The Lowdown: Spectrum provides some of the fastest cable internet service for consumers around the country. It is also one of the best internet service providers (ISPs) on the market. According to the FCC's annual report, Spectrum's download speeds are faster than Cox and Comcast. Spectrum also doesn't require a contract, so customers won't have to sign their lives away. However, not everything about Spectrum is great. The merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Spectrum has caused problems for their customers.
Spectrum Plans and Prices
Spectrum's pricing is not as straightforward as it should be. The company only has one internet-only plan. However, the pricing that is advertised is not for the internet-only plan.
The price advertised by internet service providers is almost never what customers end up paying. Spectrum is not any different. While their website advertises internet service at $29.99 a month, this price is only for customers that bundle their tv, phone, and internet service. While this isn't a bad deal, it's not exactly what is promised by Spectrum.
Finding Spectrum's internet-only price requires some effort. Customers will have to search Spectrum's website to find the pricing information. The internet-only option is $44.99 a month. That's $15 more than the price that is advertised on Spectrum's website. Basically, it's a 50% price increase from the $29.99 a month price.
While this pricing difference is a little off-putting, it's still not a bad price for internet with 60 Mbps download speeds. Depending on the location, customers may be able to get upgraded to a 100 Mbps plan at the same $44.99 price. The difference between the advertised price and the actual price is problematic. However, the service is still valuable. There are some ways for customers to reduce the monthly service price.
Most other ISPs have several plans for customers to choose from. Spectrum tends to keep it simple. Unfortunately, their plan offerings may be a bit too simple.
The variations in ISP pricing cannot get emphasized enough. However, most Spectrum customers can only choose one plan. When compared to other ISPs like Comcast's XFINITY, certain locations have six or more service plans. Spectrum only has one called Spectrum Internet.
Some ISPs will offer lower pricing if customers sign a long-term contract. While the pricing discounts are good, it comes at the cost of being trapped in a contract. Spectrum doesn't have long-term contracts. Customers can cancel Spectrum's service whenever they want without penalty. Having the ability to cancel Spectrum's service doesn't mean customers won't pay any fees. Customers no longer have to worry about early termination fees (ETF). Some internet service providers charge hundreds of dollars to customers who terminate their service early. So, doing away with the fees is a positive for Spectrum. The lack of fees also makes the service more attractive.
Unfortunately, Spectrum's pricing isn't consistent. The monthly price will increase over time. While price increases are something that other ISPs do; it's still an annoyance. Customers who manage to get a discount will notice that it's called a promotional rate on their monthly billing statement. Spectrum's discounts only last a year. After the first year, the price increases. After the second year, customers can expect another increase in pricing. There is no set amount for the increase, it varies from one customer to the next.
Even though Spectrum only has one internet plan, it still comes highly recommended. Most people start with 60 Mbps download speeds. It's 12 times the speed recommended by Netflix to use its HD service. Customers won't spend their time trying to watch Netflix be interrupted by buffering. Depending on the location, some customers may even be able to get speeds faster than 60 Mbps.
Spectrum's bundle special deserves a special mention. This bundle combines Spectrum's internet plan with Spectrum's tv service. For an additional $30 a month, customers can receive 175 channels. These channels include AMC, ESPN, and HBO. Viewers also have access to more than 10,000 movies and television shows using Spectrum's on-demand service.
Spectrum's Service Fees
Most ISPs charge fees. Finding an ISP without fees is like trying to find a unicorn. But it seems that Spectrum only has one or two service fees.
Wi-Fi Modem: Spectrum offers a Wi-Fi enabled modem. This modem is available at an additional charge of $5 a month.
Installation: Customers who order Spectrum's internet-only service may find themselves paying a $35 installation fee. However, anyone who orders tv and internet service will not pay for the installation. Customers who are only getting internet service may want to try to negotiate to get the installation fee waived.
Spectrum's Equipment Fees
Some internet service providers charge customers a fee to lease a modem. Spectrum does not have a modem fee. Customers who don't have a modem can use one from Spectrum. The modems may not be the greatest, but they come at no charge. Even though Spectrum's modems are free, there is a catch.
Spectrum's free modem is not Wi-Fi enabled, so customers will not be able to enjoy a wireless connection. Anyone who has a Wi-Fi router won't have to worry about getting one. Customers who need to use the Wi-Fi router/modem combo can do so for an additional $5 a month. Customers can buy their own modems. It is actually cheaper, in the long run, for Spectrum customers to purchase their own modems.
Anyone who chooses to buy their own router or router needs to make sure that it meets certain specifications. Check Spectrum's website to make sure that it is compatible with the service. It is advised that customers also speak with a customer service representative to double-check that their modem meets the required specifications.
Spectrum Data and Speed
Spectrum's data and speed will not leave customers disappointed. It was selected as the Best Cable Internet this year because it offers the fastest download speeds. Customers tend to care about download speeds. Spectrum gives customers exactly what the company advertises, 60 Mbps. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report, Spectrum provides customers with 100% of its advertised bandwidth.
