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scottish2
October 23rd, 2007, 07:07 PM
Hi All

Am moving to Manhattan within next few weeks and we started looking at things like cable and internet and my wife stumbled across a huge complaint list for time Warner and wondered what folks here think of their services?

Good?
Bad?
Typical Big Corporate service? Meaning all for them and to heck with the customer!

Also what alternatives are there for upper manhattan for internet and Cable that are realiable?

We use a Cell so don't need phone service but wondering what good alternatives there are for these basic services.

Right now we're paying roughly $30 each for each serv ice where we currently are so looking to stay roughly the same price range. Doesn't make sense to pay more for a service offered by some companies fairly reasonable.

TIA!

ManhattanKnight
October 23rd, 2007, 08:07 PM
Unless you are in a building that is served by RCN, a relatively small operator that is not a true cable company, Time Warner is your only option (it has the exclusive cable franchise for Manhattan). This LINK (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/html/consumer/consumer_cable.shtml) will take you to an informational web site maintained by the City agency responsible for such things. Look through the FAQs. Unless you're ok with DSL for internet access, you're not going to get broadband for $30/month. My monthly Time Warner hit (for TV and broadband, no phone) is $175. Welcome to NY!

Front_Porch
October 23rd, 2007, 09:06 PM
Time Warner is typical big corporate service. It works most of the time, then it doesn't, and they shrug their shoulders, and then it works again.

Sometimes big buildings get discounts that they pass on to their buyers/tenants -- I was just thinking $175 sounds high, and then I realize my building may be subsidizing me.

But word on the street is that RCN, even though it may be cheaper, is worse.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

ManhattanKnight
October 23rd, 2007, 09:20 PM
Eventually, Time Warner should be getting some competition (and downward pricing pressure) if and when Verizon rolls out its FiOS network (Google "FiOS" if you don't know what that is). Right now, that's limited to Staten Island (and maybe some parts of Queens) and doesn't include TV (last I heard, Verizon and the City were still negotiating a TV franchise agreement). Verizon has been running TV ads for quite some time in NYC claiming that it offers TV. Not true for NYC.

scottish2
October 25th, 2007, 11:01 PM
Thanks!

And I hope they get some competition as I hate having only one company to deal with. Hate monopolies all that's good for is the company. :mad:

BrooklynRider
October 26th, 2007, 12:27 AM
Time Warner is the worst. I finally got rid of cable TV rather than have to deal with them another day in my life.

scottish2
October 26th, 2007, 06:00 AM
Well that is what I've heard but I bet Charter our current cable provider in NC can give them a run for their money. Their another big company that has all he bells and wistles and are a pain to deal with. Seems every 6-12 months I have to call back in or my bill goes up because the package I have expires. Seems they don't have one simple inexpensive package that lasts the time you're at a location. Is a real pain. Took me filling a complaint with better Business to get some one from the company that could square away my bill when we first signed on with them. Seems every 2 months my deal was expiring when it was suppose to be a 6 month deal at the time.

Has anyone had an experience with Satalitle companeis in the area? We had one awhile back but didn't use often as it was for my father in law to get his Japanese shows and such but that was awhile back but has anyone used anything recently? How is the service and was it hard to get your community to allow Satalite? I know they don't have a choice in the mattger but even then I know from down south some can still be a hassle about allowing it even though they don't really have a choice. If so how is their service and whats the name so I can look into them.

NewYorkDoc
October 26th, 2007, 11:30 AM
I don't pay for cable myself. I just stick with the 11 free channels, good for those who don't watch much T.V.

scottish2
October 26th, 2007, 12:59 PM
I don't personally watch much TV and once I move will be 12 hours less a week due to the fact i'll go to the morning show rather then watch it on TV but problem is the channels I do tend to watrch are cable channels. IE: History, Travel, PBS, National Geographic so am sort of stuck with cable in order to get these channels.

