I know many of you thought that the whole Time Warner Cable tiered service debacle was behind us because they had “listened to their customers’ feedback” and scrapped the new rate plan. But Apparently they were just going back to lawyer-up.
Unnoticed by most all of us this month was a very very tiny font modification to their terms of service included in the most recent bill. Apparently by paying the bill, you’ve agreed to the new terms. What you agreed to is:
6. Special Provisions Regarding HSD Service
In essence, we’ve all agreed that they can impose the rate caps, charge us overage fees, change us to different rate plans if we go over the cap, throttle our service, or pretty much anything else. Note that this applies retroactively, so those of you who are “locked-in” to a rate for some period are not exempt from this either.
Most telling is that what is exempted from potential caps is their own Digital TV and VoIP phone service. To be clear, these services hog up the same precious bandwidth they claim to be so short of. So apparently they don’t have the bandwidth to cope with you watching Netflix online, but their Movies on Demand service works just fine. Similarly, your use of Skype or Vonage is killing them, so maybe you should sign up for TW Phone service. They’ve pretty much just confessed to this being an effort to give them a competitive advantage for their non-ISP services.
It would also seem they have pretty well limited their customer’s rights to do any more than just whine. And in non-competitive markets, that’s about all they can do. The only recourse will likely be legislative, and I’m sure their lobbyists are hard at woirk already making sure the government won’t step in here to help. It would seem our only recourse is to hope that some other high speed service opts to come into the area. But that will be years away at best. In the meantime, BOHICA.