Cox Hidden Fees (Internet, TV, Voice, & More)

This guide will cover many hidden fees found in Cox’s internet, TV, and landline services. So keep reading. 

I always want to know the actual price of the services I’m getting. I dug as deep as possible to compile all Cox’s fees into this piece.

Throughout this guide, I’ll cover the following hidden fees:

Let’s investigate.

Cox Hidden Internet Fees

Here are the fees you’ll incur when using Cox cable and fiber internet services:

Fee TypeAmount
Data Overage Charge$10 per 50 GB
Elite Gamer Base Connection$6.99/mo.
No Annual Contract Fee$10.00/mo.
Panoramic WiFi Gateway + Advanced Tech Support$20.00/mo. for 24 mos.
Internet Activation Fee$25
Unlimited Data Add-On$50/mo.

Optional and mandatory Cox residential internet fees.

Let’s explore each fee.

The data overage surcharge is what you’ll encounter when surpassing Cox’s 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. For every additional 50 GB you use, Cox will automatically add more data.

And they’ll round up.

Use 50.01 GB monthly; Cox will add another data block. So you’d pay $50 for that month of data usage. None of this data will transfer to the following month.

That 50.01 GB you used in September won’t become accessible in October.

Cox will charge you a maximum of $100 in excess data usage. That’s 500 GB. Then you can use as much data as you desire.

If you’re on Cox’s low-income plans, you’ll pay a max of $30 for their data overage fees.

You’ll only want the Elite Gamer Base connection using a third-party modem and router. And want a feature to reduce lag in online games.

The Panoramic WiFi gateway already includes this feature.

The feature reduces your latency by rerouting your connection through various servers. And puts you closer to the game you’re playing’s servers.

Let’s use Guild Wars 2 as an example. Say you’re on the East Coast and want to play on a West Coast server without having 200+ ping. Elite Gamer will connect your computer through a closer server.

So long as Cox has a server in that region.

If you’re using software like ExitLag, either cancel that subscription or avoid Elite Gamer. They serve the same purpose.

The advanced technical support add-on is only necessary for those who aren’t technically savvy or love getting malware. The malware removal perk serves as the only decent feature on this add-on.

Remember the data cap I mentioned?

You can remove that with the unlimited data add-on. That addition only removes the data allowance and doesn’t serve any other purpose.

The “No contract annual fee” refers to removing the contract from your plan.

Cox Internet Equipment Fees

Hidden fees for optional and mandatory equipment for Cox internet plans include:

Fee TypeAmount
Panoramic WiFi Gateway$13/mo.
Cox Contour Stream Player$5.00/mo.
Activation fee$25

Cox internet equipment fees.

The Panoramic WiFi gateway is a modem/router combination device that includes the Elite Gamer feature.

It has Smart Connect. It’ll connect your device to the least congested Wi-Fi frequency. That means you’ll have faster and more reliable internet.

Use this Wi-Fi router modem, and you’ll have to pay a $25 activation fee. Using a third-party router and modem won’t incur this cost.

You will have to research buying a Cox-compatible modem, though. We’ve tested and reviewed various Cox-compatible modems so you don’t have to.

It doesn’t matter what router you choose. For the most part.

Ensure that the router’s maximum supported Wi-Fi speeds match the plan you’re getting. For instance, getting the 1.0 Gbps Gigablast plan will require a router that supports 1,000 Mbps download speeds.

The Contour Stream 4K Player requires the Cox Stream Only TV plan. This hardware sits in this group of fees since it requires having a Cox internet-only plan.

The Stream Player is just a TV box with a bunch of preloaded apps from streaming subscription companies.

Cox Internet Price After 12 Months

After your term agreement (contract), you’ll see up to a 33% increase in your Cox cable internet bill.

These price increases are as follows:

TierPrice (Year 1)Price (Year 2)Percentage Diff.
Essential Internet$49.99$49.990%
Preferred 250$59.99/mo.$83.99/mo.33%
Ultimate 500$79.99/mo.$99.99/mo.22%

Cox home internet price increases after 12 months.

