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Time Warner Stalls Tier Program in Texas

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 30 comments

The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that Time Warner is stalling its silly tiered broadband service in San Antonio and Austin due to "customer reaction."

Reporting that Time Warner is stalling the tiered structure in San Antonio and Austin due to "customer reaction" sounds more like some kind of trouble down at the local saloon rather than customer feedback. While the San Antonio Express-News didn't specify whether or not the unhappy subscribers wore dusty boots and holsters, apparently those residents will not feel the effects of the upcoming broadband tiered system until October at the very least.

“What happened as we're continuing to listen was we worked in some of the comments and ideas that got sent to us,” said Gavino Ramos, Time Warner's vice president of communication for South Texas. “We came to the realization, let's do this in October.” Originally, the company planned to implement the tiered structure sometime this summer. Now, due to customer feedback, the meter program won't start for another six months, giving customers additional time to enjoy the current unlimited Internet usage.

"We're putting together packages that are going to accommodate everybody,” Ramos told the paper. “I think our customers are going to be pleasantly surprised.”

While his comment seems highly optimistic, the 8 million Road Runner subscribers will more than likely not welcome the implementation of any bandwidth cap. As it stands, Road Runner subscribers will have to shell out $15 for a 1 GB download cap, on up to $75 for a 100 GB download cap. Consumers will also be required to fork over $1 for every GB used over the limit; the $15 "lite" account subscribers will have to pay $2 for each additional GB. Additionally, the gigabyte overages have a limit, capping at $75, thus providing users a virtual "unlimited" package for $150. Honestly, that's crazy talk when current subscribers pay roughly $50 for unlimited access. And believe it or not, company officials evidently think 30-percent of Road Runner subscribers use less than 1 GB a month.

Sure they do.

According to Ramos, subscribers in San Antonio and Austin should see that change in billing in January 2010, three months after the tier program kicks into gear. Time Warner is offering its customers a three-month "grace period" so that users can monitor their actual data usage. Originally, San Antonio was slated to be one of the first markets to use the new system, however now that the launch date is set October, Rochester, N.Y. and Greensboro, N.C. will test the waters first in August.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming year, to see how many long-term customers decide to jump ship and find a better broadband provider.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 6:42 PM
    6 months to find a new internet provider.
  • 12 Hide
    tayb , April 15, 2009 6:30 PM
    It is probably because here in Austin there is no Time Warner monopoly and there are 50,000 college students who follow tech news to tell all of their friends and family to switch from Time Warner to a faster and cheaper Fios or AT&T U-Verse. Time Warner probably lost close to 5,000 customers in the weeks following the announcement and if they don't let up on the caps it will just get worse for them.

    No one who lives in an area with multiple ISP options should stick with Time Warner with the caps they are currently planning. Vote with your wallets people. They are starting to get the picture let's make it as CLEAR AS POSSIBLE for them.
  • 11 Hide
    Hanin33 , April 15, 2009 6:45 PM
    extortionist at work! their dribble to the press is hilarious. 'we didn't think this through...' right... TWC will loose me as a 10+ year customer the moment they try any data capping on me in TX.
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 6:21 PM
    Hopefully they come up with better tiers, such as $15 for 1GB, $30 for 25GB, $50 for 200GB, and $75 for unlimited. This would make all fees maxed at $75.
  • 12 Hide
    tayb , April 15, 2009 6:30 PM
    It is probably because here in Austin there is no Time Warner monopoly and there are 50,000 college students who follow tech news to tell all of their friends and family to switch from Time Warner to a faster and cheaper Fios or AT&T U-Verse. Time Warner probably lost close to 5,000 customers in the weeks following the announcement and if they don't let up on the caps it will just get worse for them.

    No one who lives in an area with multiple ISP options should stick with Time Warner with the caps they are currently planning. Vote with your wallets people. They are starting to get the picture let's make it as CLEAR AS POSSIBLE for them.
  • -6 Hide
    macer1 , April 15, 2009 6:33 PM
    o well, get use to it. Switch if you can but before long this will be the norm unless the gov steps in.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 6:42 PM
    6 months to find a new internet provider.
  • 11 Hide
    Hanin33 , April 15, 2009 6:45 PM
    extortionist at work! their dribble to the press is hilarious. 'we didn't think this through...' right... TWC will loose me as a 10+ year customer the moment they try any data capping on me in TX.
  • 7 Hide
    gamerk316 , April 15, 2009 6:53 PM
    Well, at least my NY delegation is stepping up, mainly because we flooded their offices with email messages...

