Cable television

The optimum increases the prices of cable television. Here is how I saved $ 30 per month.


If you’re an Optimum customer, watching TV is going to cost you more in 2020.

In some cases, much more.

The price of some of Optimum’s most popular plans increases by $ 20 or $ 30 per month starting Feb. 1, according to the company’s website and the inserts that were added to customer invoices this month.

The $ 30 increase means $ 360 more per year. A $ 20 price increase means $ 240 more out of your pocket each year.

But if you ask for it, you could get a reprieve, even temporarily. More on that in a moment.

The $ 30 per month increase (actually, it’s $ 30.04 – because Optimum really needed to charge customers that extra four cents too?) The plan now costs $ 89.95 per month , but in February, it will cost you $ 119.99 per month.

That’s a monthly increase of over 33%.

Optimum Premier, which is actually a higher tier package and includes movie channels as well as many sports channels and even the World Fishing Network channel, increases by $ 20 per month to $ 129.99 from the current cost of 109. , $ 95 per month.

An increase of 18%.

The other Optimum packages will also cost more.

Optimum Preferred, for example, which offers the popular Disney Channel, as well as Hallmark, Teen Nick and BBC World News, will drop from $ 74.95 per month to $ 94.99.

You can see the full list of price changes and what each plan includes here on the Optimum website. Check the fine print under the larger price list for details on the increases.

NJ Advance Media reached out to Altice, who said the price increases displayed are the company’s standard rates, but may not apply if you are receiving multi-product discounts or package pricing.

Translation? Different customers will pay different amounts for the same services.

The spokesperson essentially regurgitated the language found on customer bills: “Our recent price adjustments reflect the increase in the cost of programming, which continues to impact pay TV pricing across the country. sector. We continue to invest in our network and services to bring more value to our customers, including launching faster broadband speeds and enhancing our Altice One platform, and we offer a variety of broadband and video plans. to meet all needs and budgets.

Is it worth $ 20 or $ 30 more per month for cable TV?

The spokesperson said customers should visit a page that offers “more information about the value and benefits we offer, from Altice Mobile to our network investments and more.”

MY CONSUMER HAT

After NJ Advance Media contacted Altice, I decided to call a second time, but this time I called the 800 number as a client – not as a reporter – which the Bamboozled column has already done.

My family is an Optimum customer with cable TV, the Internet, and a cable phone line. While we know we’re probably paying too much, we’ve always been happy with the service – although it has slipped somewhat since Altice bought Cablevision in June 2016. My husband and I talked about cutting the cord, but neither of us were willing to take the time to do the necessary research.

Maybe now is the time.

While I was on hold, I pulled out my last bill. There was a page insert titled “February 2020 Prices and Packages”. He gave a price list for each package – the prices increased – without comparing it to what customers are currently paying.

Nowhere does it say “Hey, we’re raising the prices”.

But elsewhere on the invoice, on the second page (and let’s be honest, many customers don’t go beyond the first page to see what they owe and when it’s due) the fine print says, “Like the requests on our network and programming costs increase, the standards and costs of providing world-class products and services continue to increase. While we strive to minimize the impact on you, price adjustments will be made to select Optimum rates, effective on your February bill There will be no more than $ 14.50 increase from your current monthly rate.

It’s different from what the pricing table says, but okay.

After about five minutes, a representative came on the line. After checking my account he confirmed that yes my bill would increase by $ 20.04 next month.

As a consumer columnist, I’m well aware that there are often discounts available to consumers if they just ask, especially if you’re threatening to cancel a service. So I used this knowledge to see what the business might be willing to do to keep the business family owned.

I politely told the rep it was a ridiculous increase and I could cancel. I then asked if there was anything he could do to mitigate the damage. He said he couldn’t, but I could speak to the “Cancellation and Retention Department”. I asked if there was a separate number I could call, and he said no. But he could transfer me.

“Yes, please,” I said.

After another nine minutes of waiting, I spoke to a very friendly representative.

I explained my anger and dissatisfaction with the increase, noting that I have been a loyal customer for over 20 years and do not blame the rep for the increase – of course, this is the company and not her fault – but come on… are you doing anything, throwing me a bone, to keep me from leaving?

He put me on hold to review the account.

On his return he said, “Let me see what I can do to help you with the prices. Let me see what offers we might have for you.

He put me back on hold, and I waited with pleasure.

The rep came back and said, “Starting today, I will reduce your bill by $ 45 per month. “

He said it looked like the monthly increase in the TV portion of my bill would have been around $ 14, not the $ 20.04 confirmed by the first rep. But still, with this offer, I will save about $ 30 per month, net.

The offer is only valid for one year, so it’s a stopgap.

I contacted the spokesperson for Altice again to share my experience as a consumer, but there was no response.

I’ll research my options and see how much we could save by cutting the cord permanently without losing the programming I want.

In the meantime, I hope you add your successes and failures to the comments section.

Also let us know how it goes if you contact the company.

AN UPDATE

After this story was posted on NJ.com, an Altice spokesperson sent an email with a clarification.

She said the reason my family’s rate is increasing by $ 14 instead of $ 20 is that “depending on the language of your bill, we cap any bill increases to minimize the impact of our rate card changes on the bill. our existing customers. No customer bill will increase by more than $ 14, and some will see increases less than that. “

She said that it is not correct to say that some customer bills will increase by $ 20 to $ 30.

“These are changes to our rate card and not what customers are going through,” she said. “Customers will see their respective price changes on their invoices based on their plan and the price adjustments we offer. ”

Have you been scoffed at? Contact Karin Price Mueller at Bamboozled@NJAdvanceMedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KPMueller. Find Bamboozled on Facebook. Mueller is also the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.