econ_tim
October 29th, 2007, 09:52 AM
October 29, 2007

F.C.C. Set to End Sole Cable Deals for Apartments

By STEPHEN LABATON (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/stephen_labaton/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 —The Federal Communications Commission (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/federal_communications_commission/index.html?inline=nyt-org), hoping to reduce the rising costs of cable television, is preparing to strike down thousands of contracts this week that gave individual cable companies exclusive rights to provide service to an apartment building, the agency’s chairman says.
The new rule could open markets across the country to far-ranging competition. It would also be a huge victory for Verizon Communications (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/verizon_communications_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and AT&T (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/at_and_t/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which have challenged the cable industry by offering their own video services. The two companies have lobbied aggressively for the provision. They have been supported in their fight by consumer groups, satellite television companies and small rivals to the big cable providers.
Commission officials and consumer groups said the new rule could significantly lower cable prices for millions of subscribers who live in apartment buildings and have had no choice in selecting a company for paid television. Government and private studies show that when a second cable company enters a market, prices can drop as much as 30 percent.
The change, which is set to be approved Wednesday, is expected to have a particular effect on prices for low-income and minority families. They have seen cable prices rise about three times the rate of inflation over the last decade. A quarter of American households live in apartment buildings housing 50 or more residents, but 40 percent of households headed by Hispanics and African-Americans live in such buildings.
“Exclusive contracts have been one of the most significant barriers to competition,” Kevin J. Martin, chairman of the commission, said in an interview. Cable prices have risen “about 93 percent in the last 10 years,” he said. “This is a way to introduce additional competition, which will result in lower prices and greater innovation.”
The decision is the latest in a series of actions by the commission under Mr. Martin to put pressure on cable companies to lower their rates and make their markets more competitive. In December, in a 3-to-2 decision, the commission approved a proposal by Mr. Martin to force municipalities to accelerate the local approval process for the telephone companies to enter new markets. The phone companies had asserted that many municipalities had been delaying approvals, often in the face of cable industry lobbying.
Last month, the commission approved a rule that requires the largest cable companies to provide programs produced by their affiliates to all of their rivals, including the phone companies and satellite television companies. The commission is also considering a proposal to make it less expensive for independent programmers to lease channels from cable companies.
Mr. Martin has also pressed the cable companies to offer so-called à la carte plans that would permit subscribers to buy individual channels, or groups of channels, at lower rates than they now pay.
The new rule would shift the bargaining power over cable and broadband services to apartment residents from landlords and tenant associations. It has been long sought by consumer groups as part of a broader effort to cut prices to the roughly 100 million households that pay for access to television.
The change would be an abrupt reversal for the commission, which only four years ago ruled that such exclusive agreements sometimes actually promoted competition by giving landlords the leverage to negotiate for the best terms.
Commission officials said they had prohibited other exclusive contracts involving telecommunications, including those in commercial buildings, but trade groups representing cable companies and building owners have indicated they may challenge the commission’s move in court.
Commission officials said the rule aims to put an end to some common practices of landlords and tenant associations that have deprived tenants of choices. They said that in many communities, there has been only one cable provider, and while landlords and tenant associations could select a satellite television provider, the competition from those companies has not led to lower cable prices.
The cable companies have also managed to shut out competition by signing long-term exclusive deals. The officials said they hoped that opening the apartment doors to the telephone companies, which offer the same packages of television, broadband and phone services as the cable companies, would force the cable companies to cut their rates.
A few states, including New York, have laws that either restrict or prohibit a landlord or tenant association from entering into an exclusive contract with a cable company. But most states have no such laws, and no state has struck down existing exclusive contracts. Commission officials, consumer groups and rival companies maintain that even in those states like New York with access laws, the rules are not uniformly enforced. They said a federal regulation would fix that.
In one area alone, Hilton Head, S.C., a small cable provider, the Hargray CATV Company, has been battling for two years with its larger rival, Time Warner (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/time_warner_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which claims to have an exclusive contract forever to provide service in developments to more than 20,000 customers. Similar battles have been waged between other cable companies and rivals involving buildings across the country.
Moreover, consumer groups said the number of lengthy exclusive contracts appears to have increased in recent months as AT&T and Verizon have begun to expand their video services and as the commission has indicated it might intervene to ban exclusive arrangements.
“For people in apartment buildings, this could be the most significant step towards bringing down cable prices,” said Gene Kimmelman, vice president for federal affairs at the Consumers Union (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/consumers_union/index.html?inline=nyt-org). “Most people in apartment buildings have been subject to a monopoly provider, with little or no local control and no federal control over pricing. This is the most significant step regulators can take short of regulating prices.”
But large cable companies, as well as associations representing building owners and tenant groups, said the change would fundamentally alter the economics of cable television in apartments in ways that would be harmful to consumers. They are threatening to challenge the commission in court.
“It is both unlawful and, as a matter of public policy, wholly inappropriate and counterproductive for the commission to bar cable operators from enforcing existing exclusive contracts,” said Daniel L. Brenner, a senior vice president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the cable industry’s main trade association in Washington. “Exclusive contracts and building-by-building competition can, in fact, promote investment, efficiency and competition.”
The commission and trade groups said they did not know the precise number of contracts, though they estimated the amount to be in the thousands.
The cable industry and the owner associations said the cable companies were often granted exclusive rights to buildings after agreeing to make major capital investments in upgrading systems, and that a new rule striking the exclusivity clauses would be an illegal taking of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
“The F.C.C.’s approach is wrongheaded,” said Jim Arbury, senior vice president for government affairs at the National Multi-Housing Council, which represents about 1,000 owners, managers and developers. “They think that banning exclusives means there will be more competition, when the fact is that exclusive contracts play a definite role in the area of promoting competition.”
He continued: “It allows the apartment owner to play the various providers off against each other and get the best deal for residents in terms of quality and price.”
Commission officials say that the agency has previously prohibited exclusive contracts in other telecommunications areas, and that the courts have upheld such restrictions.
The commission has, for instance, prohibited exclusive contracts for telecommunications services in commercial buildings. It has also required telephone companies that provide service to apartments to offer access to their wires to rival companies.

