by Allen Williams
I acquired Time-Warner’s Everyday Low Price internet plan about six years ago as I’m not a gamer and I don’t stream movies from NetFlix. I just enjoy reading the news and making occasional online purchases. So I didn’t feel the need to pay for Hi speed internet. Time Warner was a pretty good plan with decent service.
About 5 years ago Time-Warner was bought out by AT &T who sold off the cable service to Charter Communication’s Spectrum.
Right from the start I began getting calls from their representatives for me to upgrade my service, add phone, TV and what not which I declined. I have my own broadband phone installation which works fine so I didn’t need another. At the same time I was receiving saturated mailings from Spectrum informing me of what extra service packages I could order. The phrase ‘not interested’ has absolutely no meaning to the company.
In December of 2018,
I opened my Spectrum bill and found that it had jumped 25 percent, down
slightly from the 33 percent increase of 2017.
I promptly called them to discover the reason for the latest increase.
The Representative I talked with either wasn’t very knowledgeable of Spectrum plans or was deliberately misleading me on the various options. It’s likely a corollary of the axiom “Tell customer anything to get the job or keep the service.”
The Time-Warner Everyday Low Price (ELP) Internet plan is no longer offered on the Spectrum Website and the company will not let customers sign up for that plan even though my monthly bill continues to show the ELP selection. http://concerningconsumers.bangordailynews.com/2017/03/16/home/spectrum-discontinues-time-warners-14-99-everyday-low-price-internet/ After informing me several times that Time-Warner no longer exists and that essentially I didn’t have a right to the ELP service at Spectrum, she continued to evade my questions on the reason for the price increases. After much persistence on my part she finally told me that Spectrum initiated a company wide price increase.
However, despite the representative’s assertions, the pricing increases appear to be some sort of punitive measure to force the consumer on to a plan of the company’s choosing rather than honoring the user’s preference. There’s also nothing like subsidizing Spectrum’s acquisition costs for Time Warner.
Today’s business strategies concentrate on forcing customer’s to buy services they don’t need or want at outrageous prices in a captive market created by government regulations and other federal enablers. Remember Net Neutrality..a half baked government plan to equalize broadband speeds, no blocking access or throttling traffic, etc?
is intentionally muted to force prices upward and holdovers from less expensive
plans are targeted for forced upgrades:
I’m not alone in experiencing Spectrum’s abusive rate hikes; Charter Communications has lost roughly 100,000 subscribers during the switch from Time -Warner Cable to Spectrum. Here are more customer’s thoughts:
“After being a customer for 18 years they are trying to increase prices well above their ongoing advertised prices of TV Service, Internet Service.”
“When Spectrum purchased Time Warner I kept getting a letters in the mail from Spectrum stating save $10 to switch to Spectrum, reading the fine details, year two would increase by $10, year 3 would be what ever going rate is. I just hit year 2 and price went up $20. I called and spoke to 5 people. All said I am getting the correct rate. If anyone has a copy of the letter to prove me right or wrong would be appreciated” Read more Spectrum complaints at: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/spectrum/internet/spectrum-spectrum-internet-service-took-over-time-warner-cable-industry-california-1338932
Spectrum offerings differ from locale to locale usually pushing phone, Internet and TV services at three to four times the cost of internet alone. The cheapest Internet offering I saw was a promotional at $44 per month soon to become $65 a month. And Spectrum only offers two speed tiers – 60 Mbps and 100 Mbps, “with no data caps, usage-based pricing or additional modem fees,” according to a recent company press release.
- 60 Mbps = $64.99 ($53.99 for customers who also have Spectrum TV)*
- 100 Mbps = $104.99 ($93.99 for customers who also have Spectrum TV)*
I asked the Rep if there were any changes to my broadband speed. Spectrum responded that I’m getting 3.5 MB service but clocking the Internet speed with Speedtest shows 2.3Mbps. http://www.speedtest.net/#, Download at 3.02 Mbps; Upload 0.25 Mbps
Spectrum’s own speed test is pretty comparable with a slightly higher Upload speed at 0.5 Mbps but these will vary from day to day based on traffic load, etc. https://www.spectrum.com/internet/speed-test.html
Both tests confirm that I’m getting less than 3.5 Mbps service so either the Rep doesn’t know what speed is supposed to come with Time-Warner’s old ELP service or one gets whatever the company feels like providing.
In Oct of this
year (2019) I received a notice from Spectrum that they were increasing my
monthly fee for ELP service $3.00 which
now totals $27.99 per month for an alleged speed increase that I didn't
request. So I performed another speed
test (same independent source as above) which now shows me getting 4.65 Mbps
download speed and 1.93 Mbps upload speed an actual overall increase from what
I had before. In reality, there should
have been NO COST increase because I demonstrated that I was not getting what I
was paying for originally so their speed increase simply brought me in line
with what I was supposed to be getting in the first place. Interestingly enough Spectrum would NOT let
me check my internet connection speed using their platform as I did earlier. Instead you get two choices from their results
screen, ‘Login’ and ‘View’.
Spectrum Speed Test Screen
I didn’t try the login choice because I would either have to create an account or use my existing one, slick method huh?
They must have
read my earlier review because now when you click on their second choice
'View" it's nothing more than detailed plan advertising including ‘projected’
speeds for different packages.
You never get an actual speed result for your connection. While I was there a window popped up asking me how I would rate my site experience. I replied with a ‘zero’ and another window immediately popped up asking me to explain why I gave that rating, which I did. It’s obvious Spectrum doesn’t want to provide evidence that speeds provided aren’t up to what they advertise. So the bottom line is that deceptive advertising laws are worth exactly nothing.I would still rate Spectrum at zero if the Sitejabber system would allow me for Spectrum’s deceptive business practices, disingenuous advertising, credit billing irregularities, minimal plan choices and unwillingness to allow people to keep their current plan and an endless solicitation harassment to upgrade services from both mail and phone calls.
Spectrum is a dud, best to avoid it.