Life in the Slow Lane

January 6, 2009

Time Warner raises rates – again

Filed under: Life,Television — pauljlane @ 1:10 pm

If the sky is blue and it’s cold in January, then that must mean that cable rates are going up again.

Time Warner Cable announced Monday that its rates will go up next month. Basic service will go up $3.45 to $61.14(!) with other packages and add-ons also climbing.

Holy crow. I use a satellite provider, and although I pay that much we have a package that’s beyond basic (we don’t pay for movie channels, but satellite does provide the NFL Network, which Time Warner does not, as well as satellite music stations and sports channels from NYC, Cleveland and Pennsylvania). I switched a few years ago and whole-heartedly recommend you do the same; lower-priced packages are available.

If you can no longer afford pay TV (Time Warner provides a package of local only for $10), you can get your coupon from the federal government to save on the converter box you’ll need next month – but wait, they ran out of coupons and have started a waiting lost. Oops.

If, like me, you have a hard time thinking about life without some form of pay television, Time Warner is just giving its 330,000 subscribers in WNY one more reason to switch. Sure, the companies that provide the channels have raised their rates, but $60 or more a month for just the basics may make the choice for many people as to whether to drop pay TV altogether.

Cable isn’t all bad (Canadian stations are available for “Hockey Night in Canada” fans, and on-demand services are provided for many stations to which you subscribe), but that isn’t enough for this viewer. There has to be a way to at least keep rates steady.

If you can afford a rate hike, digital recorder and all the bells and whistles, God bless you. As for the rest of the people (the MANY rest of the people), your reason to switch has arrived.

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