scottish2
October 29th, 2007, 11:15 AM
Econ

Don't have time to read the entire article at the moment as heading out but do you know when this would take effect? I see their hoping to strike it down this week but would that mean these other companies could move into the area immediately meaning lets say for instance manhattan. Someone here said that Time Warner is pretty much it for Manhattan. Would this mean that if they strike this down this week that next week Verizon or AT&T (Not that I would ever use AT&T) could also move into Manhattan imediately or might this take additional time. Obviously depends I am sure on what the other companies have in place for operations and such.

Just curious? And thanks will read it in full when I return.

ManhattanKnight
October 29th, 2007, 11:27 AM
You should read the article. This development is of little or no importance for Manhattan cable TV customers.

scottish2
October 29th, 2007, 02:05 PM
Well like I said was heading out just after I got the response alert so didn't have time to read it.

That said I have now and got a sort of laugh from it as one area they mentioned was Hilton Head Island SC where I have lived for the last 16 years so know of this battle between Hargray and Time Warner.

But these exclusive contracts really need to be made illegal cause they only work right for the company. Companies that don't have to worry about competition in an area have no interest in keeping prices low as they have no competition to force them to keep it low to compete hence exclusive contracts of this nature only help the corporations.

Got a laugh though have to wonder who it is saying such rediculous things. Like near end their talking 5th amendment right. What right this is a corporation not an individual. If they gamble and lose that's their fault. They in my view don't have a right to say you're now stealing our stuff because we wanted to treat the consumer as if he/she didn't matter. They gambled and they lost plain and simple. They can still use those lines they just would now have compeition. Any goods companies gonna yopgrade their lines anyways so they are alset.

tommym
May 10th, 2012, 12:53 AM
Time Warner is typical big corporate service. It works most of the time, then it doesn't, and they shrug their shoulders, and then it works again.

Sometimes big buildings get discounts that they pass on to their buyers/tenants -- I was just thinking $175 sounds high, and then I realize my building may be subsidizing me.

