Cleveland — When we aired our story about Spectrum price increases Wednesday at 6 p.m., social media exploded across the country, with complaints from viewers who had their own billing issues.
After some more digging into the issue we discovered an interesting combination of capitalism and competition,or lack of it. Which is rarely good for consumers.
But some customers have found a way around it.
Comments came pouring in, like "our bill is higher than our house payment" and "I pay $250 a month and I don't even have a landline."
Thousands reached out after our story on the surges in Spectrum bills happened after the company took over Time Warner Cable and the promotional rates they had with them expired.
"They told me there was literally nothing I could do to lower that price," said Sylvia Goldsmith.
Her Spectrum bill went from $110 to $140 to $150 over three months. And in one of those months they even gave her a discount.
"Really the only option they gave me is reducing the entire service to 10 channels," she told us.
Spectrum sent me a statement about these increases which read in part, “All of our customers will receive bills with the Spectrum name on them, but not all customers are in Spectrum packages. I would encourage customers to inquire about Spectrum packages, which may differ from their old TWC packages.”
They also listed better and cheaper features than those offered by Time Warner, like 100% digital service, no modem costs, lower prices for receivers and no contracts.
But many who called said, that's not what they heard, even when they asked about cutting services.
"They said no, my bill would go up if I got rid of phone service because it's a bundled package," Sylvia explained.
A number of you found ways around it like Maya who said “A lot of the channels you can download an app for on the ROKU”, and Mickie who says she just uses “an antenna for local channels.”
Only problem is many still need their internet, and viewers told us when they lose the other services, their internet bills blow up.
“They clearly don't care about customers' satisfaction or what's fair to us,” said Sylvia.
The Department of Commerce, which regulates cable providers, says companies have to notify customers of rate increases at least 30 days in advance. If you can prove they didn't, they want you to file a complaint with them.
Ohio Department of Commerce, Office of Consumer Affairs: 1-866-278-0003
Tips for getting lower internet costs when you cut the cord: