Death, taxes, and Time Warner Cable rate increases

They are the only three things you can count on in this world.

You know where this is heading.

You know what this entails.

Time Warner Cable, the entertainment service provider monolith whose logo bears a striking resemblance to the Egyptian symbol of Osiris, has announced yet another rate-jack for January 2016.  Of course, they tucked it into the back page of our Christmas cable bills, so we might not have noticed it until it was too late.

Yeah.  All those advertisements Time Warner Cable provides about how great their service is, how much they provide for the average consumer, blah blah blah blah.

And they break down their itemization of the rate increase, so that it looks as if you’re only seeing increases of a few cents here and there.

You know… it’s the same mathematics in which superstar musicians eventually declare bankruptcy because their record companies gouge them in every way possible.

So rather than hide this news on page 6 of 8 of your cable bill, your man here has gleefully listed the new increases and gouges.  Your mileage may vary.

Just look over your bill once in a while and check out those weird surcharges and fees that are tacked on here and there.

Okay.  Let’s go over the new monthly increases.

  • Standard TV package = $2 increase
  • TWC Sports Pass package = $1.01 increase (this includes all those extra ESPN channels, as well as the NFL Network and NFL Redzone)
  • TWC Movie Pass = $2.01 increase (these include IFC, Sundance Channel, and a few other non-premium film channels)
  • Your Digital HD, DVR or HD DVR set top box and remove = $.1.52 increase
  • “The Guide” = $1.50 increase (you are now paying a buck and a half extra to use your remote control to select a program.  No kidding.)
  • Broadcast TV Surcharge = $1.50 increase (yep, you’re paying our local TV stations – the ones you can get WITHOUT cable – an additional ounce of flesh)
  • Internet modem lease = $2 increase (hey, remember when Time Warner started leasing their modems for a paltry $3/month?  They’re now $10/month, or $120/year, to lease a modem that works with their system – and if you use your own modem, it’ll be a matter of time before a mysterious signal arrives at your modem and “bricks” it, forcing you to use TWC’s gear as a replacement)
  • Sports Programming Surcharge = $2.25 increase (just remember this when you’re scrolling through all the sports channels that you don’t normally watch…)

Yeah.  That’s about $14, $15 a month extra.  Merry Christmas to you.

You know Time Warner really loves you when they jack your rates.  They love all the people who figured out that they can purchase HBO through their Apple TV devices and legally watch HBO shows without paying Time Warner Cable their tribute.  (Well, since HBO is owned by Time Warner Cable, maybe they don’t care.)

You know they love when you can purchase network subscriptions like CBS All Access, and watch CBS programming without being tethered to WRGB for the privilege of doing so.  You know they love that you’re subscribing to HuluPlus and NetFlix and Amazon Prime for programming.  You know they love when you say, “Gee, I wish Time Warner Cable offered a la carte subscriptions so that you could purchase only the channels you want, and not bundles of 75 superfluous channels to get the one channel you desire.”

And the phone service.  True story.

I currently have Time Warner’s cable and internet service.  Every time one of their customer service reps cold-calls me, they beg me to sign up for their internet phone service.  And I politely tell them no.  And they insist that if I sign up for their internet phone service, my bill will drop considerably due to the bundling package.

Yeah… no.

Story time.

Back in 2009, when I was married and living in Pine Hills, I had Time Warner’s all-inclusive “triple play” package of internet, cable and phone service.  Time Warner took over my existing phone line and number.

But in 2010, I moved to the Town and Village of Green Island, and I took my cable service and internet and phone with me.

Sort of.  The moment I let Time Warner Cable know of my relocation plans, they did something totally unexpected.

They cancelled my phone service.  Right on the spot.

What?

Their argument was that because they could not move the telephone number from one location to the next, they simply shut the phone number down completely.  Without a warning.  Without a period of time for me to let people know that my number would possibly change.  Luckily, I still had a cell phone and most people could contact me that way, but still…

Yeah.  So when Time Warner Cable asks if I want to get involved in any of their bundled packages, including a phone that I wouldn’t even use…

It’s a trap.  It’s a gouge.  It’s a way for Time Warner to suck you in and then, after whatever promotional period you’ve experienced, they’ll bleed you dry.

Which explained why my most recent cable bill had a $14 increase, based on these new Time Warner Cable fee charges.  A few pennies here, a few pennies there…

Hmm… maybe if it’s just a few pennies here and a few pennies there…

It wouldn’t cost me a few pennies – just to tell people my thoughts about Time Warner Cable’s actions.

Then again, they’d probably read my blog post, and immediately jack up my rates in spite.

I wouldn’t put it past them.

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4 thoughts on “Death, taxes, and Time Warner Cable rate increases”

  1. Cable customers could save a few bucks a month if that phony “franchise fee” was dropped. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, that’s your share of what the cable TV provider pays to your municipality for the provider’s “license”. Yup, that windfall for the local treasury actually comes out of your pocket each month (itemized on your bill!), draws interest in the provider’s accounts, then goes to your city/town, and you can’t even deduct it from your tax return.

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