Time Warner – We Won! (sort of)

The first fight with Time Warner Cable is over, they’ve suspended their tiered bandwidth usage pricing plan for the foreseeable future to educate their customers.  This doesn’t mean we’re done though.  It’s more important now than ever to continue the fight to make sure this doesn’t ever happen. They still plan on going forward with the plan they’ve just temporarily suspended it in favor of putting the meters in place to educate their customers.

I was going to post two letter templates. One to send to Time Warner, and another to send to your local representative.  However; this became a little unnecessary.  My letter to the representatives no longer really applies, so I’ll be drafting a new one shortly.  My letter to Time Warner is still (mostly) relevant so I’ve posted it below.  Feel free to duplicate it, change it, fix it, enhance it and send it to Time Warner yourself.  Please Do!

To Whom it may Concern,

Your recent announcement of plans to begin capping bandwidth usage has created a surge of activity both on the web and off.  People are reacting to your plan in an overwhelmingly negative fashion.

It’s clear that Time Warner Cable stands to make a significant amount of money.  Your own representatives have stated that this plan is meant to generate more revenue in order for Time Warner Cable to invest in its network infrastructure.

What isn’t clear is why your company feels it is necessary to burden it’s customers with extra cost for something which Time Warner Cable does not pay extra for.  Nobody is disputing the fact that there should be more (some higher) tiers for bandwidth itself, but the idea of charging based upon bandwidth usage is nothing short of monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior.

The reason the Rochester NY, Greensboro NC, Austin TX, and San Antonio TX markets have been chosen for your ‘test’ is quite clear.  There is no comparable competition and Time Warner feels they can demand their customers pay whatever they feel like.

You have claimed that only the top 20% of customers will be affected and that the majority of people will actually spend less.  However; no data has been provided to this effect and we have been asked to take this information on faith alone.  That is not enough.  Of the people surveyed over 90% have stated they oppose the bandwidth usage based fees.

Right now customers pay $40/month for an unlimited standard RoadRunner connection and $50/month for an unlimited Turbo RoadRunner connection.  With the new tiered system the current Turbo speed is not even available, and at the standard speed it is possible to acrue a bill of up to $150/month.  This is almost 4 times the current rate, a 300% price increase!

People are turning to the internet for information, ideas and entertainment.  Families with young children, especially teenagers will be hit the hardest.  In a society where most of the bandwidth is used by the younger generation, it would be neigh impossible for parents to ensure their children do not exceed the limits.  Not a single person wants to monitor a fuel gauge of their internet usage.

Many small business owners depend upon the internet for their sustenance and people are already struggling.  It is at this time, with unemployment numbers at a near 20 year high, that Time Warner Cable chooses to place even more of a burden on it’s customers.

Time Warner Cable posts enormous profits yearly.  This money should be reinvested to improve the network to a level which can sustain the increased demand.  Instead of using your current profits you’re asking your current customers to bear more cost.  All for a new network they won’t be able to use without a new higher subscription plan sometime in the unforeseen future.

Shame on you Time Warner Cable.

We as your loyal customers and subscribers deserve more, not less.

Your Customer,

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