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Charter Cable Wants To Emerge From Bankruptcy And Overcharge Customers: Rate Hikes & Limits Under Consideration

Phillip Dampier November 19, 2009 Charter Spectrum, Data Caps, Editorial & Site News 1 Comment

charterYour company has been in bankruptcy since late March.  Investors wiped out, debtors in court fighting settlements, you try and hang on by keeping customers from fleeing for the limited alternatives.  You also overpay your management to make sure they don’t flee with annoyed customers.  Charter CEO Neil Smit, who waltzed Charter into bankruptcy under his leadership, effectively doubled his salary, becoming St. Louis’ top paid executive, negotiating a $6 million dollar bonus if he helped waltz the company out of bankruptcy.  If he agrees to do his job after that, he gets another bonus.  How nice.

Now that Charter is looking for the bankruptcy exit door, it’s time for someone to pay.  It won’t be Smit.  It will be Charter’s customers.

In addition to across the board price increases, Charter is also considering slapping Internet Overcharging schemes on their broadband customers with “consumption-based billing” sometime next year, Smit told Bloomberg News.

Charter’s failure didn’t come about because their broadband users are using their service too much.  It came from bad management decisions that have plagued the company since it went public in 1999.  Charter has never had a single year since when it did not report a loss, eventually accumulating an enormous $21 billion in debt through mergers and acquisitions and efforts to keep its position as the nation’s fourth largest cable operator.

Now, that same bad management team will be making all-new bad decisions to further alienate Charter’s remaining 5.3 million customers.  Many of them will be hearing from AT&T to switch to U-verse soon enough.

Perhaps instead of punishing customers, Charter should consider replacing the people that put the company where it is today.  If Charter needs money to upgrade their network, why not start with the ridiculous salaries paid to reward the people that failed the company and its customers in the first place.

Tell Charter Cable if they bring consumption billing to your area, you’ll waltz your business to the other provider in town.

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  • Dylan: Look at their prices. Absolutely ludicrous compared to many companies, especially Charter Spectrum. I pay $60 a month for 100/10 with unlimited data. ...
  • Paul Houle: For a long time communities have been frustrated in that they don't have any power to negotiate with cable companies. This town refused to enter into...
  • Ian S Littman: To be fair, you aren't wrong. Spectrum likely knows it won't have any competition for years in Lamar, so they'll quickly get take rates of >70% (re...
  • Ian S Littman: Are you in an area that can even get Spectrum service? Because in areas where they actually have to compete, they're actually pretty decent now. Yes,...
  • Ian S Littman: A more odd entry in that list is Chattanooga. The entire area has FTTH via EPB. Yet apparently folks can't swing the $57/mo starting price for 100 Mbp...
  • Ian S Littman: The issue here is that the NY PSC's threats have no teeth because, well, who will take over the cable systems if Spectrum is forced to sell? Either Al...
  • Bill Callahan: Phil, National Digital Inclusion Alliance just published interactive Census tract maps for the entire US based on the same ACS data. Two datapoints a...
  • Carl Moore: The idiots that run the cable companies must be also using drugs...a lot of people are cutting their cable services because of the higher rate and inc...
  • EJ: This will require a New Deal approach. Municipals need the ability to either be granted money or loaned money for broadband expansion. Until this is d...
  • Bob: I also got $1 increase for my 100/10 internet from Spectrum. A rep said it's for the speed increase that's coming in 2019. I complained that I was pro...
  • EJ: It makes sense to focus on wireless considering the government contract they have. The strange thing is they referenced fixed wireless in this article...
  • nick: Interesting how they conveniently leave out (Spectrum TV Choice) streaming service which is also $30/mo ($25/mo for the first 2 years)....

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