LIMA — With the threat of dramatically higher network prices, Time Warner Cable has reached out to its customers for help.
The launch of a Web site called Roll Over or Get Tough on Nov. 27 is giving Time Warner consumers the opportunity to elicit change.
Pat McCauley, communications manager at Time Warner, said cable companies have to pay for the programming they provide to customers.
“We have contracts, and when they expire we have to negotiate the prices again,” McCauley said. “They are asking for big price increases, some up to 300 percent more than what we were paying.”
McCauley said Time Warner is asking customers if they should “roll over” with potential price increases, or if Time Warner should “get tough” and say no.
“They can’t hold customers hostage,” McCauley said. “The response (from customers) has been pretty positive. The overwhelming response is to get tough.”
Kenny Barker, an Alger resident and former Time Warner customer, said he switched to DirecTV because of the high rates, and he thinks Time Warner should rally against these price hikes.
“Anytime they can fight rates, they should. They better do what they can, especially with how the economy is,” Barker said.
Time Warner customers received an email in mid-December explaining potential bill increases and introducing the Web site.
Shannon Albee, Delphos resident and current Time Warner customer, said she appreciates the email and has made her decision.
“They should stand up and fight it,” Albee said.
Albee said it’s a good idea to gather customers’ opinions, but she doesn’t think opinions will matter in the long run.
McCauley said the Lima area will be affected by negotiations with the Fox network. A slew of programs could be affected — FX, Speed Channel, Fuel, Fox Sports Espanol, Fox Reality and Fox Soccer.
One reason McCauley said networks are asking for larger price increases is because their advertisement revenue is struggling.
“They want to charge more to cable companies to make up for that,” McCauley said. “They can’t hold them (consumers) over a barrel.”
McCauley said Time Warner is continuing talks.
“We’ve had to do around-the-clock negotiating before and hope to have a resolution by Dec. 31,” McCauley said.
McCauley said, if necessary, customers will be alerted about where to find the programming in other places, such as www.hulu.com, www.youtube.com and network affiliate Web sites.
To express your opinion, visit www.rolloverorgettough.com.