    Force your representative to represent you; get everyone you know to put some pressure on them, and before you know it, they will be against any form of bandwith cap.
  • 9 Hide
    dfusco , April 15, 2009 6:54 PM
    Heh, here in the Dallas TX area if thet try to impose caps I am quite sure Verizon would not waste any time reminding me they are offering unlimited access.I have stuck with TW to this point but the moment they cap I move to FIOS.
  • 1 Hide
    bootleghooch , April 15, 2009 7:03 PM
    I read this as $90 for unlimited ($15 for lite plus $75 for max overages), unless they have other stipulations that they aren't stating. Much cheaper than buying the 100GB cap and paying overages.
  • 6 Hide
    cadder , April 15, 2009 7:10 PM
    No FIOS in my area yet. Comeon Verizon, speed up your installs!
  • 3 Hide
    avericia , April 15, 2009 7:29 PM
    Anyone with a choice will drop timer warner asap but they will screw anyone they have a monopoly on of course.

    I want to see Timer Warner make a cap on how many hours of TV you can watch a week and put a cap on that....... o wait they would FUCKING NEVER do that because they make more money selling TV advertising but the internet they don't control so they will just limit access instead so people will watch more TV.
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , April 15, 2009 7:39 PM
    bootleghoochI read this as $90 for unlimited ($15 for lite plus $75 for max overages), unless they have other stipulations that they aren't stating. Much cheaper than buying the 100GB cap and paying overages.

    The only issue is the speed-cap on the $15 plan. If I recall the tiered plans include speeds as well. So the 100GB cap includes a 20Mbps download speed. The 1GB cap probably comes with a 512Kbps download speed, not really gonna download too much data there.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 7:40 PM
    I am going to shift from Time warner to Clearwire Wimax
  • 7 Hide
    scryer_360 , April 15, 2009 7:47 PM
    I am, in my area, already seeing clients leave TWC for AT&T DSL. Even though DSL is slower, they don't want to worry about hitting a cap.

    And I shook my head at the notion that 30% of TWC customers use less than 1 gigabyte a month. Measuring that, loading a modern webpage once a day for thirty days will eat towards that point quickly. Watching a video on youtube hits that point within a few days. TWC, your money grab is going to cost you subscribers, stop with this nonsense that its incurring additional costs (your financial statements don't lie, even though you have attempted too).
  • 2 Hide
    solymnar , April 15, 2009 7:50 PM
    I would have to agree with most of the comments. In any place where there is a remotely decent alternative people are going to switch over. No one wants to deal with risking side fees and charges if they don't have to. Its just one more thing to worry about on an already full plate for many of us.

    Throttling down to a still reasonable speed would be much more stomach-able for me personally. But if I have a decent alternative I'd still switch.

    The only scary thing would be if the other major providers followed suit. Then the consumer is pretty much screwed. Of course we have 5 RIAA lawyers in the government now so they might try to help push some shenanigans through as well.

    In the mean time I sincerely hope that every last customer ditches TW before the 3 month "grace" period even begins. As Tayb said...send a message with your dollars.

    Hellwig might be on to something, where the lowest tier is too slow to conceivably download 100GB in a month.
  • 3 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , April 15, 2009 7:53 PM
    I live in San Antonio and made it abundantly clear to Customer Service here that not only would i discontinue all accounts with Time Warner but make sure as many of my friends as possible where aware of what was going on and where to find cheaper alternatives. My guess is alot of the other customers here did the same.
  • 0 Hide
    blarneypete , April 15, 2009 8:11 PM
    The San Antonio area practices proper free-market principles, so multiple ISPs are allowed to operate, so there is no monopoly. Because of that, the consumer is king. What he/she says goes, and consumers speak with their wallets. Enough people say "I won't do that, that's stupid. I'm just going to switch providers, and you won't get my money," and T-W has to concede their position in order just to stay alive in that market. Now if only New York could de-regulate like that, and let the market solve its own problems...
  • 2 Hide
    p05esto , April 15, 2009 8:51 PM
    Goodbye Time Warner, hello Verizon!!
  • 2 Hide
    wishtar , April 15, 2009 9:46 PM
    1GB cap is just stupid.. I'm pretty sure I'm breaking that now with my Dial-up connection.
  • 0 Hide
    compulsionnra , April 15, 2009 10:21 PM
    If you watch one movie, download one game, or do pretty much anything you are done w/ your 1GB cap in under an hour. I hope Time Warner loses as much money as possible for this extortion.
  • 2 Hide
    demonhorde665 , April 16, 2009 12:35 AM
    “I think our customers are going to be pleasantly surprised.”


    yep they will be plesantly suprised that their FiOS doesn't have caps !!!!!
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