In the past few years, Spectrum customers have experienced a rapid incline of pay hikes that have often been described as frustrating and even a bit outrageous. The hikes began around the later months of 2019 and when rates for the popular TV and Internet service provider increased for the third time within just 12 months for Spectrum internet and TV customers.
The steepest of these increases happened in October of 2019 when a total of $4.00 was tacked onto existing rates for internet and $9.50 for TV. When you put it into perspective, this increase meant that subscribers of both internet and TV service from Spectrum were suddenly paying an additional $174 per year, something they had neither anticipated nor agreed to when they signed their initial contracts.
Now, as of July 2020, it has been announced that even more rate increases are going to happen.
Why Are Spectrum TV & Internet Rates Going Up Once Again?
Perhaps the biggest reason why some customers will see increased rates in August is because of Spectrum choosing to end “legacy discounts,” which essentially were the low rates given to those who were still using old Time Warner Cable packages. Now, however, Spectrum is insisting that all customers transition to one of the packages that are available under their new name since Time Warner Cable has been dead for three years.
According to Lara Pritchard, a spokesperson for Spectrum, the change announced in July would really only affect 15% of customers, as most had already ditched their old Time Warner Cable packaged and opted for one under Spectrum.
However, Spectrum is also raising rates as an economic response to the rising programming costs they have seen over the years, especially in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted businesses ranging from small mom and pop shops all the way up to huge corporations. Therefore, with local broadcasters raising rates to compensate for lost income from the economic fluctuation due to the pandemic, Spectrum felt they had no choice but to increase their costs as well.
Cost Increases for Early August Already In Place
The latest increase in prices from Spectrum went into place on August 5th, making August the first month that customers have felt the strain of the additional costs on their wallets. Many customers were outraged at the increase after the major one they’d already experienced less than a year ago in October of 2019.
In response, and an attempt to alleviate the concern and also explain the reasoning for raising rates, Pritchard also said “Spectrum is committed to continuously enhancing our communication products, providing customers value-driven, superior connectivity services. Conversely, programmers annually raise programming fees to deliver the same content, leading to higher costs across the entire industry. The increase we are passing through to viewers is a direct result of these rising programming costs.”
With this increase, Spectrum’s TV packages including the TV Select, TV Siler, and TV Gold went up by $1.50/month. For those who had received a promotional price for a particular package, it was ensured that their rates would not increase until the promotional period had ended and put them back in a position to experience normal price hikes.
Luckily, for customers who only have Spectrum Internet, Voice, or Mobile plans, there were no rate increases announced, nor were there any increases made to equipment costs.
How Customers Can Combat Rising Costs of Cable TV
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in businesses around the globe having to close down, the economy of the US has taken a major hit and everyone is struggling to recover. Therefore, many customers who have either lost their jobs or had hours cut as a result of the pandemic are frustrated and disheartened at the price hikes that Spectrum has put into place. After all, it’s only television, and people are starting to ask themselves how much is too much for channels?
There are definitely a few ways to combat the rising costs of TV from provider like Spectrum, but they are not for the faint of heart. Firstly, you can try calling your provider and bargaining (pro tip, if you are particularly sweet, this can benefit you). However, if you’re going to attempt this, then you must be prepared for them to say no and then to either accept the new rates or cancel your service at that moment.
Therefore, you should be prepared beforehand with research you’ve done on other providers to use as leverage in your plea and have a package chosen that you can sign up with if you ultimately choose to cancel your service with your existing provider.
As another option, you can cut the cord with cable altogether and instead choose to go for the streaming platforms instead. Though many of these services have also raised rates in recent months, their prices are nothing compared to what you’re probably paying with cable. Plus, platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime can give you much more versatility in programming and provider you with even more viewing options. Think hard before making your decision, but just know that there are always alternatives to consider.