Friday, November 25, 2011

Rate Prison

I returned the DVR/HD Converter to Time Warner.  After my emails to Time Warner, the BBB,, Yelp and the PUCO (Public Utility Commission of Ohio), I can now calm down and feel the freedom of being without Cable TV for a week until Direct TV comes out to install the satellite.

The short story is that Time Warner raised the price of the DVR/HD Converter Box by $1.99/mth.  My anger was less about the rate increase and more about the fact that the "Price Lock 2yr Guarantee" that I agreed to in July 2010, only applies to the Digital Content Plan - not equipment and I have no recourse with their indiscriminate  price increase - if I would cancel, I would be subject to an early termination fee - Hence I was in "Rate Prison".  They can do anything they want to the overall rate but I am locked in my own rate prison.

Those that know me, would now understand that I have no patience for this type of  a corporate bully tactic (the fine print of the "Other Terms and Agreements" section of the contract).  Regardless of the cancellation fee, I was determined to cancel.  I will decide later whether to settle the bill with Time Warner.

Clearly Cable Entertainment, options and prices has been the subject of many of my postings - 9/1/2009, 1/25/2010, 10/31/2010, 9/1/2011.  The $61/mth I was paying in 2009 (without DVR & HD) is now $75/mth (with the Price Lock Guarantee) and would be $80/mth without the Price Lock Guarantee.  That is a 31% increase in costs for the benefit of DVR & HD Channels with inflation.

Bundling services - cable, wireline phone, wireless, and internet (which I have not done to date) is now becoming a necessity to reduce the overall subscripton price.  So back to the Direct TV  I will go.  Since Direct TV is bundled with Cincinnati Bell, I should be able to get some economic benefit of bundling  my internet, wireline phone, and now satellite TV.  The last thing to go will be my wireless service with Verizon.  However I'm stuck in Verizon prison for 2 years (ending 10/14/2013) because of Ellen and Jenna's iphone data plans.

So instead of three rate prison cells - I can be in one very big rate prison cell.

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