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Texas Internet Rationing “Delayed” = Consumer Victory? Hardly

Phillip Dampier April 14, 2009 Editorial & Site News 19 Comments

I have been getting news tips {thanks Carsten, J, and others) about newspapers in Texas reporting that the Texas Internet Rationing Plan from Time Warner has been “postponed” until October, and this represents some sort of consumer victory.

Hardly.

texas-flagFirst, this is not exactly breaking news.  Landel Hobbs, Time Warner’s COO, already made mention the cap plan would begin implementation in Austin and San Antonio in October, presumably with a trial period.  It sounds like Mr. Hobbs, bless his heart, already knew about the “consumer victory” that comes “as a result of complaints” before the Time Warner folks on the ground down in Texas knew, because they only started speaking about it this week.

Trials will begin in Rochester, N.Y., and Greensboro, N.C., in August. We will apply what we learn from these two markets when we launch trials in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, in October, but we will guarantee at least the same level of usage capacity in these trials.

Now, actual billing starts in January, up until they change their minds again.

A trial program intended to charge varying rates depending on usage was slated to begin this summer. The decision to delay the meter program was prompted mostly by customer reaction, said Gavino Ramos, Time Warner’s vice president of communication for South Texas.

“What happened as we’re continuing to listen was we worked in some of the comments and ideas that got sent to us,” Ramos said. “We came to the realization, let’s do this in October.”

Meanwhile, Rochester is the big “lucky winner,” joining Greensboro in starting the Internet Rationing Plan in August.  I suppose it was inevitable our two cities come closer together, considering a whole lot of people exiting Rochester end up moving to North Carolina.  Sooner is better in cities with fewer competitive choices anyway.

If Time Warner was truly responsive to its customers, it would drop this Titanic-like disaster of a rationing plan today.

There is no consumer victory here, and this company is still not listening.  Instead, by putting off the abuse for a few months, they hope you will fall complacent and not continue to engage in a united effort to resist unwarranted capping of your Internet access.  The first step of coping with an abusive relationship with your Internet provider is recognizing you are in one.  Being told you are not going to get hit with punitive caps today, but in a few months, doesn’t change that.  Don’t be a victim.

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Sunshine1970
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Sunshine1970

Waait a minute…Hobbs had said that the trials in Austin & San Antonio will be delayed because they wanted to see how well it does in Rochester & Greensboro first and will apply what they learn, NOT due to customer comme–erm complaints

I’m kind of happy we’re being delayed, but I’d much rather see them say –nevermind– about the trials instead.

George
Guest
George

I called to cancel my Time Warner service today. The rep was definitely reading off a script and tried to insinuate that AT&T was already capping in Austin. “AT&T has been capping since October of ’08. I bet you didn’t realize that.” I told her I was aware that they are experimenting with caps in some areas but have not announced any plans in my area so for now AT&T will get my business as long as they don’t implement caps. If they do I will weigh all my options again at that time but as TW’s currently announced plans… Read more »

Josh Beck
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Josh Beck

In that event, in Texas, I’d direct the consumer representative the Grande Communication homepage. They are running a banner that states they will not cap bandwidth.

Question to stopthecap readers:

Should 1:
-Cancel my Time Warner service now.

-Wait a while longer and cancel once they
make a decision?

Sunflower
Guest
Sunflower

For the moment, I’m waiting. I’m probably moving out of my apartment complex at the end of July, so I’ll be able to look for either a house or another complex and will be able to weigh my options then.

George
Guest
George

My lease is up in my apartment complex around the same time and I was considering waiting until then, but their recent statements in conjunction with a recent customer service debacle forced me into the arms of AT&T. And I try to avoid AT&T.

George
Guest
George

Also, another argument for canceling as opposed to say when the caps take effect: with the public statements coming out from Time Warner thus far, do you really want to continue giving them money while you hope they change their mind? If a person announces to me that they’re going to do something deplorable I don’t wait until shortly before they do it to stop being friendly towards them. I do what I can to try and persuade them otherwise, make a report to the proper authorities if warranted, and sever all ties with that person. At this time, Time… Read more »

Jeffrey_Bays
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Jeffrey_Bays

Switch to Earthlink. Don’t give time warner their $39.99. Give $29.99 to Earthlink.

http://www.timewarnercable.com/centraltx/learn/hso/compareisps.html

Wes S
Guest
Wes S

I have been wondering about Earthlink. I understand it is cheaper than TW while using TW as the provider, and biller. My biggest question is, does TW charge some kind of surcharge for using Earthlink? That is the kind of thing they would do.

Dion
Guest
Dion

I told Time Warner the same thing myself. If ATT sees they are getting more and more customers becuase they dont have caps then it should make them stop and think about it… also remember ATT is not as dependent on the video end like TWC is, I am guessing they might be willing to leave the cap off and take a small hit in Video if they are making it up in other areas. TWC modle is just dated, they have to learn how to get into the 21st Centery and know that they cant depended on Cable for… Read more »

George
Guest
George

I think the small amount of back pedaling they’re doing is a direct result of the cancellations they’ve received. If more pour in and keep pouring in I believe it will make a difference. The more business they lose and the more AT&T gains because of the announced caps, the more likely both companies will rethink their strategies.

She actually brought up Grande as “the only carrier who doesn’t cap… yet.” She also was glib enough to mention “but since you’re in an apartment complex we service I doubt they’re an option for you.”

Josh Beck
Guest
Josh Beck

Don’t you love it when they play the ‘You don’t have an option.’ card.

George
Guest
George

Yeah, normally they try to refrain from highlighting the fact they’ve got a monopoly or close to it in some areas.

Larry
Guest
Larry

“We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”

George
Guest
George

Deregulation was supposed to solve everything.

Earl Cooley III
Guest
Earl Cooley III

Deregulation was supposed to solve everything make rich executives richer.

FTFY.

James Lang
Guest
James Lang

I still say we all should set date to where we all flood TWC to cancel all tides with them all at once. Now for this to work we all must be united and drive TWC to chapter 11 and demand the government not to bail them out.

Dion
Guest
Dion

I think they pushed this back because of the Mayor Race going on in Austin and they did not want this as part of their stump speech. Last think they need is for local politics to make it a flash point.

Please, make sure everyone in Austin email the people running for Mayor about what is going on with TWC and let them know this is important to you. If they see this as a easy way to votes… we will see action.

James Lang
Guest
James Lang

Good point Dion if anyone knows how to contact them please give me a holler
and I will put that information on my website for people to contact them.

James Lang
Guest
James Lang

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