Essential Internet doesn’t have a price increase. Every other plan requires a 1-year term agreement. After which, the price will increase.

3 routes exist that’ll potentially help you get around this price hike. Negotiate with the retention department or cancel your plan and make a new plan under someone in your home’s name.

And there’s option 3. It’s harder to explain. I don’t want to copy and paste the tutorial here. You’ll need to check out another post I wrote.

Cox Internet Plans

Here are Cox’s residential cable internet plans:

TierInternet SpeedPrice (Year 1)Best For…
Essential 100100/5.0 Mbps$49.99/mo.Households (<3 people)
Preferred 250250/10 Mbps$59.99/mo.Households (5+ devices)
Ultimate 500500/10 Mbps$79.99/mo.Households (10+ devices)
Gigablast1,000/35 Mbps$79.99/mo.Most remote workers
StraightUp Prepaid100/5.0 Mbps$50/mo.Those with bad credit
ConnectAssist100/3.0 Mbps$30/mo.Households (<3 people)
Connect2Compete100/3.0 Mbps$9.95/mo.Households (<3 people)

Cox cable internet plans.

All Cox’s home internet plans come with a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap and the following features:

  • Over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the United States
  • Free security suite
  • A rentable network gateway that has free upgrades every 3 years

The low-income and prepaid internet plans come with a free Wi-Fi router-modem rental and don’t require a data plan.

ConnectAssist gives you the unlimited data add-on free for a year.

If you’re on a government benefits plan like Medicaid, I recommend looking into the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). It’s a government program that’ll give most people $30 off their internet bills.

$75 off if you live in Qualifying Tribal lands.

I discuss this program more in my guide covering low-income Cox internet plans.

Cox Hidden Contour TV Fees

Here are the fees for Cox Contour cable TV services:

Professional InstallationVaries by package and region
Canceled Appointment Fee$100
Broadcast Surcharge$19/mo.
Regional Sports SurchargeUp to $5.00–$12.50/mo.

Cox cable TV hidden fees.

All these fees will vary based on your ZIP code. There’s no way to avoid these fees.

So I can’t help you much.

Cox Premium Channel Package Fees

Here are the costs if you want to add premium channels to your Contour TV plan:

HBO Max$15/mo.

Cox premium channel monthly fees.

The Preferred Plus and Ultimate TV packages already come with all these channels. You’ll only need to get these add-ons if you’re using Starter TV or Preferred TV.

Cox Sports Package Fees

Pricing for Cox Contour sports channels are as follows:

Sports Pack 2$20/mo.
NFL RedZone$44.99 (one-time)
MLB Extra Innings$26.99 (one-time)
MLS Direct Kick$89 (one-time)
NHL Center Ice$69.99 (one-time)
* NBA League PassSeason ended
Sports & Info Pack$10/mo.
Sports Pack 2$10/mo.

Cox sports channel prices.

* New season begins October 18th, 2022 [1].

The Ultimate TV plan includes the Sports & Info and Sports Pack 2 packages.

With other plans, you’ll need to get these subscriptions and passes separately.

I included a lineup of every sport channel, premium channel, and other channel package lineups in a separate guide.

Other Cox Channel Package Fees

Other Cox channel packages and their fees include:

Add-on or PackagePrice
Latino Pack$10/mo.
International Channels$8.50/mo.
Movie Pack$12/mo.
Variety Pack$12/mo.

Fees for other Cox channel packs.

The Latino pack includes Spanish channels. International includes a bundle of channels in other languages (e.g., Italian). The Movie pack includes some movie channels. And Variety pack comes with an assortment of channels.

Contour Ultimate TV includes every channel package except Latino and International.

To get these packages on other plans, you’ll need to add them individually.

Cox TV Equipment Fees

Here are the fees for using Cox Contour TV equipment:

Contour HD Box$8.50/mo. each (1st box included)
Basic Box$6.00/mo. each
CableCARD$6.00/mo. each

Fees for Cox TV equipment.

