Viewers, Time Warner Respond To Road Runner Rate Change
Posted February 26, 2002
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two weeks ago, Five On Your Side told the story of a Time Warner customer who was angry that the company lowered its Road Runner rate, but did not automatically adjust bills. It seems that she was not the only one.
Lots of people responded to the story through e-mail, and
said that 500 customers called to take advantage of the rate change, saving a combined $7,500.
Chris Rasmussen called it "a ripoff." She was paying almost $60 a month for Time Warner's
high-speed Internet service because she did not also subscribe to its cable service. Customers who have both pay $45 a month -- $15 less.
Four months ago, Time Warner lowered its Road Runner price to $45 a month for its customers, whether they subscribed to cable or not.
Rasmussen described her conversation with a Time Warner representative:
"I said 'When did that start?' And they said 'Oh, October 1.' And I said 'How come I haven't seen anything change in my bill?' And they said 'Oh, you have to call up and ask for it.' And I said 'What? You have to call up and ask?'"
Based on the e-mail Five On Your Side received after airing Rasmussen's story, it appears that she was not the only one who did not know about the change.
Todd wrote that he had the "same exact problem" and feels Time Warner is being "misleading." Becky "upgraded" her cable just to get the "lower rate" and had "no idea" the policy changed.
"We've been very open and honest with our customers," said Time Warner spokesman Brad Phillips.
In Five On Your Side's first story, Phillips said that the company's advertising was sufficient.
"We've answered the questions when we receive their calls, we put the pricing out for them to take advantage of, and again, if a customer calls us and wants to take advantage of a new promotion or a new price, we encourage them to do that," he said.
That was not the experience of some WRAL viewers who said that they tried to get the lower price. They said that they were told the lower price was for "new subscribers only" or they were told they "could not change."
Another viewer said that she was told that if she reduced her cable service, her Road Runner price "would increase." Another commented, "You can bet if their rates went up, my bill would have."
Rasmussen said that she is just angry about the whole situation.
"Somebody's getting taken advantage of here, and I just think that Time Warner really should clean up its act," she said.
Tuesday, Phillips apologized for any "confusion" and for customer service representatives who obviously were not clear on the company's policy.
Several viewers told Five On Your Side that representatives promised to issue back credit for the months they paid the higher Road Runner rate, but Phillips said that will not happen.