Time Warner Pushes Caps With Customer Education

Time Warner is still on the bandwidth cap crusade and believes that customer education is what is needed to convince customers to see it their way.

 Time Warner identified Rochester, New York as a hot spot for customer dissatisfaction and negative media coverage. Their remedy for this, send customer service representatives to homes for one on one "education".

Stopthecap.com reader Corrine in Rochester writes;

    Hi, Phil. A very nice TWC “Residential Account Specialist” stopped at my house this evening. She said she was visiting the customers in her area to make sure everything is ok with their service. She obviously had a printout of what we subscribe to from TWC and took notes of my feedback. Yes, TW is attempting to overcome the bad publicity. I indicated that I am sure she is familiar with Stop the Cap! and knows that it isn’t the local TW employees that there is a problem with — the comments all indicate that the service is great. The problem is with TW management and tiered service.

    She admitted that there has been a lot of negative publicity.  The only “propaganda” that she provided was that people don’t understand that it is only the 14% high-end users who are downloading two or three movies a day who would be affected.  I said that although I don’t download movies, I will soon be retired and on a fixed income.  However, when I am home, my computer is up all the time.  With all of that on-line time, I have no idea how many GB I use.  Of course her response was that it would not effect me — even on RR Lite.

    I asked for and received the representative’s card, which includes her cell phone number and e-mail address.  As all TWC representatives I have had contact with, whether on the telephone or as service representatives, she is a very personable lady.

Other Time Warner tactics which defy logic include the proposed increase of their turbo package to 20Mbits/sec but incredibly the cap would still be in place. All this means to the customer is that they can reach their download limit faster and then be required to pay for any overages. Time Warner has also shelved DOCSIS 3.0 implementation while the controversy continues.

Time Warner has been repeatedly asked to present evidence bandwidth caps are warranted due to increased costs for providing their internet service. But, according to an article in the New York Times , costs are going down while ISP's are charging more. Comcast told investors that the hardware to provide 50-megabits-per-second service costs less than it had been paying for the equipment for 6 megabits per second. Meanwhile, in other markets like Japan where there is increased competition customers can purchase 160 Mbits/s service for $60 a month.

Congress is considering legislation that encourages more competition in areas where a particular ISP holds a monopoly. Said legislation would also provide stringent guidelines to prevent unfair service premiums due to lack of competition.