You’ll only need a CableCARD if you use a third-party TV box or DVR. It’ll save you a few bucks a month if you have one in storage and want more than 1 TV box.

Since Cox includes 1 free box.

If you want people in multiple rooms to watch channels, consider taking advantage of the Contour TV app. The app makes it so 3 other people in your home can watch TV channels on tablets, computers, or smartphones.

That would save you $25.50 a month on renting additional TV boxes.

Cox DVR Service Fees

An overview of Cox’s DVR services:

DVR ServicePriceSimultaneous Recordings* Hours of HD Video Storage
Essential DVR Service$13.50/mo.2250
Preferred DVR Service$20/mo.6250
Ultimate DVR Service$30/mo.241,000

Cox DVR services compared.

* HD equals 720p resolution

You don’t need to rent a separate DVR device to use Cox’s DVR services. Just purchase separate DVR services.

Simultaneous recordings refer to the number of shows you can record at the same time.

So you could record House of the Dragon and—uh—the news simultaneously.

Cox Broadcast Surcharge Fee

Here are the broadcast surcharge fees by city [2 PDF link]:

StateCitySports Surcharge
New EnglandConnecticut$12.50/mo.
Rhode Island$9.50/mo.
VirginiaNorthern Virginia$10/mo.
Hampton Roads$5.00/mo.
FloridaGulf Coast$8.50/mo.
Middle Georgia$8.50/mo.
OklahomaOklahoma City$3.50/mo.
Central RegionKansas/Northwest Arkansas$3.00/mo.
Sun Valley$0.00
LouisianaNew Orleans$6.50/mo.
Greater Louisiana$6.50/mo.
CaliforniaOrange County$12/mo.
Palos Verdes$12/mo.
Santa Barbara$12/mo.
San Diego$9.00/mo.
Las VegasLas Vegas$9.00/mo.

Cox broadcast surcharge fees.

Cox Contour TV Plans

Here are Cox’s different TV plans:

PlanChannelsPricePrice Per Channel
TV Starter75+$53/mo.$0.71
TV Preferred140+$98/mo.$0.70
TV Preferred Plus170+$118/mo.$0.69
TV Ultimate250+$138/mo.$0.55
Streaming OnlyNA$5.00/mo.NA

Cox residential cable television plans compared.

Here’s what you’ll get with every channel plan:

  • 1 free Contour HD box
  • A free year of the Standard DVR service
  • Receive your self-installation kit in less than a day
  • Customizable channel lineups
  • Contour TV app

These are cable TV plans. Cox isn’t offering anything revolutionary like YouTube TV or Verizon Fios TV.

Let’s briefly cover each plan.

Starter TV only includes local channels.

Preferred TV comes with cable and local channels.

Preferred Plus includes everything Preferred has and every premium channel.

Ultimate TV comes with every channel package except for Latino and International.

I covered Streaming Only earlier. It’s the Cox Contour 4K Stream Player. It’s just a TV box with a bunch of preloaded apps. It’s useful for transforming a regular TV into a smart TV.

Cox Voice Preferred (Landline) Hidden Fees

The hidden fees for Cox’s landline service include:

Long Distance Calling Rates (State-To-State)$0.18 per minute
Calls To Wireless Devices In Mexico$0.10 per minute
Unreturned Equipment Fee$65–$200
Voice Manager (2+ Lines)$2.00 per account
IP Centrex (Multi-Line Rate)$1.00 per account
IP Centrex (Bulk rate)$5.00 per account
PRI$5.00 per account
Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee2.8% of your international charge
Network Interface Fee (Single Line)$7.50-$9.25
Network Interface Fee (Multi-Line)$9.25-$9.60
Network Interface Fee (Bulk)$46.25
Bursting Feature$0.10 per minute or $0.35 per message
Access Recovery Fee (Voice Manager)Single line: $1.00 per line or trunkMulti-line: $2.00 per line or trunk
Access Recovery Fee (Centrex Legacy Trunks)First 1–24 talk paths: $2.00 (capped at $10)Subsequent talk paths: $10
Access Recovery Fee (IP Centrex)First 1–24 talk paths: $1.00 (capped at $10)Subsequent talk paths: $5.00
Access Recovery Fee (ISDN)$5.00

Cox Voice Preferred fees.

