Spectrum Employee

Re: Billing Charges!

[ Edited ]

bekahjordan wrote:
  • Broadcast TV and Sports Programming Surcharges

 

among various other things, I just don't know why Im paying for this becuase I don't use it and its not included in my package so why should I pay?


I'm not a billing specialist, I'm a technical person, but I think I can help explain the math behind what's driving the changes.

Now before I share this video let me warn you that her information isn't entirely correct (like $0.25 for a remote control?  Um no, maybe it's just my market but I'm not seeing charges for the remotes.  Boxes yes of course b/c they are expensive, but not remote controls.  Maybe this is a Comcast thing?) but this one of the most useful explanations in a video I've seen anyone do so far (even though now it's about 2 years old)
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/just-explain-it/why-your-cable-bill-is-so-high-195950153.html

This is Yahoo's take on it anyways, so it's not entirely unbiased, but for a general understand I'd recommend checking out the short video they made.

Whether you watch the sports event or not, it's a huge quantity of money.  That is without a doubt a big driver of cost for cable TV.  As I understand it, TWC is trying itemize that cost so it's a bit easier to understand on the bill.  Something you can see, and ask questions about.  Given your question bekahjordan, I guess it worked?

And how much money does TWC pay for that content to broadcast to you?  It's not really a secret...  TWC is a publicly traded company after all.  It's definitely the #1 operating cost.  That's not in question, and it's publicly available if you are the type of person who researches what drives of stock market prices.

I've summarized and quoted this from Quarter III 2015 SEC 10-Q filing (example source)
These numbers are in millions of US dollars.

Programming and content

1,489  

Sales and marketing

596  

Technical operations

406  

Customer care

224  

Other operating

1,181  

Depreciation

885  

Amortization

34  

Merger-related and restructuring costs

82  


Roughtly $1.5 BILLLION?  Yes. Really.  It goes up every quarter too.


Other operating is made up of many different smaller catagories (which are less than any of the others), but they are just all lumped together as the SEC permits.  TWC is spending a lot right now on getting the Maxx upgrade and DCI done, which is necessary for both routine upgrades & updates to the infrastructure, as well as being more competitive.

Even if you're saying TV subscriptions are on the decline (the %'s don't actually support that btw), internet subscriptions are on the rise in a much greater degree.  And let's be honest, if you're streaming TV, are you really going to rely on a satellite uplink that can easily be interrupted by some clouds?  (not to mention AT&T now has a data cap on their U-Verse so...)  TWC's HFC system (or maybe HFC with more and more fiber) is here to stay (although the name may change to Charter or something else).

 

It's going to be an interesting next decade or two as TV as we knew it since the 1960's is going to change in some very fundamental ways. It has to change. The customers are pushing for the change.

 

I would personally welcome some more a la carte TV options, even if per channel they were more expensive, I could get the channels I like and the shows I like and not only that but "ratings" could be a thing of the past.  I've had more than a few shows I liked cancelled because of "ratings" (any other Firefly or Joss Whedon fans out there on these forums?) that didn't have much to do with the popularity or passion of the fans.

My postings on this site are my own, off-the-clock, and don’t necessarily represent TWC’s/Charter's strategies or opinions.
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Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

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My TV/Internet/Phone bundle just went from $144 per month to $190 per month. When I called to ask to change plans or downgrade to save money they said that they consider the $190 a promo, and that if I downgrade anything or change plans I will pay even more in full retail. Do you understand what I just wrote? If I downgrade the services to something less I'll be required to pay more than I am now!!!! My choices as told to me by TWC Account Services (Retention) is to pay the $190 or disconnect my service altogether. How is this not usury or gouging? It started at $89 per month, then went to $126, then to $144, now to $190. Soon, they said, it will go to $250 per month. So I have to either pay about $2,300 per year or do without. ATT U-Verse is now the same. They'll give a 12 month lower cost promo, then go to the same as TWC even though they're 10 times slower Internet, fewer channels, and limited minutes for the phone. Dissappointed and angry are understatements. I might just go to online streaming of TV, but I'd first need to pay someone for the Internet, and I'd have to pay seperately for phone. TWC et al are bad, bad news. And dishonest crooks.

