Can You Do Anything About Time Warner Rate Hikes?

7:56 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - You can't really say that Time Warner Cable is 'nickel and diming' its customers to death with its two recently announced rate increases, it's more like two or three dollars at a time.

First the cable company announced it was raising Internet rates by an average of three dollars a month.

Then it announced it was hiking the rental fee for its cable modems that are needed for phone or Internet services by just over two dollars a month.

Add it up and over the course of a year and that's another $60 to you bill.

Time Warner blames the cost increases on investment in its infrastructure, including improving it's Internet speed by 50% over last year.

Scott Brown: "Is there a fear or concern that you're going to price some people out of the market?"

Time Warner Spokeswoman Joli Plunkette-Farmen: "Time Warner Cable customers have a wide range of options as far as their Internet choices and package prices and we're confident we can work with every customer to find a package of Time Warner Cable services that match their interest and their budget."

So can you do anything about the price increases?

Well you can look at Time Warner's competitor Verizon.

Time Warner says its standard Internet cost will now be $54.99 a month.

Verizon has three different levels of pricing starting at a one year introductory rate of $49.99 a month for the slowest internet speed up to $69.99 a month for the fastest.

However Verizon does not charge for a cable modem. 

UB Assistant Marketing professor Arun Lakshmanan says with only two players in the Buffalo market, there's not a lot of places for consumers to turn.

However there is one simple thing you can do.

Scott Brown: "Does it do any good to call them up and say 'hey unless you lower my rates I'm going to switch to the other guy?'"

Arun Lakshmanan: "Absolutely I believe it will make a big difference. So yes, for somebody who it matters, I would urge them to negotiate. I would urge them to call up and say 'I've been with you for so many years and I'm not wedded to you.'"






As far as any other increases in prices from Time Warner, its spokeswoman would only say "There are no increases planned for phone or cable service at this time."

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