Cox landline offers 1 plan that costs $20 a month.

Regarding long distance calls. These rates also apply to other U.S. territories like:

  • Guam
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
  • American Samoa
  • Virgin Islands
  • District of Columbia
  • Puerto Rico

If you cancel Cox landline, ensure you return rented equipment within 10 days. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the unreturned equipment fee.

Let’s dive into international rates.

Cox Landline International Calling Fees

You’ll need to pay at least $1.77 a minute per call you make to numbers outside the United States. The rates will vary by country and whether you’re calling a landline or mobile number.

You can receive a significant discount on international rates by paying $2.99 a month for the Simply Worldwide add-on.

Cox Mobile Hidden Fees

Hidden fees for Cox’s cellular service include:

Call Mexico & Canada$10/mo.
International Calling$45/mo.
Cox Mobile Protection$7.00–$15/mo.

Cox cellular service hidden fees.

Every listed fee on this list falls under an add-on except their activation fee.

Cox doesn’t allow you to use your own phone with their Cox Mobile at the moment. So there’s no fee for that.

Cox Homelife Hidden Fees

Hidden fees you’ll need to pay for Cox’s home security service include:

Activation Fee$49.99
Unreturned Equipment Fee$304.99
Install Fee$100
Verified Response Fee (Las Vegas Only)$4.00/mo.
24-Hour Continuous Video Recording$14.99/mo.
Equipment Plan Service$4.99/mo.
Cox Home Internet Data CapRead further for an explanation

Fees for Cox’s home security service.

The unreturned equipment fee is failing to return Cox’s leased touchscreen equipment.

And you’ll pay the activation and installation fee when professionally installing Cox home security services. There’s no way around this, since Cox won’t let you self-install Homelife.

If you’re a customer in Las Vegas, you’ll need to pay a $4.00 monthly fee. Cox doesn’t specify the reasoning.

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The equipment plan service helps make technician visits more affordable. I suppose that’s valuable if people continually damage your equipment.

Homeline smart home or smart home plus security includes base equipment. The former plan just includes a security camera.

Meanwhile, security plus smart home includes:

  • 2 sensors
  • 2 window decals
  • 1 indoor motion sensor
  • 1 HD camera
  • 1 yard sign

That’s $250 worth of equipment. And it’ll prove useful if you have a smaller home and just want to monitor a single area.

You’ll need to pay for additional equipment separately.

Cox Homelife equipment fees are as follows:

HardwarePriceBulk Rates
HD (1080p) camera$120 eachNA
Smart Door Lock$170 eachNA
Smart LED Light Bulb$25 eachBuy 3–5 & get $75 offBuy 6–8 & get $30 offBuy 9–10 & get $45 off
Smart Plug$60 eachNA
Smart Thermostat$200 eachBuy 3–4 & get $80 off
* HD Camera Value Pack$160NA
Homelife Wireless Keypad$100 eachNA
Monitored Smoke/Heat Detector$125 eachNA
Flood sensor$85 eachNA
Door/Window sensor$60 eachBuy 3–4 & get $80 off
Broken Glass Sensor$150 eachBuy 2–3 & get $60 offBuy 4 & get $120 off
Window Decals$3.00 eachNA
Yard Sign$15NA

Cox home security equipment fees.

* This pack includes 1 HD camera, outdoor camera mounting, and 1 window/door sensor. You’ll save $5 if you get this pack instead of separate items.

You can save up to 40% on some devices when buying multi-packs. As you can see, not all hardware offers this discount.

Here’s another cost to consider.

So Cox has a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. Use any more data, and you’ll need to pay overage fees. Or you’ll have to pay for the unlimited data add-on.

Security cameras that monitor your home 24/7 in HD could use at least 60 GB daily [3]. That’s because they’re continually feeding data to your security service provider.

The calculator I used suggests you’ll use 1.80 TB of data in a month with that much data usage. While the calculator’s likely off, it’s still an important factor to consider.

