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Charter/Spectrum Sweetens Deal for New Customers With $500 Contract Buyout Offer

Phillip Dampier September 21, 2017 Charter Spectrum, Competition, Consumer News 11 Comments

Even as millions of Spectrum subscribers began paying higher rates for programming and equipment this month, Charter Communications has sweetened the deal for its new customers by offering free DVR service with their triple play bundle of TV Select, internet, and voice service for $89.97/mo during the first year. The cable company will also reimburse customers up to $500 to cover any early termination/contract buyout fees for canceling their satellite or telephone company video package.

Charter’s “Strategic Accounts” department is handling the promotion, and it will benefit customers where there is significant competition between Spectrum and AT&T and Verizon or satellite providers like DirecTV and Dish Networks. Spectrum does not cover early termination fees from cell phone companies, and you must have subscribed to a “comparable level of service,” which disqualifies competitors like Hulu, Netflix, DirecTV Now, and Amazon.

Like the rebates Time Warner Cable used to offer customers, there is a specific process to submit documentation to qualify for this rebate, and skipping a step means… no rebate and no recourse. In addition to this FAQ, Stop the Cap! has this advice:

  1. You must install and keep current a qualified Spectrum triple play package from the time you submit the rebate request until the day you receive a check.
  2. You cannot have had Spectrum Video service within the last 30 days, something we’ll explain below.
  3. Your account must not be past due.
  4. You must submit a copy of your provider’s final bill showing itemized early termination fees actually billed to your account. Bank/credit card statements showing charges are not eligible.
  5. You must complete the “Charter Contract Buyout Form” in full and submit it by e-mail or by mail to: Spectrum, 7800 Crescent Exec. Dr., Charlotte, NC 28217, ATTN: Strategic Accounts Dept. with your documentation. Try to make sure the names on both accounts match.
  6. Your rebate request must be received by Charter within 60 days of installation of a Charter triple play package or within two weeks of the date listed on the competing provider’s final bill, whichever is later.
  7. Charter will only reimburse you for the actual amount of the early termination fee, up to a maximum of $500. Cash the check within six months or lose it.

Charter insists customers who have had Spectrum Video service within the last 30 days cannot qualify for this rebate. This is an effort to close a loophole where an existing Spectrum customer cancels their regularly-priced cable service, switches to a competitor for a few weeks, and then promptly switches back to a Spectrum package at the new customer price, which also leaves Charter on the hook for paying the early termination fee charged by the other company. To avoid this, a customer would have to cancel Spectrum service, switch to a competitor for at least 31 days, and then switch back to Spectrum. That is likely to be a hassle for most people.

Customers who have participated in these rebate schemes in the past also warn that companies can reject a rebate if you do not have a “comparable” level of service with a competitor. In other words, if you signed up for a $20 basic video package and then head to Spectrum for a $90 triple play package, the company may not consider that “comparable.” “Comparable” can mean the dollar amount of the video package you have with a competitor or the combination of a satellite package with one provider and a broadband package with another. You can contact Charter directly and check if your existing package(s) qualify. If the representative says yes, write down the name of the person and keep it handy in case your rebate request is later rejected.

Charter says you won’t have long to wait for a rebate rejection or a check.

“When you submit your information to the Contract Buyout Team, your information goes through a verification process, which can take up to 5-7 business days. After approval, your check will arrive within 10 business days,” the company reports.

Other factors to consider:

  • Cable TV equipment is required and costs extra ($5.99/mo per HD box or DVR for new customers).
  • You will receive Spectrum’s base internet package, which is 60Mbps or 100Mbps in former TWC Maxx service areas. A $199 upgrade fee applies for faster speed.
  • Installation fees apply. You can avoid them with a self-install kit which can be mailed or picked up at a Spectrum retail store at no extra charge.
  • Fees and surcharges apply. The most important is the Broadcast TV Fee, which usually adds around $7.50 a month to your TV bill.
  • Rates reset to Charter’s regular price at the end of one year. There is no contract, so you can cancel anytime.

