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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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  • Matthew: They are making huge improvements. Gig speeds are coming soon for WNY. Time Warner would even upgrade WNY to 300 meg. Node splits are going on ever...
  • RochMN: Tried calling Charter Business to update the service from 60 Mbps. Was told it will be $99.99 for upgrade and then $199.99 per month after! I cannot b...
  • Racerbob: As an almost 20 year user of Time Warner/Spectrum internet service, I have seen it all. But right now, in my home, Spectrum is providing me a superior...
  • Phillip Dampier: Yes, they absolutely are responsible. 1) The investigation and lawsuit were known quantities when Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable. ...
  • Benjamin Schollnick: Spectrum is no better than Time Warner. They are not making "Huge improvements" across this state. They are fulfilling the basic requirements that w...
  • Racerbob: So now, a company takes over Time Warner and they start making huge improvements across this state as far as Internet service speed is concerned and n...
  • EJ: Just remember each state is different, but as a general rule the company hiring the contractor is liable for said contractors work. It will be AT&...
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  • joe: Here in West Michigan I had to call Spectrum (Charter) to get my download speed raised ... my latest test using an Ethernet cable directly to the mode...
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