If you have Spectrum for cable or internet, be prepared for another rate hike this month. And even "cord cutters" who don't have TV packages will be hit by this one.
We found workers in downtown Cincinnati complaining about a letter or email notice they received about an Oct. 6 rate increase (customers locked in to a one year package will see rates increase when their contract expires).
Laura Spring said she and her husband got a letter about the increase.
"So we are actually trying to see other ways to get our TV besides Spectrum," Spring said.
She is is wondering if Cincinnati Bell Fioptics TV is an option in her neighborhood.
Larry Ingram also wonders if he has another option.
"They are telling me that's the best they can give me," Ingram said. "Now they are going up. I've got to find something new."
Spectrum confirms to WCPO its three popular TV tiers --Select, Silver and Gold -- are each rising $8 a month in the Cincinnati market (Spectrum rates vary from city to city).
In a statement, spokesman Mike Hogan said:
- TV Select (the basic package) is rising from $64.99 to $72.49 "to reflect the rising cost of programming."
- The Broadcast TV Surcharge is rising from $11.99 to $13.50/month "to reflect the continually and rapidly rising cost of local broadcast channels."
- Spectrum Mini Receivers are increasing from $7.49 to $7.99/month. "Even with this modest increase, our receivers are comparable or even lower than the price with our major competitors," Hogan explained.
- DVR fees are not increasing this year.
However, Hogan said, "even with these increases, our services are competitively priced and we provide our customers with superior products at a great value."
All this means the average customer should see a $10 to $12 a month increase in their bill.
Cord cutters not exempt
If you are someone who uses Spectrum only for its high speed internet, however, don't think you are in the clear.
Spectrum is also raising rates $5 a month for cord cutters too.
Hogan said "Spectrum Internet for customers who do not subscribe to Spectrum TV Select or above, Mi Plan Latino or Lifestyle TV increases from $65.99 to $69.99/month. Our price reflects our investments in a better connectivity experience and improved network quality and reliability."
How to fight the rate hike
So what can you do?
If you still have a cable package, ask about downgrading, such as from Gold to Silver. You'll lose some channels but you can cut that bill $20 a month.
Or drop the TV and just subscribe to Spectrum internet for $69 a month, like Janet Collins.
"We no longer have a cable bill because we canceled our cable in favor of streaming," Collins said.
Then set up an antenna to get Channel 9, its subchannels like Court TV, and all other Cincinnati stations free of charge, and stream movies on Netflix or Amazon as Josh Reed does.
"You have Netflix you have Hulu you have YouTube, you have options now," Reed said.
And if you have fiber lines with Cincinnati Bell Fioptics TV in your neighborhood (Bell's Fiber to the Pole is now in more than 60% of the Cincinnati viewing area), you now have a major competitor to Spectrum, and can compare the two services so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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