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Time Warner Cable Raising Prices for Set Top Boxes to $10/Month in Wisconsin

Phillip Dampier October 31, 2012 Competition, Consumer News, Data Caps, TWC (see Charter) 6 Comments

This will cost you $10/month in Milwaukee

Stop the Cap! has learned Time Warner Cable is back with another equipment rate increase, this time for television set top boxes that will now cost $10 a month each, beginning in Wisconsin.

Time Warner Cable customers in the Milwaukee area are first getting the notice of the $1.05 rate increase on their latest bill. The new rate takes effect in November.

“Many businesses, including ours, are facing rising costs and have to adjust prices in order to maintain their operations,” explains Time Warner Cable Wisconsin spokeswoman Stacy Zaja. “We also understand that some of our customers are struggling in this economy, and are doing the best to hold the line on our prices.”

The rate increase comes at the same time Time Warner is introducing a $3.95 monthly modem rental fee for its broadband service. Unlike cable modems, however, Time Warner will not allow customers to purchase their own set top boxes, so it represents a rate increase customers can only avoid by canceling service or negotiating a lower rate.

At this time, Time Warner will not increase its prices for cable television service, just the equipment needed to view it.

The Business Journal notes Time Warner may be taking a chance on its latest rate increase, because AT&T’s U-verse service is increasingly available as an alternative choice for Milwaukee residents. Time Warner last raised the set top box rental fee by $1 in 2011, along with a $5 monthly rate hike for its cable television service.

 

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. CJ says:

    Time Warner does allow it’s customers to buy their own boxes. Customers can buy their own Tivo DVR box for as low as $70, they would still need to pay $2.50 a month for a cablecard from TW, but it’s still a better option than their inferior cable boxes.

    • Ben says:

      Not if you want full access to services like VOD/PPV. TWC has yet to allow Tivo to utilize things like an IP backchannel to eliminate the need for tuning adapters or embrace VOD (Comcast has recently allowed VOD via Tivo). Time Warner wants you renting their piece of garbage boxes that hardly work. There needs to be viable third party alternatives. If I could rent an Arris Whole Home Gateway from TWC, I would jump all over it and stop shopping for a satellite provider.

  2. Scott says:

    I’ve owned numerous Tivo’s, trying to get any of the major cable companies to support them has been a nightmare in every case.

    First problem is calling to get the Tivo activated, where all you want is a CableCard. In every case I’ve had the service rep on the phone had little or no knowledge of Tivo or CableCard’s to properly handle the call.

    Then you’re told you can’t simply buy your own CableCard, nor can they send one to you, they have to do a truck roll with a technician that they schedule to come to your home and “install” it for you.

    Once the Tech is in your home, you’re in for 1-2hrs of a very painful experience watching the tech fiddle around with your Tivo having less an idea than you how to setup the CableCard properly which numerous calls on their cell back to their office repeating the identification numbers for the CableCard.

    If they do get it running, you’re now out $25-50 for the tech coming by, and you likely have a barely functioning Tivo as half the installs done only activated 1 of the 2 tuners I’ve had in the past.. plus you’re out another $3-5+ per each cable card if they stuck you with the Single’s and not the Dual Card.

    Plus most features like PayPerView aren’t available (not that I ever wanted them).

    And now you’ve got them increasingly raising rates on the Cable Cards plus your increasing monthly rates on Tivo’s up to $20/mo last I checked making it a less affordable option than just sticking with the Cable DVR in most cases.

    Then to top it off you have all the Cable Industry efforts to kill off the CableCard completely.

    What’s amazing is what POS’s all their set tops are, there isn’t anyone in the industry in the last decade that’s made a decent usable box that’s responsive or reliable. The only exception to this may be Dish’s Hopper and Joey equipment, but that’s satellite and not Cable.

    • Brandon says:

      TWC Customer here, but not necessarily a fan. That disclosure out of the way, I will say that I just added a Tivo to my home account. I now have three Tivos and no TWC set top boxes in my house. I will say that TWC has certainly improved their CableCard installation process.

      I was able to pick up a cable card and tuning adapter at the local TWC service center without a problem. FCC now requires all cable providers to allow CableCard self install. I installed the CableCard and tuning adapter and called the 1-800 number for TWC cable card support. It was activated within a few minutes after providing the Host ID and some other numbers off the Tivo CableCard screen to the CSR ,who was very pleasant. Unfortunately there was a 15 minute hold before that, but the time with the CSR was painless.

      Most of the VOD services are switching to IP-based through the content provider not the cable provider, i.e. HBO Go and ESPN, so I feel I am missing less and less every day. TWC is a pipe to get the content into my house, nothing more.

  3. CJ says:

    Is Time Warner’s VOD service really worth it? It’s horrible, I’d rather pay for Netflix and Hulu, not that big of a loss.

  4. Bill Mack says:

    It it is getting to be a joke and guess what the joke is on us. I pay $176 per month and have no special. Svc,s.

    I will be going to AT&T I guess.

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