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Suddenlink: Subscribers Walloped With Big Rate Increases and “Free” Speed Upgrades (With Usage Caps)

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Suddenlink customers are unhappy with the cable company’s usage caps that go with “free speed upgrades.”

Suddenlink subscribers promised “free” speed upgrades are calling them Suddenlink’s Trojan Horse because they are accompanied by dramatically higher cable programming surcharges and usage caps.

St. Augustine, Tex. subscribers got a smaller bite in the mail than some other communities:

Effective with the March 2015 billing cycle, Suddenlink customers will experience no change to the price of telephone service and no change to the price of Basic TV service. There will also be no change to the price of Expanded Basic TV service; however, a $3.00 sports programming surcharge will be added to the bills of customers subscribing to this service to cover a portion of the skyrocketing cost of dedicated sports channels and general entertainment networks with sports programming. The broadcast station surcharge will increase $2.88 per month to cover the escalating fees charged by broadcast TV station owners. Optional tiers of digital TV channels will increase $1.25 per month per tier. High-speed Internet services will increase $3.00 per month.

Over in Chandler, Tex., fees went even higher, with one customer reporting his broadcast station surcharge now exceeded $8 a month. Another customer counting up all the extra fees added to his bill found them coming close to an extra $25 a month.

But the state that gets the worst from broadband providers remains West Virginia, where Suddenlink faces only token DSL competition from Frontier Communications. Suddenlink retention representatives dealing with customers threatening to cancel service in West Virginia are well aware customers have nowhere else to go and don’t break a sweat trying to rescue business.

“We are a business and our goal is to make a profit,” one retention representative told a Suddenlink customer dropping service in favor of DirecTV.

Customers tell Stop the Cap! they were first excited Suddenlink was dramatically boosting Internet speeds — good news for the small and medium-sized cities Suddenlink favors over larger cable operators. The bad news is Suddenlink is bringing back strict enforcement of usage caps, temporarily suspended when its usage measurement tool was proven inaccurate.

Suddenlink has been upgrading its cable systems since 2014 and has gradually rolled out new speeds. Most customers can now choose speed tiers of 50, 75, 100, or 150Mbps, but some larger systems are getting more robust upgrades:

  • Current speed 15Mbps increases to 50Mbps (250GB usage cap)
  • Current speed 30Mbps increases to 50Mbps (250GB usage cap)
  • Current speed 50Mbps increases to 75Mbps (350GB usage cap)
  • Current speed 100Mbps increases to 300Mbps (500GB usage cap)
Suddenlink's sales website makes no reference to the company's broadband usage caps.

Suddenlink’s sales website makes no reference to the company’s broadband usage caps.

Suddenlink is also enforcing usage caps again, which most customers only learn about after signing up for service. Suddenlink makes no references to usage allowances on their sales or general support pages and information is difficult to find unless a customer uses a search engine to find specific information.

Suddenlink’s explanation for its usage caps is among the most cryptic we have ever seen from an ISP:

Consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy and Residential Services Agreement, Suddenlink has applied monthly usage allowances to residential Internet accounts in most of its service areas. To determine if there is a monthly allowance associated with your account – and what that allowance is – please set up or log in to an existing online account. See the related instructions under question #8.

While existing residential customers will quickly learn their usage allowance and find a usage measurement tool on Suddenlink’s website, that is not much help to a new or prospective customer. The overlimit fee, also difficult to find, is $10 for each allotment of 50GB.

Some customers have found a way around the usage cap by signing up for Suddenlink’s business broadband service, typically 50/8Mbps for around $75 a month. Business accounts are exempt from Suddenlink’s caps.

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AC
AC
6 years ago

15 times faster and 10 times more data in the most basic format than I can get and I’m in that same region. No wireline access with a nationwide level 1 fiber line about 2 miles away and a mile from the service interface box. Thanks Telecommunications Act of 1996 and FCC/FTC for not enforcing the promises. 18 years of nothing but bait and switch to everyone who wasn’t lucky enough to get actual ftth just fttpr and fraudband.

Dennys
Dennys
6 years ago

Hagerstown Maryland Cable company Antietam Cable Television Inc following same practices and notifications starting on April.
We just the notification on March 11.
Guess all ISP’s figured out since they cannot tell us what and how much to consume, might as well place caps and charge for additional data.

