Time-Warner Cable customers should closely examine its billings and become familiar with a businesses practice apparently designed to increase your monthly costs without providing any additional service.
Time-Warner informed me that, effective March 10, I would no longer be able to receive Speed channel, which was part of the cable package for which I had signed up, unless I installed a digital box, which the letter said would be free until Sept. 30. What the company did not state in the letter was that, after Sept. 30, the digital box would cost $9.95 per month. In effect, Time-Warner tried to unilaterally impose an 11.41 percent increase in the monthly cost for the cable service to which I had originally subscribed. The newly required digital box is a standard definition box, which means it will not process high-definition broadcasts.
I then discovered that Time-Warner charges credit cards 14 days in advance of the start date for the monthly service. If your monthly service cycle begins on the 15th of the month, your credit card will be charged on the first of the month for a service cycle that does not start until the 15th. Those who carry balances on their credit cards will wind up paying 15 days worth of interest on that gap period during which Time-Warner has your money, but is providing no service.
One effective way to deal with companies like that is to vote with your feet. I have, but I suspect that Pawleys Island and other areas where Time-Warner has a cable monopoly won't be able to do so. Their recourse is to the Federal Communications Commission or to the local government entities that control Time-Warner's franchise.
The writer lives in Georgetown