Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TW Cable promises new cheap, fast plans

Time Warner Cable, trying to answer improvements from competing services, has launched "SignatureHome," a new bundle that delivers some pretty powerful features.

For $179.99 per month (plus tax) for the first 12 months, customers will get unlimited nationwide calling and voice mail, cable TV services plus a whole house DVR. The DVR will allow customers to record or watch a show in one room and finish in another. The base plan includes two HD DVRs, each one allowing you to store a massive 150 hours of HD content. You can record four HD shows at once using the two supplied HD DVRs. Add more and your recording options -- and storage capacity -- grow.

Of course, if you have more than two TVs, those extra boxes are $7.34 per box. More good news? The boxes appear to be higher quality than the standard issue TWC DVRs that have caused customers fits.

There's even a feature that allows customers to go backwards on the guide for up to three days to see shows you missed. I had to read that one twice, and then I had to call.

But it's true.

If it's Thursday and you missed American Idol on Tuesday and forgot to tape it, well, just click back a few days on the guide, and boom, you've got Ryan Seacrest.

But the best feature here is TWC's new "Wideband" internet that provides download speeds up to 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 5 megabits per second. That's more than five times as fast as TWC's current speed king, Road Runner With Turbo Boost. A quick check of the local website shows 10 megabits download and 5 kbps up for that.

With so many new products and services being introduced that will use the internet, this kind of speed would be amazing.

Of course, the entry price goes up to $266 per month after 12 months, but the nice salesperson I talked to said you could sign up for another 12 months and get the original price.

Of course, real world pricing, by the time you added some extra boxes and movie services would probably top $200, but how many of you are paying that now for cable, phone and internet and not getting this much? Time Warner also promises priority customer services for Signature Home customers, including a two-hour technician window and 24/7 phone service.

TWC may have a winner here.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

TWC fail. If they can provide it at $179, then shame on them for going up to $266 (even if you can 'talk' your way into another year of promo pricing). They always pull this - offer a promo, then jack up the price. You threaten to cancel them, they can miraculously offer you the promo again - if you don't ask, you are the sucker paying way too much for TWC. Seems fair, right? No.

Anonymous said...

If they somehow manage to not reach an agreement with Disney and I loose ESPN for college football season, they can give it away for free and I wouldn't want it.

Anonymous said...

ATT Uverse and Fios FTW!

Anonymous said...

NFL Package!!!! Until they get that no dice!

CharlieDish said...

TW HD-DVRs are still only one tuner ubits. So if you have 4 TVs and want to watch seperate programming at the same time you need 4. With Dish Network and their dual tuner HD-DVRs you would only need 2.

Anonymous said...

TWC burned their bridge with me a while back when they cost me nearly $700. Their repeated failures in service was blamed on "inadequate in-house wiring" so we had new cables run throughout the house because they said that was the issue (after 2-years of problems). Needless to say, even with the rewiring the problems remained. We planned ahead though with the wiring and had it put in to accommodate satellite as well in case we needed a backup plan. I'm now happily with DirecTV now where customer service is much better and is not a complete misnomer as it is with TWC. TWC's ever fluctuating pricing tiers is absolutely ridiculous and their quality is horrible. We have more consistent service with DirecTV than we ever had with TWC and the digital and HD channels never digitize as they did with TWC. The only time we lose service is if there is a HUGE storm and it generally has to be right over us; but under those same conditions we typically lost most channels we cared about on TWC too so we're not losing anything. The overall quality is far better with DirecTV and the dish is unobtrusive. TWC couldn't get me to be their customer again if gave their service away for free AND they PAID me!

Anonymous said...

No provider is competing on PRICE. They all play games offering slight variations in the same basic product. Uverse/TWC/DirecTV are all overpriced for pay tv.

hipQuest said...

