active duty orders, to ensure they are not penalized as a result of their military commitments. Current law grants comparable protections to servicemembers with active duty orders for long-term civil agreements, such as rental leases, automobile leases, and cellphone contracts. However, there are limited legal safeguards for servicemembers in these circumstances who have to cancel pay TV and internet contracts.
“When servicemembers are preparing to relocate or deploy due to active duty orders, they should not have to navigate costly and time-consuming cancellation fees and policies,” said Rep. Costello. “Our commonsense legislation is intended to improve and standardize this relief, thereby alleviating strain on our dedicated military men and women selflessly doing their jobs to serve our country.”
“If you serve your country, we should have your back. When servicemembers are deployed or required to relocate, they shouldn't have to worry about getting jammed financially for having to cancel their cable,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m proud to partner with Representative Costello to strengthen protections so men and women serving on our behalf don’t have to sift through a mountain of cancellation fees when they need to move for assignment.”
While similar provisions exist in some states, and certain businesses voluntarily waive early termination fees, this legislation would enact a federal solution so that all of our nation’s servicemembers and their families are provided consistent relief.