RHWV
RHWV
6 years ago

Everyone needs to sign up for their business plan, which is 50/8 for $75 per month.
It’s the only way around their horrible data caps.

Also consider filling a FCC complaint, read about how to do so here:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29922311-BW-Meter-Hate-Suddenlink-s-Data-Caps-File-a-FCC-Report.

Stacy
Stacy
6 years ago

I am cancelling my service with Suddenlink due to the data cap. I am willing to accept the sacrifice of lower internet speeds to ensure none of my hard earned money gets given to a company who cares nothing of customer happiness.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

I’m not sure where you got your pricing for the business package, but I’m seeing a lot higher business rates than you are quoting:

https://www.suddenlinkbusiness.com/servicesproducts/Pages/Business%20Internet.aspx

-t

Funnybunnyofdoom
Funnybunnyofdoom
6 years ago

I am appalled at their business practices. I received a “free offer” today from them that seems too good to be true. After doing a little research I found out about the extra charges. If you have to pay more, it is NOT free. Suddenlink are liars and thieves, and I have witnessed firsthand the fact that was mentioned in this article. They know I have no options other than them if I don’t want DSL (But I rely on internet for all my entertainment needs, and DSL sucks) When I mentioned that I would switch services after receiving overage… Read more »

retiredpuke1
retiredpuke1
5 years ago

IMO. Welcome to the future. Soon everyone will have FTTH. (fiber, some have 3 lines of fiber to home) and when that happens (as it does) there will be caps. if the public, complains too much?, then they drop the cap and raise the basic rates. (no free lunches i’m told) just like water/elect an gas , we will pay for all that data downloaded. (we will ) Like me, and vast other, i cut the cable line and the VOIP land line (like) phone, so all i do is use streaming services and antenna in attic. then use: Netfix+vudu+huluplus… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

i cut cable. phone and have only the wlan modem
bill is now 1/2 as much. (even lower with lower bit rates)
added an attic antenna. for $25, ends local charges

100% streaming,
my guess, when every one does this.
they will double the bill again.
because they can.

Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed
5 years ago

I also stream everything. My bill doubled this month due to overages. And now 4 days into the current months billing cycle I have used over 25% of my allowance.

retiredpuke
retiredpuke
5 years ago

I have no phone, no Cable TV only broadband, internet. using my own ARRIS SB6183 modem. the speed, pegs the online meter…..ookla. if you use that bandwidth 24/7 you will hit the cap. call them yet, ask them, they wont lie to you, there is a cap.. you are signatory on the contract for this limit. its now just like water,. gas and electric bills. you pay for volume used. (over a base line) in my house if I had 2 floors, the A/c would kick me into Tier 2 electrics charges so what is different here? nothing…. not a… Read more »

Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed
5 years ago
Reply to  retiredpuke

Retiredpuke, I am signatory on a contract, one that came out before the limits were ever dreamed up. I did ask the cable office in person and was told that they had to impose limits and overages due to volume of people cancelling cable and streaming, had to make up the revenue somewhere. This is not my problem and is not on the agreement I signed. Yes we use a lot of data, that’s the new world we live in, not some half cocked don’t use it if you don’t want to pay for it. The CEO for Suddenlink said… Read more »

Robert
Robert
5 years ago
Reply to  retiredpuke

Don’t compare data to water or natural gas, those are resources that get used up. Data is infinite, the internet companies use that analogy in order to make their insane business practices seem legitimate.

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago
Reply to  Robert

Don’t tell me don’t , ! dick.
your ignorance is profound, only exceeded by your blind bravado.

no pipe on earth, water, gas or internet are infinite (sure all servers serving data seem infinite.
when gazed in parallel , by the slack jaws, (or mouth breathers) but is not, it must be routed and switched.
take a class or something.

welcome to the future.
there is no free lunch
and you can’t take it all ,just for you, you need to Share!

the extra fees, limit the greedy.
just like all things in life.
no shortage of those…

retiredpuke
retiredpuke
5 years ago

but you need to read the deep fine print. says they can change the rules. at anytime….. they want…. and did. this is the future.. we will pay for what is used. what happens when everyone does this,, they get overloaded (ever manage systems like this?) cable TV is doomed, sure but not CABLE MODEMS. Not yet, not until the last 1/2 mile is done in fiber. 16 channels. huge bandwidth. with this modem. the alternate is fiber, and they cap it too. no person born, has a birth right to use all they want. be that fuel water, NG… Read more »

Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed
5 years ago
Reply to  retiredpuke

No hard feelings about what you are saying. I pay my way in everything I do, always have and always will. I take no hand outs or assistance but do give a lot to others. I am just voicing my opinion not based on being anti capitalist or pro democratic suck the tit cradle to grave. I just find it fascinating that there were no overages for data until I cancelled the pay TV part of my contract. As far as managing systems, yes I understand that the infrastructure cost management of the systems can be quite challenging, I face… Read more »

nofreelunch !
nofreelunch !
5 years ago

6 TVs, ok… that is a lot TV. the online statement on mine is clear.. as a bell, (RTM?) “Data Plans: Frequently Asked Questions quote:” 550GB total download and a CAP (with punishing charges over) that is SD streamed, at 24/7 , for 29 days, to hit cap. if using HD, that ends on the 7th day.. it cap, 7 days of continuous streaming, (sure kids do that) I’m averaging about 280GB a month. and only stream one movie a day, have 5 paid streaming sources, the top 5. if you run HD, you will run over easy. (per the… Read more »

Robert
Robert
5 years ago
Reply to  nofreelunch !

You should really look up how data and bandwidth works. They aren’t hurting like they want people to believe, and data is unlimited by nature. Bandwidth can get used up but they have much more than they let on. I used to live in Austin TX and they claimed all this crap up until Google fiber came to town. All of the sudden every internet company has unlimited data and at least 500mbs down! And they did this overnight, they didn’t have to install a new network, they just flip a switch. On top of all of this they have… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

the data is or can be infinite,, a pointless argument, that… IT’S THE PIPE ! like a water pump to the ocean, same, unlimited water, sure… but .. but not the pipe ,nor pump are infinite.. (some time build your own networks, and learn! dah?) you are ignorant.( profound) sure if you had 2 choices, things get better (price wise) but you don’t. most customers do not have , 2 high end choices, (fast) just 1. so cry to the PUC. you have no birth right to this. and the above stated in kind is your bs. “flipped a switch”… Read more »

Neal
Neal
5 years ago
Reply to  ichabod

Ichabod, fits perfectly no glory

Don’t you have better things to do at the cable company where you work than to post your bull**it here?

Neal
Neal
5 years ago

please tell me that someone knows what to do about this besides complain. I was told when I signed up that there were no caps and now they are starting them here. If enough people in an area send complaints to FCC or local AG? would that help?

Tumbleweed
Tumbleweed
5 years ago
Reply to  Neal

Well I can tell you one thing about the post on here, they all believe data is like gas, electricity or water. The one big difference is that data is not traded on the stock market and in most markets thus it is not considered a commodity. It is however being monopolized by the few who provide service. Since there is generally only one option in the smaller areas you either pay their rate or do without. Stop the cap will happen but not on this site.

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

THPE “the” in your google box get 25billion hits. see data is near infinite, (to a human in our terms yes,) increases every second. now the pipe. ( be aware i can make a web site that barfs infinite white noise data) so,,,,, kinda like the forum…..LOL the service company (whomever) has 10 or more pipes each or faster. dial up, DSL, cable 1 to 16 channels or all (and more) on mine it’s max, with 16 channels at onces. i have the max wide pipe, super fast.(REMEMBER DIAL UP) But, all pipes in the SYSTEM. can not handle all… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

stop the cap happens at the PUC.
are you there..?

you think PUC reads this drivel.????
LOL

since when is data a lifeline.?

gonna, miss Gillian’s island?

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

im a retired tech, i won’t work for any one ever again. and am in S.America , on tour for 30 days sorry , you guessed wrong 2 times. I don’t like crybabies. and 10x worse whining. man up. and take network class or something. Read it again, the pipe is not infinite. Cisco fiber switching gear and all. It’s shared resources! If you take more than your share, others suffer and they will manage you. for now, it’s costs. welcome to 2016! We have no berth right, to near infinite bandwidth 24/7. Maybe in Cuba or N.Korea? nah…. (dial… Read more »

educated
educated
5 years ago

I think this is funny arguing about what is or isn’t limitless i have to say I just moved from the phoenix area and Cox communication does not cap data usage. I was paying $89.00 per month for 300. I have tons of gaming consoles 8 or 9 smart TV’s 6 smart phones a few tablets etc etc. I never have heard of a cap in all my life the fact is putting a cap on users is wrong. if suddenliks infrastructure is sub par they should upgrade. It will only be a matter of time before Cox absorbs this… Read more »