I have the SignatureHome service and I love it! You left out one of the very best features it offers-24/7 service with a live, local CS representative. I thought I had a problem with one of my boxes, called about 2 pm and was offered service between 5 and 7 that day-awesome! Another thing-they supply all the cables needed to maximize the HDTV experience, I got to return the expensive HDMI cables I had purchased!

I got a 2 year deal and yes there is an early termination fee of up to $150 but it is prorated through the life of your contract. Nothing like the $350+ fees of DirectTV and Dish.

As for the contracts with content providers, all service providers face them. I think Dish is still having problems with the Disney/ESPN issue.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous 11:02. Offer it at $179, then jack it up almost another $100? No way.

TWC's "tiers" are a ripoff, too. To get one channel that really interests me, I have to pay for maybe six or seven others that I wouldn't watch if you put a gun to my head.

And TWC's catch-all solution to any problems you're having with reception? Reboot the box.

Jason D said...

I'm sold and already have an install scheduled. For right at $200 a month I get cable with 2 premium movie channels/Phone and super speed Internet with Wi-Fi networking. I already have 2 HD DVR's so this is a no brainer and at last I can watch recorded shows from one TV on another. TWC isn't perfect but for me this is a great deal and awesome services.

Anonymous said...

Langston, does the signature plan include some premium movie channels. If it does, this is a fairly good deal. (But you have to add all those taxes and fees to get the real cost.)

Anonymous said...

TWC's M.O. of offering an introductory rate, and then jacking it up is horrible. Unfortunately, the ripoffs at DirecTV are worse. I haven't tried Dish simply bc DirecTV left such a bad taste in my mouth after ripping us off and 6 months worth of calls to their EXTREMELY rude customer "service" dept! The only way we managed to get a resolution was by bringing the NC Atty General in, then DirecTV couldn't refund the money they promised us fast enough!
TWC will continue to overcharge and underserve its customers until another company steps in and offers something truly better at a cheaper price. The problem is, I don't think any of them ever will. They know that most of us will pay whatever they want for cable and internet service. And TWC's ad campaign against Disney, ABC, ESPN, and other companies? Give me a break! TWC has raised prices whenever they wanted in the past. Don't come crying now and act like you're trying to protect our wallets!I'm like the other guy, if TWC loses ESPN, TWC will lose me and millions more. I can guarantee that!

wiley said...

TWC has lost my business after nearly 20 years as customer. They have taken away channels and changed their delivery method for HBO, requiring you have a box for no other reason than to get Movies On Demand capability into your house.

I wanted to keep HBO but didn't want the box. They said no.

Further outages with phone and cable once or twice a month finally pushed ne to the breaking point.

They did nothing to try and keep me as a customer and their advertising is totally aimed at Dish, while AT&T is cleaning their clock. You can't even go on TWC website to shop and compare packages.

I have AT&T U-verse being installed on October 1st.

I'm getting over twice as many channels for less cost, even AFTER the one year intro.

Anonymous said...

Hipquest must be on the TWC payroll. I have had nothing but trouble from TWC for the last 5 years. The service is unreliable and when it is acting up neighborhood wide, they still send someone to my home everytime I call wasting my time for an issue they have already documented in the neighborhood but do not repair. If you raise enough of a fuss, they'll adjust your bill and even tell you they'll do it automatically until the problem is resolved. When you get the next outrageously priced, unadjusted bill and call they tell you they cannot automatically credit you every month. The only thing worse than their service is their customer service. They now do contracts so that users cannot threaten to leave as easily when TWC drops the ball. They always drop the ball.

Anonymous said...

Uverse is way better, does all that without the huge price tag.

Anonymous said...

TWC has to be the worse ever. Their services are bad and their Customer Service is really bad.

I called it quits with them in June and had so much joy in taking back those awful HD boxes. I really wish I could have put them in the street for all to run over with their cars.

p.s. AT&T U-Verse is great. Great services and much better pricing (even after the 1st year).

Average Jo said...

$200 a month is CHEAP? We pay about $70 a month for phone & internet through Bell South, and get our tv free over the air. Anyone paying $200 a month for nonessential entertainment has money to burn.

