Surprise! Time Warner Has Been Ripping You Off

Allegedly. But most likely.

Photo: Travis Wise/Flickr

Isn’t it nice when a lawsuit confirms that your internet service provider has been gas-lighting you for months? I can answer with confidence that yes, it’s amazing, because when I read the news that the New York Attorney General was filing a lawsuit against Time Warner for allegedly lying to their customers about fast internet speeds, I yelped with joy.

Time Warner Cable Allegedly Charged 5 Million People For Internet Speeds It Couldn’t Deliver

“The allegations in today’s lawsuit confirm what millions of New Yorkers have long suspected — Spectrum-Time Warner Cable has been ripping you off,” said Eric Schneiderman, and boy oh boy, does it feel great to have confirmation from someone other than my mind that the promises of “speed” and “quality” coming from Time Warner were actually false.

According to Schneiderman, Time Warner executives preyed on the fact that for a lot of people, it was the only option “and that the technical complexity of deducing the problems would make it difficult for subscribers to pin the blame on the company.” As a Time Warner customer for the entire time I’ve lived in New York, I can attest to the fact trying to troubleshoot precisely why my internet was being slow or unresponsive was an activity that caused so much strife that my roommates forbade me from being the person to call Time Warner when the internet stopped working.

The lawsuit also alleges that Time Warner “was aware of, and sometimes deliberately created, bottlenecks at interconnection points, which resulted in slowdowns and disruptions to subscribers’ service.” Oh — they also “rigged speed test results” and purposely leased modems that weren’t capable of handing the speeds they advertised, leaving customers scratching their heads, then crying, then throwing something at the modem in frustration.

Naturally, this was all for the bottom line.

An investigation of corporate communications showed that customer service representatives were incentivized to persuade subscribers to sign up for high-speed plans by tying their pay to the revenue from the subscriptions.

But the lawsuit alleges subscriber speed tests showed the wired internet speeds for were up to 70% slower than promised and WiFi speeds were more than 80% slower. New York Time Warner Cable-Spectrum subscribers paid as much as $109.99 per month for the plans.

Honestly, I’m not that surprised because cable companies are definitely not my friend or anything like it, but I’m still mad! Or vindicated. Relieved, maybe, that what I suspected ALL ALONG was right.

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