Opinion: Massena town supervisor blasts Spectrum for rate hike, lack of options
Friday, August 4, 2017 - 6:14 am

To the Editor:

This letter was sent to Charter Communications regarding more Spectrum Cable rate increases that went into effect this week.

In response to your July 21, 2017, letter advising me that rates for Spectrum cable customers are once again increasing, I must go on record as saying I am disappointed in your company’s unjustified additional charges.

Perhaps I am an optimist, but my hope was the once Time Warner Cable was out of the picture due to the merger with Charter, cable customers would be getting a bit of a break fro this continued onslaught of higher rates.

Quite honestly, your attempt to explain the most recent hike is laughable. You wrote that a “Broadcast TV Surcharge” jump from $6.05 to $7.50 reflects the costs incurred from local Broadcast TV stations.” So, I take that to mean some of the millions of dollars profit Spectrum will reap from this increase will go to local stations like WPBS, WWNY, WPTZ and WWTI?

If that is the case, I suspect the local stations portion will be minuscule at best. Can you provide me with figures as to how much of that increase will go to these local stations. I am anxious to see how much benefit they will receive.

Moreover, Spectrum insults all of your customers with the $1 increase in rent for Spectrum Cable receivers. This increase will be per receiver per month — again in multi-million dollar windfall for Spectrum.

Your billing message says, “At Spectrum, we continue to enhance our services, offer more of the best entertainment choices and deliver the best value. We are committed to offering you products and services we are sure you will enjoy.”

Frankly, Spectrum offers only the services the company wants to offer, while disregarding demands for more individualized services and better, more capable equipment. Your digital video recorders have less recording capability than satellite or web-based service. Likewise, your customers who want a specific channel are forced to buy “bundles” of channels they do not want and never view.

Moreover, Spectrum takes advantage of the lack of cable competition to indiscriminately raises rates and withhold more individualized services your customers want. It is not surprising that more and more people are walking away from cable. One can only assume they are tired of being misused.

Joseph D. Gray

Massena town supervisor