Anonymous said...

hipQuest - if you are returning your expensive HDMI cables then I personally have a hard time believing that I can trust you to find a 'good' deal on anything. HDMI cables shouldn't cost more than $5. Generally, more towards $3. The only 'expensive' cables are the ones right next to the salesforces at Best Buy.

Anonymous said...

I am a TWC and I HATE it!!!!!! The prices are way to high, and the service sucks. I cant wait until U-Verse is available in my area I just might throw myself a party when I can get U-Verse service. I really hate TWC.

Anonymous said...

I wish their program guide was easy and intuitive to use (like Comcast Cable up north). It's difficult as heck

Anonymous said...

$14.29 for Broadcast cable + Netflix for $16.....all the TV I care to watch for $30....could by a car with the other $230......How can you call this CHEAP!!!!! TWC et al need to come back to reality.

Anonymous said...

That's no deal!
That's A crock!
For TWC its CYA time!

hipQuest said...

@ Anon 11:51

Not on the payroll but I am a happy customer of nearly 18 years. Sure I've had problems but mine have always been solved to my satisfaction. Maybe part of that is where I live-all utility lines are buried. Maybe part is that I treat every person I encounter trying to fix my issue with courtesy.

We have DirectTV at a rural lake cabin and their service is an ongoing nightmare that we have to live with to have any service at all, the CS people are mediocre, at best, BUT the field techs have been great to deal with. They have never offered any credit or refund for interrupted service.

Anonymous said...

@hipQuest

If you can afford almost $200 a month for mind ruining TV how is it you can't afford a $40 HDMI cable????? Seems kind of silly.

You must be one of those 50k a year wannabe millionaires I see driving around Ballantyne.

Anonymous said...

I have been a fairly happy customer of TWC. I pay 120/month with no premium channels, but with HD and Sports tier. No major complaints on service. the cost they are suggesting seems way over-priced for me, even at $179 a month. Beginning to believe these cable providers and wireless cell phone providers think we have unlimited $$$$ for phone/internet/cable. They will eventually outprice themselves.

J said...

"Of course, real world pricing, by the time you added some extra boxes and movie services would probably top $200."

You'll top $200 on taxes and fees alone. You still won't get to buy NFL Sunday Ticket. It will still be a complete crapshoot if you call with a problem. The "locked-in" $179 will become $225 when they jack up rates again in 2 or 4 months (over $250 including taxes and fees). And the $266 "regular price will have increased to $350 by the time your first year is up after the 3rd price increase of the year.

Fail.

hipQuest said...

@ Anon 12:33- You are so right, I got them at Best Buy. I researched the price when I got home and found them online to be VERY inexpensive but I had my install that day so could not order. I did not realize that TWC included any and all cables needed and wanted to point that out. Thanks for calling me out.

Anonymous said...

Vile, greedy, evil company! They enjoyed legalized extortion for years as the sole franchisee - they didn't even want to compete against Vonage on phone pricing until recently. And they still want to go up almost 50% after this 1 year teaser?? Shame on Time Warner. They aren't going to keep long-term customers this way (They have a great business track record, don't they AOL???)

Anonymous said...

My switch from TWC to Direct TV came when I received an email intoducing the 'great,new channels' we were getting. These 'great channels' were Nick and some other kids channels a year or so ago when they almost lost them....kind of like now with Disney. Then the email basically said because of the great service we were getting, our bill was going up a couple of bucks a month. When I called to tell them we were switching, the 'incentive' for us to stay on with them was for us to downgrade to a cheaper package.

Also roadrunner is fast.......when it was working. I cannot begin to explain how frustrating it was when the internet went down weekly and the next service tech would not be available until the next day. The phone line is slower but has not been out of service once in almost two years.

hipQuest said...

