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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, Data Caps, TWC (see Charter) 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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  • LG: I've been trying and in several cases getting friends and family to dump those bundle services and cut that cord. The only real problem is that these...
  • jelabarre: Ironically enough, I'm finding I'm even watching Netflix less than even when we dropped CableTV some 18 months ago. These days it's all Crunchyroll (...
  • LG: I left Massachusetts 4 years ago for Florida. Hearing about corruption in my home state is nothing new. Recently, a letter showed up at a family memb...
  • L. Nova: Charter bribed this guy Larkin....
  • Keith: I concur...First, the programs available are junk and riddled with ads. Most subscribers might find 1-3 channels that they would watch but for most, G...
  • BobInIllinois: Did you ever consider that your ideas are great, but some companies just don't have the people, the skills, and $$ to make it all happen?...
  • L. Nova: I work for an I.T. hardware server and desktop company and even I could run Frontier better than these boneheads. What is Dan McCarthy doing? Fire AL...
  • LG: Poor, poor them. I guess they need to pay 45c instead of 36c....
  • Phillip Dampier: You are considered a current Time Warner Cable/Spectrum customer so new customer promotional rates like the one you quoted are not available to you......
  • BobInIllinois: Prediction---Many will be angry at this, because they will think that ESPN+ is to be a streaming of ESPN's normal stuff....
  • 16Candles: I signed up for twc at the tailend of the buyout from spectrum and I'm on the l-twc extreme 60/5. My price just went up to $49.99 and I was wondering...
  • Savanna Harness ( Vanna): I agree with all of this. Windstream and direct tv are known for getting over on ppl. I think mentally disabled ppl and low income are what they ta...

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