I received a mailer advertisement for Time Warner Cable’s SignatureHome Package the other day. I must say that the design of the advertisement was well thought out.
The ad comes on glossy black paper, so you know it has to be a classy deal. In theory, all the things you get in the package are great: 2 HD-DVRs with your standard cable package, 50Mbps down/5Mbps up Internet access, the digital voice service they offer, and supposedly the ultimate kiss-your-ass service money can buy.
They also made a fancy video ad obviously geared towards the modernly rich. I personally like how everything is moving in slow motion, making it appear classier, but once you take a step back and realize how unrealistic and unnecessary this is, you can appreciate its absurdity.
This SignatureHome package comes at the bargain rate of $200/month. I already have a tough time stomaching paying my Internet bill to Time Warner for $80/month. Like many people, I was paying well over $100/month, and I only had the most basic phone service they offer and 30Mbps/5Mbps Internet.
I was able to widdle down my bill by switching over to an Internet-based phone service called Ooma. They offer a phone line at NO CHARGE, except for about $4/month that goes to various governmental taxes that are unavoidable (legally).
So instead of paying Time Warner Cable $45/month for a phone line, I have reduced that cost to about $4/month. You may think that the free service of Ooma cannot stand up to the $45/month service of TWC, and you would be right in the sense it doesn’t offer all the same features; however, Ooma Premier DOES offer the same features and more at only $10/mo. It just depends on what your needs are. I opted to have the most basic service, but if you have other features you would like to add, go for the Premier service and still save yourself almost $30 every month you don’t use TWC.
Traditional cable television as we have know it is well on its way out. More and more movies and shows are being streamed on the Internet through the broadcasting companies themselves, Hulu, Netflix, and a number of others emerging in this booming market.
Think you need cable for sports? The Internet has also allowed for sports lovers to pay only for the games they want instead of paying a massive all-encompassing cable bill. So to me, having all this media at our fingertips and paying for cable is like paying for free parking.
I was thinking about the real reasoning behind this ad push, and ultimately came to this realization: Time Warner Cable lost 169,000 subscribers in the 2nd quarter of this year marking 10 straight quarters of subscriber losses. Time Warner Cable is clearly trying to keep people by coupling their services into a shiny new package, but realistically, I do not see them gaining any long-term stability from this new offer.
As soon as fiber is available to me from Verizon via FIOS, I will be cutting my Time Warner Cable cord. I will then pay the same amount that I am now, but for 50Mbps down/25Mbps up instead of the 30Mbps down/5Mbps up TWC can offer me at that price. That will +1 the subscriber loss number for TWC, and I will feel really good about not giving them any more money.
I don’t like Verizon any more than TWC, but if they can give me something better for the same price and keep my connection active all the time, then I would gladly give them the business.
Coincidentally, when I was formulating this blog post, my Time Warner Cable Internet service was disrupted 6 times in a single day (November 24th)…what a piece of shit.