The FCC report polled thousands of internet users and found that 80% of Spectrum customers experience the promised download speeds 80% of the time. The FCC refers to this measure as 80/80 speed. Why does this matter? It means that Spectrum delivers the speed it promises. Customers actually get what they are paying for. This is a big deal because most ISPs don’t give their customers the speeds that are advertised.
For example, Cox, another ISP, only gives 75% of its promised download speed when using this same 80/80 speed measurement. AT&T's DSL internet only delivered 45% of the advertised download speed. The majority of ISPs do not give their customers 100% or more of their advertised download speeds.
Spectrum is lauded because it does what the company said it was going to do. Customers do not have to worry about the amount of data they are using or receiving the internet speed they need.
What is Spectrum's Data Limit?
Anyone who spends a lot of time on the internet probably knows the issues caused by data limits. Unfortunately, a lot of these people also found out what happens when they exceed their data limits. Spectrum doesn't have data limits. So, users can enjoy Spotify and YouTube without being concerned about paying overage charges. Customers can feel free to binge watch the last season of their favorite show.
Are Customers Satisfied with Spectrum's Service?
It's probably not surprising that ISPs are not known for having high customer satisfaction rating. The American Customer Service Index conducted a survey of around 43 industries, including telephone and subscription TV services and ISPs, were considered to be the worst of all of the industries. The average score for ISPs was 64 out of 100. That's not a score that the industry should take pride in having.
All ISPs could use some improvement. In the most recent ACSI report, Spectrum scored a 63 out of 100. The assessment of the company's customer service is fair. Spectrum is average when it comes to their customer service. The company isn't that much different from all of the other ones. Here are a few tips to help customers deal with Spectrum.
How to Deal with Spectrum's Customer Service
Spectrum will test the patience of their customers. To keep from becoming overly upset, customers should really not expect too much from the company.
One way to handle customer service is to maintain a calm and friendly approach when speaking with a representative. Customers who were irate noticed that their calls would get mysteriously dropped. Also, use the representative's name when speaking with them. Having basic manners goes a long way and will help customers have a better experience.
It's also a good idea to be slightly empathetic when it comes dealing with Spectrum's customer service representatives. Call customer service when you are in a good mood. This small suggestion will go a long way and make the experience less of a pain.
Also, take notes. Customers should write down who they spoke with and any important details that relate to the service. Ask questions to become more informed, doing so will help customers to remain happy.
The One-Hour Installation Window
All customers want to get specifics on the installation process. While some companies give their customers a window that causes them to block off their entire day, Spectrum does not do this. Spectrum offers a one-hour appointment window. So, customers can be happy to know that their technician will not be more than an hour late. This promise is not the greatest, but it's better than the other ISPs.
Spectrum doesn't charge their customers a lot of fees, has unlimited data, and their internet speeds are as advertised.
Spectrum formed when Charter Spectrum and Time Warner merged. Customers who had service with these companies should ask questions about any service changes. Customers should also ask about the buyout option. Those who qualify may be able to take advantage of the contract buyout option. The buyout option may give customers a little bit of money back.
The quality of internet service that customers receive is affected by location. It's important that customers know the price they will pay for the first year. It's just as important that customers understand that the first year's price is the discount price. Know what the pricing increase will be after the second year. Spectrum does not require people to sign a contract. So, it's important to set a reminder before the discount expires to try to negotiate a different rate. The best way to accomplish this is to contact customer service with an offer from one of Spectrum's competitors. Customers should mention that they are going to leave Spectrum for another ISP. Because the company doesn't want to lose customers, this negotiating tactic may result in getting a lower price.
FAQs About Spectrum
What is the cost of internet with Spectrum?
The cost of Spectrum's internet service really depends on where the customer lives. The average price that is quoted is $44.95 a month. This price is only for the first year of service. Customers should contact Spectrum for an exact price. However, expect the customer service representatives to deliver a sales pitch. They will try to upsell Spectrum's phone and telephone services.
What is Spectrum TV?
Spectrum TV is similar to other cable television services. The plan has hundreds of channels, customers can access on-demand programming, DVR, and a host of other features.
What is the price of Spectrum internet when the discount ends?
There really isn't one answer to the question. The pricing varies from one customer to the next because the pricing is based on where the customer lives. Some customers saw their internet-only bill increase by $15 when the first-year discount ended. It's important for Spectrum customers to realize that the price will increase every year. Calling to renegotiate a lower price may be one way for customers to prevent a price increase.
Charter Communications, Charter Spectrum, Charter Spectrum TV, Charter Spectrum TV Select, Charter Spectrum TV Silver, Charter Spectrum TV Gold, Charter Spectrum Internet, Charter Spectrum Internet Ultra 100, Charter Spectrum Voice, Charter Spectrum Double Play, & Charter Spectrum Triple Play are trademarks or registered trademarks of Charter Communications.
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