Currently there are 11 comments on this Article:

  1. Geroge says:

    100mbps is now base speed in many areas that aren’t maxx

  2. cindy says:

    No, they don’t give you up to $500. I have submitted the business acct’s paperwork for a Spectrum buy-out four times, and more via phone calls. No one knows why we aren’t getting a refund. I even had to get a special letter from our former phone company. Frontier was very helpful – Spectrum is not. Getting a buy-out refund was the main reason we switched.

    • Adam Bryant says:

      Please give us any updates you have on this! I received an approval letter on 11/29/2017 12:16 PM sayign they would be sending a check within 10 business days and we waited. Late December I began calling and created 2 service tickets which we were not contacted back about. Today I called and they said they didn’t receive the “final Bill” and needed it, yet again. I have the email saying they got it, approved the request, and how much the buyout check was for!! JUST WOW!!!

      • Mary Lou says:

        I too have had the same problem since Nov. 2017 and have received two threatening bills from AT&;T. How can THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS HAVING SPECTRUM SALES MEN CALL ON YOU AND A SPECTRUM INSTALLER AND DO NOT COME THROUGH. Any ideas where we go from here.

  3. Michael says:

    I had Time Warner for years they raised my rates so I went to WOW, what a mistake. WOW is not a user friendly format to me and the cost was just a little bit cheaper than Time Warner, so I switched back to Time Warner/Spectrum. I had to wait 31 days before I could go back to Spectrum and therefore my termination with WOW was going to cost me $345.00. Spectrum would buy out my contract. I filled out the required paperwork and emailed them to Spectrum after a month I called and they said it takes 4 to 6 weeks, I called again and they said it was in the works. I finally went on line to the online chat, the chat went very well and they gave me a ticket number and a week later the buyout check arrived. It took a little over 2 months. I am very happy with Spectrum, so far when I needed service they came the same day.
    I don’t know if I’ll be happy after a year when this contract runs out. There is no contract termination fee with Spectrum.

  4. Tim says:

    I had the same problems. I did everything they asked . Summit all paperwork but they still don’t pay me nothings . I reported it to BBB. Now it got there attention

  5. linda says:

    i submitted all my info 6 weeks ago..after being promised by spectrum that they would pay etf from direct tv…i returned to spectrum..no new customer benifits…first bill 180 plus…was an installation fee included..so no savings to me from switching…i have called several times no one can tell me anything..cannot contact the dept that handles buyout in any way..so i tried the chat line like you said..they told me just wait another week and call again..no one has access to info that can help me at all

  6. Noemi Romero says:

    i have been waiting for 3 month and 2 weeks now for my refund and every time i call is like no one knows what the hell i am talking about. like seriously????!!!!!, i switch to them from at&t and Viasat internet and they both send me already to collection, because i was told by phone when i first signed up that i will received a $500 check withing 30days and i was going to use it to pay off the cancelation fees from the previous company…..(still waiting) seriously this is very unprofessional and bad advertisement. and by the way they so quick to charge you a full month a week after the instalation…!!!REALLY!!!!

  7. Katherine. Voss says:

    I sent all my contract buyout forms. Got no credible response. This is a scheme. I am sending information to proper agencies.

  8. James Ward says:

    I also sent in my Buy Back form to get my verizon cancellation fee back. I did receive a check for $320. But, they put the wrong name on the check and my bank would not accept it. I have put in several claim tickets explaining this problem. and I always get the same response. 10-15 days to process a new check with the right name on it. I never received a new check. And that was way over 3 months. So disgusted.

  9. Rossa Williams says:

    I moved over and they qualify for early buyout off under $500 I’ve called twice I’ve got no respond they say they was going to send me something in the mail I never received it so I need someone to please get back in touch with me to help me fill out the form for early

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