FOWC with Fandango — Charter’s Best Cynic

I was having a normal day until I realized that for no particular reason, my cable company raised my rates another $5. They are known for not having contracts. What that actually means is they can raise their rates whenever they want. They never lower them. We live in Uxbridge and we don’t have a choice about our cable service.

We have Charter or nobody. We can’t get any other company, not even the telephone company, to serve us. I’m sure someone got a not little extra gift from them to set us up with only one company and no competition or hope of competition.

In theory, we can get DirectTV, but this is a heavily wooded area, so almost no one has a clear patch of south-facing sky to use to receive the signal … and working — these days — with DirectTV might actually be worse than working with Charter/Spectrum (it’s really the same company using two names). I grant you it’s hard to imagine anything worse than Spectrum, but if anything is worse, DirectTV is probably it. And you have to go through AT&T to use them, so you get a double whammy.

Spectrum is very big on advertising how they don’t have any contracts. This makes it sound as if you have the choice to choose another company, but there IS no other company in the area. What it really means is they can raise their rates when they feel like it and we can’t do anything about it.

Great deal, isn’t it?

I remember when Charter strung their first wires on our street. I think I was one of the very first people to sign up with them. We have been loyal to them because we have no choice. Even so, after 19 years, you’d think they might actually care in some way that we are customers that have been with them a long time. But there are no discounts. I cut out cable TV about 8 months ago, so they raised the price of the cable itself to $76 and doubled the cost of our telephone.

You’re welcome, Spectrum or Charter, or whoever/whatever you are. I can tell how much you care about us.

12 thoughts on “CYNICAL? HAVE A CHAT WITH YOUR CABLE COMPANY! – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. This is timely since Thursday, after months and really years of having not watched TV at all, I finally went through the hassle of getting rid of my cable service (They’ve been exclusively known as Spectrum around here for about a year now, but it had been Charter going as far back as the early 90’s). All it took was enduring about 45 minutes on hold (I turned up the volume on my phone, set it on the desk, and went about life until the music stopped), cutting them off at the pass twice by saying I was canceling because I no longer watch TV… so no promo offer they could make would get me to change my mind, and enduring two different sales pitches for their cell phone service. Final result: My bill, which was about $190 for cable/internet/landline is now going to drop to about $85. It was way more than I expected because all of the taxes and fees were apparently tied up in the TV service. Now I wish I had done this a long time ago…

    And the business model of cable TV is no different than that of magazines and newspapers… it’s all about the number of subscribers, which determines how much they can charge networks to be in their lineup. If you don’t look like someone who’s a threat to jump ship, you’re way at the bottom of their caring priority list…


  2. Most companies never seem to care for their existing customers. There are always big discounts to encourage people to sign up but rarely do those who have stayed loyal for years get anything. Here we do have choices so they ought not be surprised when people leave. When pay-TV first came to Australia only one company offered it and they continued to dominate the market for years as they were the only service. Now, however, people are leaving in droves because it is expensive and although they don’t often raise the rates they always make you buy the base package before you can pick the extras you want so you wind up paying for a lot of stuff you don’t watch. Most people now prefer Netflix or other streaming services to the unwieldy pay-TV company Foxtel. Unfortunately, Foxtel does have the rights to most major sports so if you are a sports fan you take their service or miss out as the free to air stations who together own Foxtel have signed away their rights to many games. I prefer a service where I am not locked into a plan for two years but I agree that if there is no other service there is no sense in it and long term customers should get some benefits.


    • They offered me a HUGE discount if I would resign for cable TV. Which would actually be cheaper, but I absolutely won’t sign up with them. I really loathe them. But not having any actual choice really bothers me and THAT is the fault of whichever one of our town councilors took the payoff from Charter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes it is and I’m glad that our councils don’t have the power to make deals with providers. It’s all either state or private enterprise. I do wish there was a choice for electricity providers like they have on the mainland. No choice always mean they can charge what they want.


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