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Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

[ Edited ]

In answer to what TWC-JuliaR, a TWC moderator, wrote above: TWC's acct services (retention) told me that if I try to downgrade my services to save money (after the new 35% increase in my bill to $190 per month) I will be charged more because $190 per month is now a promo and changing anything will break the promo and I'll have to pay full retail, which is even more. I was told that the price will be going up again soon to $250 month. The choices I was given were to disconnect completely or pay the gouge pricing. No one here is trying to get help via this forum. We're just venting about the usury, dishonest tactics, and gouging being done by a company we used to believe in. Not any longer. TWC is bad, bad news now, and we'll be telling everyone we know and then some. As a VA rated 100% permanently and totally disabled veteran on a fixed income I can't afford this gouging. Shame on you Time Warner.

Established Sharer

Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

You might consider the following scheme (assuming that you can do without TV and phone for a while):  Change your service to Everyday Low Price Internet only, which is $14.99 per month (and relatively slow).  Some time after you do this (2 weeks to a month), you'll get a letter in the mail with a promotional offer from TWC.  It won't be as good as the "new customer" offers, but it might be pretty good.  Call the number on the letter and see if they'll offer another deal that suits you even better (or take the letter deal if you really like it).

 

Another variant on this game that works even better, assuming that you have a choice of providers, is to switch to another provider for their promotional deal for as long as they offer it, then come back to TWC as a "new customer" and get their "best deal".  Repeat this cycle as often as needed.

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Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

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RickE. It's (edited) to have to play these games all the time, over and over and over. The prices are going up and people are leaving as a result to stream programming via the Internet instead of cable or satellite. TWC's answer to that? Charge even more money and run even more people off. If TWC wants to do better the idea would be to drop prices and go to volumn business by bringing customers back rather than gouge the remaining cutomers to try to make up for losing customers, and lose even more in the process. I contacted the FCC today and made a formal complaint about not being allowed to downgrade service to save money because if I downgraded anything TWC would charge me even more than I'm paying now. That is frowned upon if not downright illegal. Certainly bad business practices and a sipt in customers eyes at least. What idiots run TWC??? 

Newcomer

Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

So completely sick of this!!!!  Even when your plan price is supposed to be fixed for 12 months Time Warner is increasing other fees like the HD set top box fee and the internet modem lease fee.   They are about to loose another customer!!!!!!!

Valued Contributor

Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

You people act like a bunch of entitled children. Do you honestly THINK TWC can keep giving you the same price for things you have had for 3+ years? TWC is a business not a charity guys, they need to make money to keep themselves running just like you need money to pay bills.

Try going into a retail store or better yet a fast food chain and ask them to give you the same amount of food for what you had paid for it 10 years ago. They'll think you're crazy or ignorant. Companies change their prices, DEAL WITH IT. Grow up people.
Newcomer

Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

 

For those with just "internet standard package" is it possible to own the existing twc old cable modem that has worked so well for me so far. I have had it for quite a few years with no trouble and is still ticking!!. 

Lead Moderator

Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

We do not rent to own or sell the modems that we deploy. More than likely 

you are paying for a lease on this equipment. You are not obligated to do this, 

as you may have read here, many of our customers like to use with own equipment.

 

You can see a list of approved modems here Compatible Modem List

 

Regards,
Julia R.
TWC-Social Media Customer Care
Moderator - TWC Community Forums

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Re: COMPLAINT - Bill Increase

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Anon2020 , your examples don't apply because this is a service not something that one must have to survive such as food . Let me give YOU a better example , when I got my first cell phone I paid for minutes .everyone did ,and often the bill became quite high, this was over 15 years ago , as time has went on most cell plans have become unlimited for a flat rate so bills have got lower not higher , my cell bill is now less than what twc wants for phone service and it is unlimited , my cell bill has not increased in the last 5 years in fact it has gotten $10 cheaper and has not changed in the past 3 years . Auto insurance is another great example , the longer you are insured the lower your bill becomes , I have progressive and they lower the bill after two years and so on . Not increase it 


Please explain to me why us twc customers have to pay for this type of mismanagement and these strong arm tactics on twc's part .