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Happy New Year Rate Increase from Time Warner Cable: The $49.99 Service Call is Here

Phillip Dampier December 27, 2011 Consumer News, Internet Overcharging, Time Warner Cable No Comments

Time Warner Cable customers in southern California face substantial rate increases in 2012, including a budget-busting $49.99 service call fee to install increasingly expensive cable service.

The bad news is arriving in customer bills this month, with substantial price hikes for cable television —  including a 27.4% increase for the package that only includes local broadcast channels.  Time Warner Cable blames increasing programming costs for the rate increases, which are several times higher than the official rate of inflation — 3.5%.  Most customers with bundled television, telephone, and Internet service will see a smaller increase on the magnitude of a few dollars, but for those picking and choosing only a few items from Time Warner’s menu, the price tag for individual services will be higher.

The largest rate increase comes when the cable company sends a truck to a home or business.  Time Warner was charging $32.99, but will now charge $49.99 — a 51.5% increase.  The cable company has also been pushing its home networking Wi-Fi option, and will now charge $69.99 to install it, up from $49.99.

Time Warner Cable spokesman Jim Gordon tells the Los Angeles Times not everyone will pay those prices.  Certain promotions may lower those rates, or waive them altogether.  But the company offered little explanation to justify such a major price hike.

One of the cable company’s competitors, DirecTV, scoffed at Time Warner’s rate increase, noting the satellite company only raised prices an average of 4% earlier this year, and anticipates a similar increase in 2012.

The effect of the latest round of rate hikes is likely to drive even more customers to cancel or cut back on cable services.  An increasing number are dropping cable television service altogether, relying on broadband for video entertainment.  The cable industry’s response to cord-cutting has been a combination of increased online viewing options for cable-TV customers and usage caps and overlimit fees on broadband that either discourage online viewing or attempts to profit from it.  Time Warner Cable executives said as recently as December they plan to eventually introduce “usage based billing” of Internet service “the right way rather than quickly.”

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  • Jake K.: Got the email from Cox on the 19th. Called on the 20th to cancel, And tonight on the 28th I'm using my cellphone as a modem. If only "5%" of the their...
  • Unloaded One: I'm a TWC customer and I'm bracing for things to go from bad to worse should this merger go through. I want to be optimistic but they don't make that ...
  • Joe V: Yes, last bill I paid a few days ago was $71.00-for a 6-meg connection which truthfully is 4.8-megs. I have contacted Sonic.net, DSL Extreme, Earthl...
  • Phillip Dampier: $71!!!! Do you know if Earthlink is available in your area without a data cap over AT&T DSL? You might try and visit Earthlink's website and see i...
  • Joe V: You know Phil I have AT&T really slow DSL here in California. I'm supposed to get 6megs-in reality its 4.8 or slower depending on time of day-pl...
  • Dancer: Frontier shall begin their rapid GPON FiOS expansion on all territories serviced by Verizon before because Verizon loves to reduce Fiber opportunities...
  • BobInIllinois: Bob, Cableco's have much larger profit margins on internet service than they do on TV service....
  • Bob: Apparently Charter's service differs depending on location. I live in southwest Michigan and I've had very good service from Charter. Every time I hav...
  • Juan V: What is the alternative. I loved to be able to go to sleep at night listening to something streaming over the network. I need to keep my costs low for...
  • Josh Emerson: I've had Charter for years and they're actually pretty good. Just tested my speed and got 64Mbps. I'm paying for 60Mbps so I'm actually getting more. ...
  • Funnybunnyofdoom: I am appalled at their business practices. I received a "free offer" today from them that seems too good to be true. After doing a little research I f...
  • Scott in Austin: Doubtful. I pay $40 a month for 50 Mbps up with Time Warner Cable and have never had a problem. Will I get the same with Charter?...

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