But word on the street is that RCN, even though it may be cheaper, is worse.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

I've had RCN for many years here. Last year I switched to Verizon, and that lasted about 2 months. The only RCN problems I've had were 1) the building (not RCN themselves) was doing rewiring work, and constantly were severing the connections for Internet and Phone by mistake. and 2) for a period, HD channels 4 and 5 were cutting out (just in time for Giants games, btw!) - but it turned out that that was because the wrong splitter was wired in. So I switched to a non-resistive one (took 90 seconds) and since then, there have been 0 problems. I'm not sure who provided that splitter, it may not even have been the RCN tech. Speaking of Tech, their support if very patient - which can be doubly frustrating if you have a problem. But they do try. Plus every once in a while, especially if you are a business customer, you get lucky and get an American Geek on the Support Line. They're knowledgeable. Not that the sweet Phillipina one isn't - but the American Geeks are especially good.
The rates have gone up to $140/month for triple play here on Upper West Side Manhattan with RCN. Not for the Maxxed out channels, but for a fair amount of channels. I thought this was high, until I just read that with Time Warner, it's between $175 and $200 a month, which makes RCN look even better by comparison.
Time Warner is aggressively instituting a price war; offering 2 years for $79 a month (!) (probably with tons of extra taxes and fees added to that, but I haven't seen the documents yet.) Tempting, but with all the bad reviews, I'm hesitant to go over to them.
That's my end of the story. Good luck!:D

scottish2
May 10th, 2012, 06:41 AM
I've had RCN for many years here. Last year I switched to Verizon, and that lasted about 2 months. The only RCN problems I've had were 1) the building (not RCN themselves) was doing rewiring work, and constantly were severing the connections for Internet and Phone by mistake. and 2) for a period, HD channels 4 and 5 were cutting out (just in time for Giants games, btw!) - but it turned out that that was because the wrong splitter was wired in. So I switched to a non-resistive one (took 90 seconds) and since then, there have been 0 problems. I'm not sure who provided that splitter, it may not even have been the RCN tech. Speaking of Tech, their support if very patient - which can be doubly frustrating if you have a problem. But they do try. Plus every once in a while, especially if you are a business customer, you get lucky and get an American Geek on the Support Line. They're knowledgeable. Not that the sweet Phillipina one isn't - but the American Geeks are especially good.
The rates have gone up to $140/month for triple play here on Upper West Side Manhattan with RCN. Not for the Maxxed out channels, but for a fair amount of channels. I thought this was high, until I just read that with Time Warner, it's between $175 and $200 a month, which makes RCN look even better by comparison.
Time Warner is aggressively instituting a price war; offering 2 years for $79 a month (!) (probably with tons of extra taxes and fees added to that, but I haven't seen the documents yet.) Tempting, but with all the bad reviews, I'm hesitant to go over to them.
That's my end of the story. Good luck!:D

Tommy do you know if RCN is a city wide service as I am currently using Verizon myself have been since 2008 and have been getting sick and tired of talking to Tech Supervisors as the first line call answerers are typically useless and we have had an on going issue with verizon as they have issues with their equipment and never properly fix the issues.

Good example A weekend ago I called on Saturday ( April 28 ) and after starting out with the first person I asked for his supervisor and the supervisor found out there was a report of service outage again in our area. he reported it and it did get fixed......for one lousy day as it took them a day or two to fix it and Monday it was fine but by Tuesday evening it was dead yet again.. This is the typical BS we go through with Verizon. The issue is always on their end as typically the local area is affected.

On top of all that they constantly have been trying to raise my bill to what seems to be the only package they have for the speed range we get and I find this package appalling to say the lease. The package with taxes comes to about $44 a month but the speed range is appalling. 1MBPS up to 15 MBPS and in this area we are lucky to get 2 - 2.5 MBPS range. What appalls me is why should I pay the same rate as some one getting 7 times my speed just because Verizon refuses to upgrade old and obsolete equipment. If they were upgrading equipment it would not be breaking down as often as it does and we would certainly be getting better speeds. They don't even offer FIOS in this area is how slow they are at upgrading as one agent I talked to said they don't off FIOS in the area I live.

But do you know if RCN is available city-wide?