Why not just lower your camera quality?

If you only want to see a blur of the person who stole a package off your porch, be my guest. You need high-quality footage to identify people or items in the camera footage.

If you get Cox Homelife, you’ll need to consider also getting the unlimited data add-on. Or searching for another provider who doesn’t enforce hard data caps.

Other Cox Hidden Fees

Here are other Cox fees I didn’t cover:

Returned Payment Fee$25Declined credit card or electronic funds transfer
Late Payment Fee1.5% of unpaid balancePaying your bill late
Reconnect Fee$20 (per service)Reconnecting previously disconnected services
Canceled Appointment Fee$100Canceled a professional installation apt.
Early Termination Fee$120–$240Canceling your term agreement early
Cox Complete Care$10/mo.24/7 tech. support & malware removal services

Random Cox fees.

Almost every plan will prompt Cox to perform a soft credit check. If Cox checks your credit history and doesn’t find something they like, they’ll charge a security deposit.

Then there’s sales tax. Every Cox plan will charge this fee. Since the rates vary by city and state, I can’t specify a number.

Cox Installation Fee

Cox’s professional (or Pro Connect) installation fees will vary by region and service.

Claims I’ve found suggest that the fiber optic version of Cox Gigablast internet costs $175 to install. Meanwhile, other professional installations cost $75 [4, 5].

These claims come from unverified sources. So only use them as a benchmark.

Cox Late Payment Fee

If you don’t pay your Cox bill within 30 days of your invoice’s due date, you must pay 1.5% of your unpaid balance as a late payment fee [6].

If Cox refers your account to a collection agency, you’ll need to pay an additional $30.

Notice higher fees?

Visit the link above and press the following keys on your keyboard:

  • Ctrl + F (Windows)
  • command + F (Mac)

Then type “late payment.” This will take you to their late payment description. Screenshot that information and send it to Cox’s customer service when calling to fight the excessive costs.

Or send them the link I mentioned.

It’s from their website. So Cox must honor their specified fees.

Cox Cancellation Fee

Anyone with a 1-year term agreement with Cox will need to pay a cancellation fee of up to $120.

The fee reduces by $10 monthly the longer you remain with Cox. For instance, if you cancel a Cox plan after 11 months, you’ll pay $10 for your Early Termination Fee (ETF).

None of their TV plans require a contract.

The following Cox plans don’t have an early cancellation fee:

  • Essential Internet
  • Connect2Compete
  • StraightUp Prepaid
  • ConnectAssist

Most of Cox’s bundles will also have an ETF.

But you can avoid this cancellation fee. So long as you move or transfer outside an area that Cox supports. That includes military transfers.

If you’re upgrading your Cox plan tiers or cancel your plan after 30 days of activating your Cox plan, you can also avoid the ETF.

FAQs: Cox Hidden Fees

Here are frequently asked questions about Cox’s other fees.

How Much Does Cox Charge for Installation?

Cox internet, TV, and voice installation fees will vary by region. Cox Homelife (home security and automation) has a $100 installation fee.

How Much Does Cox Charge for Unlimited Data?

Cox charges $50 a month for their unlimited internet data add-on.

What Does Cox Charge for Internet Only Plans?

Cox charges $49.99–$99.99 a month for their internet-only plans. These plans increase up to 33% after the first year of service.

How Do I Contact Cox Customer Support?

You can reach Cox customer support by calling 800-234-3993, texting 54512, direct messaging @CoxHelp on Twitter, or using their live chat feature.


For the most part, Cox’s residential internet plans don’t have mandatory fees. Their TV plans have broadcast and sports fees like any other provider.

Homelife mostly has add-on and equipment fees. Their landline service has the most hidden fees.

Cox doesn’t offer much flexibility to avoid their fees. But if you’re considering using their services, I’ve covered everything you’ll want to know in this guide.

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Cox Offer

250 Mbps plans for $59 99/mo
$ 59
  • Enough for a familly
  • High availability
  • $83.99 after 12 mo.