Tag Archives: pay tv provider

‘Ryan’s Law’ proposed to allow you to cancel Comcast online with one click

photo: TechCrunch

Los Angeles Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a bill that would allow Californians to cancel their Internet or cable services online with ‘one click’. The bill, which has no official nickname but I am hereby dubbing ‘Ryan’s Law’ […] You may recall Ryan’s epic call from last year, […] During the 18-minute call, he encountered a mental barrier of brobdingnagian proportions as the rep contorted the exchange into every possible psychic shape that did not involve allowing him to cancel his service[.] – Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Senators blast Comcast, other cable firms for “unfair billing practices”

Six Democratic US senators today (Ron Wyden, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, Ed Markey, & Elizabeth Warren) criticized Comcast and other TV and broadband providers for charging erroneous fees, such as cable modem rental fees billed to customers who bought their own modems. The senators have written a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler asking the commission to “stop unfair billing practices.” – Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

ESPN is losing subscribers by the millions

ESPN networks now have 92 million subscribers, according to THR. It was 95 million last year and 99 million in 2013. […] The cable industry at large has suffered a kind of exodus over the past few years, as TV streaming and over-the-top services multiply and consumers find ways to either trim down their cable subscriptions or, in some cases, cut them altogether. – Bryan Logan, Business Insider

Time Warner Cable’s Advertised $89.99 Triple Play: Now $190.77. What the F@$#X$!?

First, there should be immediate rate reductions on all services as Time Warner Cable, Comcast, et al, have a monopoly over the cable wire — I can not simply go somewhere else with my business if I’m unsatisfied. There is no competition for fundamental services, such as ‘cable service’ or ‘high-speed Internet’, with a bundle to ‘save money’, except for, in my case, Verizon, who also uses the exact same, deceptive billing practices. […]
Second, there should be an investigation of the Social Contract and the extra $800.00+ per household that may have been charged to customers. In 1995, the FCC allowed Time Warner (and Comcast) to add up to $5.00 a month to pay for network upgrades (like high speed Internet) and the wiring of schools. There is no proof that this additional charge was ever taken off the bill or that the schools were wired.
Third, every ridiculous, made up charge should be immediately removed. Period. These charges are part of the cost of doing business for the company. Period! Add them to the advertised price or remove them.
Fourth, every tax, fee and surcharge added to this bill that has been ‘passed through’ should now be paid by the company. I.e., there is a tax or fee that is supposed to be paid by the company, but they get to pass it on to you, the lucky customer.Fifth, clean up this deception. This is not a ‘promotional price’; it is a deceptive practice that has been allowed to continue for too long. All “must pay to get service charges” should be part of the advertised price. This includes the set top box, which Time Warner’s ‘agreement’ states that other boxes may not work with the Time Warner system.

Finally, the merger of Time Warner and Comcast…? You got to be kidding me! Allowing Time Warner Cable to merge with Comcast, where both have been rated as ‘the most hated companies in America’, is not in the Public Interest. This is just another version of this bill. Rotten to the core. – Bruce Kushnick,The Huffington Post

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Cable Companies Prepared for HBO Go to Go Streaming-Only

HBO GO may soon be available to non-cable-TV subscribers as an online-only streaming product, just like Netflix. […] The move marks a major sea change for the TV industry. For the last year, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has repeatedly dismissed suggestions that HBO Go would become available on online-only streaming platforms. But at a Goldman Sachs communications conference last week, he said he was rethinking it. “Up until now” the idea wasn’t attractive, he said, but now that “the broadband opportunity is getting bigger,” it’s becoming “more viable and more interesting.” […] The TV distributors, meanwhile, still have the potential ability to punish smaller channels if they find other routes for distribution. As it stands, licensing agreements usually include language that limits a programmer’s ability to make its content available online. For smaller stations that stray, big pay-TV companies can try to reduce the amount they pay a programmer in retrans fees, thus levying a significant blow to a programmers’ revenue stream. – Haley Sweetland Edwards,TIME
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The Cable Industry’s Anti-Net Neutrality Ads Are All Scare Tactics, No Substance

It’s no secret the cable industry hates the idea of reclassifying the internet as a utility, a favored option for those who want to preserve net neutrality. In a bid to make you hate the idea, too, the industry has taken out a series of print and online banner ads that try to paint the idea as old fashioned and one that the government is poised to screw up. – Jason Koebler,MOTHERBOARD
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Comcast, Other Cable TV Firms Now Broadband First

Comcast is on track to serve more Internet subscribers than video customers in 2015, which already is the case with Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. In Q2, the top cable TV firms lost 510,000 video subscribers but gained 381,000 broadband customers, says research firm LRG. […] As cable system operators become more broadband focused, analysts say the triple-play product bundle may take less of a marketing role. Some cable firms already have tried packaging broadband services, limited local and basic channels, and Time Warner’s subscription-based HBO into lower-priced deals. […] Pay-TV competition continues to ramp up. Satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network plans to launch an Internet TV service, backed by programming content from Walt Disney Studios and A&E, by year-end. […] Verizon Communications, which bought Intel’s online TV platform in January, also is readying an OTT offering, analysts say. […] Cable operators usually charge more for broadband as a stand-alone product than as part of a phone, Internet, video triple play to make up some of the lost video revenue, notes a Moody’s report. […] Moody’s [Karen Berckmann] says many cable firms have upped Internet speeds at a given price level for free, aiming to raise customer loyalty and migrate customers to higher-priced broadband in the long run. – Reinhardt Krause,Investor’s Business Daily
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Get through to Comcast’s semi-secret customer service line with one of these special cards

Once called “Make It Right” cards and recently rebranded as “We’re On It” cards, the cards are printed with a unique ID number and a “no wait” hotline that connects to a dedicated team of 250 customer service agents. Employees receive 12 cards a year, which they can hand out at their discretion. […] Comcast, like most of the cable industry, has historically struggled with a reputation for lousy customer service. This year, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index ranked Comcast’s internet service division second-to-last out of more than 230 companies across industries. Its television service didn’t fare much better, and its phone service started to approach an average score. The only company that did worse than Comcast? Time Warner Cable, which Comcast is in talks to acquire. – Adrianne Jeffries,The Verge