Time Warner Cable raises rates on cable
Feb 23, 2013 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Time Warner Cable has raised its rates for customers who subscribe to cable television service but don't have a fixed rate or haven't bundled the service with other offerings such as broadband and telephone plans.
For the company's standard level of television service, about 70 channels, the rate has gone from $70.99 to $75.99 per month, a 7% increase effective this month.
For basic cable, about 25 channels, the rate now averages $24.50, up from $21.68.
Higher programming costs are to blame, said company spokeswoman Stacy Zaja.
"The reality is that programming providers continue to charge us more to deliver the entertainment that customers want. Over the past few years, the price we pay for programming has increased more than 30%, while the price we charge our customers has increased less than half of that," she said.
More than 80% of Time Warner's customers have bundled services, and those customers aren't affected by the rate increase, according to Zaja.
The average rate increase is about 4%, she said, and the company also has raised rates in markets outside Wisconsin.
Last fall, Time Warner Cable began charging broadband customers a $3.95 per month rental fee for cable modems. Customers were notified of the charge in their monthly bills.
Such practices are now standard in the industry, Time Warner said, adding that it was one of the last companies to impose the fee.
Customers can continue to lease the company's modem, or they can purchase their own modem from an electronics retailer.
In January, Time Warner said it was hiring 200 people at its downtown Milwaukee offices, boosting the total employment there to 800 by August.
The new hires will work as customer retention representatives and will have a starting wage of $13 per hour plus sales incentives that could bring their pay to about $45,000 per year, according to the company.
Time Warner said it was remodeling its downtown headquarters, at 1320 N. King Drive, to accommodate the additional employees.
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