Steve Daly
February 25, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Looks like some viewers are learning a thing or two from HBO’s The Sopranos. ”Lots of people are calling up to order HBO on a Sunday when a new episode is on, then they call the next day, claim they never ordered HBO at all, and refuse to pay,” says one New York-area cable-service telephone salesperson. ”It’s been a billing nightmare.” Another — less brazen — class of penny-pinching fan has been pulling the same Sunday-Monday scam, but gladly incurring a penalty fee each time, since it’s still often cheaper than paying for a full month’s uninterrupted subscription. So what does HBO think about these crime-boss-style shakedowns? ”We’ve not heard about this problem,” says a spokesman. ”But we plan to look into it.”

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