What’s up with our rising cable bills?

If you haven’t checked your cable bill you probably should because it has probably been going up, and maybe significantly, like mine.

Charter Communications stated they were buying Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $55.3B in May 2015, indicating it was “forging ahead” with its theory that broadening its presence nationally would provide the leverage it needed to fend off the challenges in the heavily competitive pay-TV industry. Charter Communications is controlled by billionaire John Malone. Charter had tried to buy TWC at a lower price in 2014 only to be outbid by Comcast. This acquisition by Charter of TWC makes them the second largest cable TV provider in the U.S. In a large number of instances following a merger or acquisition, we see price increases by the new owner, and this seems to be clearly the case here.

Here’s my complaint: Without any additional services that I know of, my TWC bill in 2016 was as low as $ 114.07 and for several months $ 115.17. At the end of 2017 it was $165.49 a whopping 43 percent increase. And for the current month, without purchasing any additional services, I received a bill from Spectrum for $173.52. Dating back to the bill in 2016, this represents an even larger increase of 52 percent from 2016 to February 2018. My opinion is this is outrageous and price gouging due to the limited number of TV alternatives.

I doubt very much if I am the only one experiencing these increases. Check your bill over the past 1-2 years and see if you are experiencing these same ridiculous increases. We can always complain to them in a phone call or in a written letter, but I doubt if we get any satisfaction in terms of rate reduction. But it’s worth a try. And if you haven’t noticed the number of commercials at the break in most programs, it ranges from 5-6 to sometimes as many as 10-plus. Are we paying for TV commercials vs. program content, or just enabling the company to get rich and/or help them pay for the billions they paid for TWC, or both? I think so. Maybe a petition signed by many customers to Charter would help.

George Cook