Dee
Dee
5 years ago
Reply to  educated

I guess you don’t realize Cox has caps also and has for awhile. They have already started implementing charging overages if you go over.
There really aren’t any choices for just speed and uncapped service ( at least where I am)
https://www.cox.com/aboutus/policies/speeds-and-data-plans.html

Ultimate 2000GB
Premier 700GB
Preferred 350GB
Essential 250GB
Starter 150GB

Might want to step down from the horse there…

Disappointed Customer
Disappointed Customer
5 years ago

@ichabod, i agree with your argument that we are paying for a pipe and the support infrastructure required to provide that pipe. However, I agreed to pay for that pipe when I signed up for 15 Mbit download and 1.5 Mbit upload. I pay for those bandwidths, and the pipe that carries it, with the understanding during the signing of my contract that the amount of material transported by the pipe (the data) was not measured/limited by the same service. SuddenLink is introducing a new metric to measure the service they provide (new metric being the amount of material going… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

agreed, cept buy out dream,,, it could get worse….. but the fine print, ? read that yet, says they can change the rules at anytime. the caps are NOT A SECRET read the service page 1 more time…. see them”? in clear English.? the are setting the system up so everyone can stream XHD….(not the greedy) but what happens if every home has 10 rooms. with 10 kids that never stop streaming, (greed has no limits ,) that is not going to work the PUCs in many districts forbid throttling (read the news?) so that leaves them all with one… Read more »

Howard Wu
Howard Wu
5 years ago

Last week I had a telemarketer call be about increasing my data plan on Suddenlink. I hung up on him after a few rude words. This morning I got a notice that I reached 80% of my plan appearing on my ipad webbrouser. I am using much much less data at home than I have in months since I not streaming Youtube on my TV at nights like I did most of last year and only surfing the web and twittering on my ipad so somehow this celling is crashing down. Or is this bogus fear notice they are spaming… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago
Reply to  Howard Wu

Howard Wu says: why not say what tier broadband you have, 1 to 16.? the caps are all different you just read their, page, on (pretend up upgrade service see it?>) is your router secure, and using WPA2 with complex pass phrase? or 1,,2,3,4 or running wide open wifi node? or cracked,WEP some one stealing your service?????? (check router logs lately)??????? we cant read your spam sorry, why not login in to your account and click, data used to date, icon see, all is there to read, no secret that. never read spam, unless 100% sure its not some joker… Read more »

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago
Reply to  ichabod

1 GB rate
450gb cap

log in
click plan
click plan summary
click daily usage graph.

bingo.

pick any month.
see them all
is this hard? 4 clicks

Neal
Neal
5 years ago
Reply to  Howard Wu

I know DSL is slower but if it in your area, you should switch and tell them why you are cancelling, that’s what I did. If enough people cancel their accounts they will have to rethink this bulls**t

ichabod
ichabod
5 years ago

PS
you do know they sell your personal data
unless you opt out day one
right. (its in that nasty fine print)
so does CELL phones , same deal same fine print
and join the national no call list every 5 years(us.gov )run.

tommy
tommy
5 years ago

Just add me to the suddenlink hate list for all the BS data cap craps . This company soon will be a sudden death company . I’ve recently cancel the internet cable service and my 2 neighbors did the same.

tommy
tommy
5 years ago

check this out from Time Warner everyone, it’s way much better than sudden death no customer service company

Fast, reliable,
unlimited Internet
Ultra-fast speeds up to 300Mbps. WiFi at home and away, including nearly 500,000 hotspots.
https://purchase.timewarnercable.com/austin/twcInternet
Starting as low as
$14.99
PER MO.
FOR 1 YR.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline
5 years ago

My wifi goes off when I’m up town or church. What I mean is my signal goes off. Why is that.Why am I paying Suddenlink money like this. I can only use wifi if I’m at home. Why can I use it up town or church. It doesn’t make sense. So Suddenlink what are you going to do about it.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline
5 years ago

Stop what cap

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