@ Anon 12:52

What an immature comment. For what it's worth, SignatureHome is being offered to select customers at this time not everyone. Of course I can afford the HDMI cables, I had already purchased them. I was just pointing out a little "extra" TWC offers.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in TWC area, but this definitely seems like a great deal if the service is there and there are few outages.

I live in the MI-Connection area in Davidson and I pay $145 w/fees and tax for HD + Digital TV + one DVR box, no movie channels or anything extra, and 12/2 Internet speed. Truthfully any upload speed past 1-2Mbps and you won't notice. And I pay $35 w/tax and fees for Vonage phone, so I'm paying $180 and have good Internet, TV, and 1 DVR. I would love to pay the same and get the additional DVR features, but the extra Internet speed seems like a waste to me.

Anonymous said...

lol Complaining about rates going up? What service have you bought that did not have introductory rates? Anyway I subscribe to AT&T UVerse and I hate the bandwidth limtation. Turn on an hd channel and the internet crawls. The satelite companies were ok. They never offer compensation for interuptions. Which happened pretty often when I lived in IL. I can't comment on Dish never had them just DirectTV. Cable I have had and I miss the reliablility of the internet. With the new offer though I will return. I can't wait to get this uverse crap out. Yeah it's cheap but you get what you pay for...

Anonymous said...

I live in Pineville and for some reason, TWC does not offer digital phone here, or so they tell me - so the Signature program is not available. Of course, their CSR's can't seem to tell me why.

That might be a nice thing for someone to investigate.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, LW Jr.
$179.99 per month is hardly a deal, particularly when that is a promo price.

Do you own TW stock ?

discourser said...

I have to chime in with hipQuest. We've had TWC since it was Cablevision. We haven't had an outage since the Big Ice Storm. It might not have been out then, but we were without power for several days...

I don't have turbo internet service because we don't need it. I installed my own GB WiFI network in the house with one hardwired PC and up to 3 wireless PC's and a printer going at once. My son is an on-line gamer so, believe me, I would be told of any degradation. It's actually why I upgraded the WiFi.

We all spend money where we want. I'm currently paying approx $210 per month. That also includes 4 DVR's and one HD box. Yes, we have pretty much every channel in the known universe but none of us watch much on the regular/basic channels.

This sounds like it could be a good deal for us. With the longevity of our account, I might be able to work a good deal.


BTW - Cheap HDMI cables are cheap for a reason. Also, while they have gotten cheaper, there is no such thing as a $3 HDMI cable. Someone is probably confusing YPbPr cables with HDMI. Yes they are cheap but why have HD without the higher quality you get through HDMI?

Anonymous said...

I just got this Signature Service installed yesterday. Sure it's expensive but if you want the features it is actually a savings over purchasing everything a la carte.

I'm not saying Time Warner is the best but I've had no issues with them and their service has been just as good as any other provider. Outages or other technical problems have been very rare and the speed of the internet now on this connection is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Returned my 6th DVR box to TWC in the DirectTV DVR box and haven't looked back since. Until TWC ups their bandwith you'll have the pixelation. With or without "boosters".

Anonymous said...

I got fed up with cable 15 years ago. Terrible picture quality and pitiful service in Gaston county, plus prices were already going up on a regular basis.

Switched to DirecTV;
kept if for 15 years.
Finally decided that paying North of $55.00 per month for the 10 or 12 channelsa I was interested in was absurd.

Now I have over the air only plus a Netflix subscription.

I can't say I'd ever go back, now that I KNOW what I'm "missing".

pinchner said...

Good god! $179 an indroductory rate? Please, I'm going back to free over the air tv. Picture's better anyhow. Get real TWC.

Anonymous said...

$179 bucks a month is a deal ?

These companies better wake up and realize that we are tired of introductory rates, then getting jammed after the time is up.

I like my rabbit ears.

Anonymous said...

On another subject NASCAR is waiting for Wertz to step in and show his stuff with a 2000 hp engine running nitro fuel.

We need diversity in NASCAR writing and fans would like it too.

Stop avoiding the inevitible.

