Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"I'm over my bytes!"

It has come to my attention that Time Warner cable will be charging different rates for its Internet access and will be putting caps on the amount of bandwidth a customer uses. A trial for this testing has began in the Beaumont area of Texas.

A user from reddit.com sent an e-mail to their Time Warner headquarters in their area to complain about this. I believe he put it in the best words possible:

It has come to my attention that you are considering switching to a Pay Per GB model for your Internet Access. I'm emailing you to inform you that if you choose to go the route that your National Office is suggesting I will absolutely cancel my service and switch to an inferior product with no bandwidth limitations.

Setting Limitations on internet use is short sighted. It also alienates your customer base that, by and large, actually enjoys your services as it is usually problem free. Although, it seems that only 5% of your users are using a majority of your bandwidth, these same 5% are the ones that ultimately dictate who use your services.

That 5% are the people that are asked "Which internet service provider should I use?" and if you alienate those customer, their likely not going to suggest your service. Furthermore, as the internet is expanding so are the requirements to get that content. It would seem that this could be a huge PR win for you if in a sea of questionable practices from competitors you take the higher road insuring your customers are happy and ecstatic with the service you provide.

Overall i think this is a poor move and one that is already being led by skepticism in the tech community [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080603-40gb-for-55-per-month-time-warner-bandwidth-caps-arrive.html]. Put your customers first and i'm sure you'll see they'll reward you in the long run.


UPDATE:

I sent the above letter to my local Time Warner HQ.

I was given a reply:

Thank you for your recent inquiry to Time Warner Cable.

In reference to your inquiry, Metered Internet Access is currently being
offered in the Texas region only.

Regrettably, at this time we have no additional information regarding
this service being offered in the New York City region.

Please refer to our website @ www.twcnyc.com for any future plans,
services and news updates.

Thank you again for your inquiry.

Sincerely,

Customer Support
Time Warner Cable





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