We demand to see Wertz start writing about NASCAR and wonder when he will take a spin around CMS at 200mph driving a Petty or Hendricks car.

Time for a change and Wertz is a likeable guy so he will be a hit on NASCAR circuit.

Anonymous said...

I had this installed on 7/16. The new DVR's suck.

They're slow. Slow to change channels (thanks, CableCARD), slow to find shows, slow to play shows.

When attached via HDMI they can't make up their mind on which resolution to use even though you've got only 1 selected.

No external hard drive support.

No HD guide/menus.

For the record, these are 2 tuner units. You've got a total of 4 tuners worth of recording capability.

You can sign up for 2 year price lock, and it can renew for another 2 years without a price increase.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it folks just like cell phone companies they all have their plus/minuses. I have had service from all the players Dish,Direct,TWC and they have their faults.

At the end of the day it is about getting the best value for what service meet your wants/needs.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 3:32 Really? An hd guide? Geez... Some of these comments... I just can't believe how people can whine about things like that. Oh well to each his own. My parents taught me to be more of a man than that.

Anonymous said...

That comment was for Anon 3:37 I think not 3:32. But he has a point.

Anonymous said...

179 is not what you call cheap .Right now I have 2 Digital HD cable box digital Verity Channel without the sports Packages and Road runner standard.For $74 with tax.Now this is cheap .btw TWC customer services is overall very good.If you call TWC and tell them that you going to switch over to any company your price will be lower by as much as $40 and you might be able to keep what you have.I'm not saying TWC is the best because one negative about TWC is sometime you will put on hold for for more then 15 Minutes. and they also don't get the NFL network with that said there price is lower then dish network

hipQuest said...

OK, I have no problem paying $200+ (after taxes and government fees) for my cable/internet/phone with very responsive CS.

Maybe it's because I remember paying a lot for dial-up internet (it's been so long but $40 sounds right); at least $30 a month for a basic phone with extras like CID, VM and LD an additional fee per month fee-my phone bill was around $80 at the end of the month, the price of cable-whatever provider you choose-is a LOT cheaper now for what you get. I can't remember if premium channels have ever cost less than $10 per month, each. With inflation and additional OD services I am very comfortable with pricing.

It breaks down to this for me-
2 phone lines w/all bells & whistles
Very fast internet w/wireless
Premium cable with all movie channels and tiers except foreign language
Fees and taxes
Less than 270.00 a month

All in one place and I'm am happy to pay a bit extra for the "value add". Others may not be so to each their own. I am very happy that we can all make choices.

Anonymous said...

@ hipquest

Well stated.

John said...

They need to start offering an ala-cart approach. I don't watch two thirds of the channels I get now! How much of the rest is just re-runs of either one of the Law & Orders, one of the CSIs, one of the NCISs etc...?

I don't need their long distance when I have it on a cell phone I can actually take with me anywhere.

I am certainly not interested in doubling what I am already paying for services I won't use!

For those commenting on the Disney/ESPN talks... just wait, Disney will be doing the same to DirectTV, DISH network etc... just as soon as the contracts come up.

Anonymous said...

Are you out of your frickin mind????

Anonymous said...

I just want espn360.... Why has TWC not fixed this problem

Anonymous said...

Really 3:46? Must not be much more, or they would have taught you to keep your trap shut if you didn't have anything nice to say.

On another note, the DVRs will talk to each other and play each others content. But you can't delete remote recordings. Annoying.

Anonymous said...

Duh, that's $2,400 a year people! Hello?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 5:27

They told me not to suffer fools gladly. Thus I speak out when I see something ridiculous. I mean an HD interface is ridiculous to want. It is just the interface.

Anonymous said...

After about 24 months of belt-tightening, people just can't stand it anymore !
We are getting back to instant gratification at any cost; buy it even if you can't afford it.

People now seem to believe that postponing the purchase of a non-essential service like a deluxe cable or satellite TV package amounts to a sacrifice.

HAH !

The woods are full of people who thought "it" was affordable.
Now, they await their time in front of a bankruptcy judge.

The acceptance of introductory prices such as are mentioned in this thread have me convinced that many have forgotten (or never cared to learn) the concept of value for the dollar.

As for me, I can easily afford $200.00 per month, but I refuse to do so because that Time-Warner product is way, way overpriced.

LW Jr.;
when you decided to promote this service, what were you thinking ?

hipQuest said...

@ Anon 5:34

I spend MY money the way I want, YOU spend your money the way you want. Why the "Duh"? What is hard about that?

I can honestly say my husband and I spend more than $300 a month on charitable endeavors. Can you?

Anonymous said...

So now you speak of how much you donate to charity.

Do you seek absolution ?

hipQuest said...

@ Anon 6:29

Absolution? No. Nor do I go to church and tithe. I spend my money as I see fit and presume you do the same. I have great cable/internet/phone and am very happy. I'm sorry if your experience is less than mine, whoever your provider is...

Anonymous said...

So you and your husband spend more than $300 per month on charitable endeavors.

DUH ! That's more than $3600 a year people !!!

NOW- Go pay your cable bill.

Anonymous said...

For all of those who complained, you can always watch the local channels for free, go to the library to check your e-mail, and who needs a phone anyway?

That is the best deal going.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip !

hipQuest said...

I really wish these "anonymous" posters were not so anonymous. I am very blessed that my husband and I work our booties off, we are lucky to see about half of our earned pay. I can afford and choose to pay a price for a service that I find reasonable.

Ready to watch the bobble head?

Anonymous said...

For anyone that needs cables please check out www.firefold.com. They are a local company just about 2 minutes north of Concord Mills. Great people and great service!

Anonymous said...

Our politicos are getting some nice perks from these companies to keep it almost impossible for there to be any kiind of competition in the cable industry. They'll keep eliminating the start-ups so the big monopolies can name whatever price they want for the "connectivity" that we're all buying into. Probably won't be that long before the $179/month sounds real good. (But then I'd never go back to TWC because of the extra fees and dreadful service, but that's another story....)

hipQuest said...

I would like to thank;
CharlieDish
JasonD
wiley
J
discourser
pincher
John

for signing a name to their opinion.

I don't agree with you all but I love that you choose to live your life as something other that "anonymous".

Anonymous said...

You assume a Hell-of-a-lot hipQuest.
I don't live my life as "Anonymous";
I get bills in my name every month and I pay them in full- every month.
-And I save money every month-
As for me, I post as "Anonymous" because I refuse to register with Google.

Now- about this entertainment package.

The price and contract suck by design.
TWC sucks by choice.
Sounds and looks pretty much like something designed and implemented by Center City Partners and The Charlotte observer.

Mr Wireless said...

OMG the price and you still get commercials! Best thing we ever did was put up a $50 antenna. Best quality HDTV signal, period. We now have more PBS channels thanks to subchannels that cable/dish don't offer. With a $150 bluray player, as now they're so cheap since I don't have to pay for cable monthly, that streams too with Netflix for $11/mth....commercial free! All I need is decent internet too - nothing near 50/5. W/the savings, I can put money in my pocket.

Anonymous said...

Got rid of TWC as soon as I was eliable for AT&T U-Verse at my house. I have no contract and I have my cable, internet and cell phone on one bill. I aslo have the nfl network and 10 times better picture then I ever got with TWC. TWC gives there customers nothing but higher bills.

Shaun said...

Really? $179.00 is the promotional price? I don't spend that much on food. Even for a bundled service 179.00 should be the everyday price, and the promo price should be $99. Working at DISH Network I see people go for these "bundles" a lot, you can still save more money by keeping your service separate, because you ahve more flexibility in the service, and with DISH Network, your Television with DVR isn't going to go over $60.00 a month(depending on if you a movie junkie like me). Especially for $179.00. I could get all three and have enough left over for pizza a few times a month.

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