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Oblivious1

join:2003-04-25

3 edits

[RANT] Mediacom Now Req's 2-Yr Contract

I did a search on this forum and was a little surprised that there haven't been any threads on this yet. According to the Mediacom website, effective 07/22/10 special pricing offers extended to new customers now require a 2-year contract. And as expected, there's a nasty ETF attached.

The exact text from the website (LINK):

quote:
The Mediacom Value Plans offer discounted services for a 24 month period. In order to receive the special monthly rates for the Digital Star Package and/or Mediacom Online you must agree to keep the service for two years beginning on the date of installation, according to the schedule listed below.

After the contract period is over, the discounted rate will revert to the standard Mediacom rates in the local area. If you disconnect and fail to keep the service(s) for the length of this agreement you will be subject to an early termination fee (ETF) of up to $240.00. The ETF will be reduced by $30 every three months for the life of the 24-month contract. For example, if you disconnect services from 31 to 90 days after installation the ETF will be $240, and if you disconnect between days 91 and 180, the ETF will be $210, until the ETF goes away when the two-year agreement ends.
Naturally, the special pricing jumps up after the 1st year, keeping the customer locked in at a higher rate unless they pay the ETF. And also of note, from the fine print:
quote:
During the term of your promotional offer, if Mediacom raises the rates for our product offerings Mediacom also reserves the right to pass along those same rate increases to you.
Nice to know that Mediacom can boost your "contracted" price anytime they like, but if you don't like the service you're stuck with the ETF.

Being as "no contracts" used to be an advantage touted by the cable companies over satellite service, this is a big step in the wrong direction, IMO.

Turbocpe
Premium
join:2001-12-22
IA

said by Oblivious1:

quote:
During the term of your promotional offer, if Mediacom raises the rates for our product offerings Mediacom also reserves the right to pass along those same rate increases to you.
With the above in mind, what exactly is the purpose of a contract at that point?

k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1

said by Turbocpe:

With the above in mind, what exactly is the purpose of a contract at that point?
The point of the contract is to keep you as a customer for at least two years, and if not, to still get money from you by the termination fee. In other words, Mediacom is looking for a steady flow of income.

Turbocpe
Premium
join:2001-12-22
IA

said by k9iua6:

said by Turbocpe:

With the above in mind, what exactly is the purpose of a contract at that point?
The point of the contract is to keep you as a customer for at least two years, and if not, to still get money from you by the termination fee. In other words, Mediacom is looking for a steady flow of income.
Forgive me, I was actually thinking as customer!!

Being a Mediacom subscriber for years, and paying the regular price while watching others swing back and forth to get promo rates, I can understand some of this. However, with the above clause in the contract, it seems there is very little benefit if Mediacom can raise your rates and apply an ETF.


Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2
reply to Oblivious1

2 year contracts will give you the best price, 1 year contract will give you a smaller discount. No contract option is available but it's a lot more expensive.
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.


thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1
reply to Oblivious1

so. let me get this straight, i can go with one of the sats, get a 2 year contract, but during the 1st year they wont raise my rates. after the 1st year i then pay the standard rate..

but with mediacom during that same first year if their rates go up by say $25 they can pass that increase on to me in addition to rasing my rates after the 1st year..

so the benifit of going with mediacom over one of the sat's is now, well, none. the point of a contract is locked in price for atleast that first year. mediacom just got rid of that.

nice to know. wonder if theyd try to put me in to a contract if i called to cancel and they offered me a lower rate. i bet they do. and i bet i walk.



OldCableGuy1

@communications.net
reply to Oblivious1

Um, yeah. Contracts on a franchised utility? Now I've heard it all!

Seriously though, don't make me laugh. Go ahead and "sign" their contract, 99% of the franchise boards would never let that fly. I know for a fact that contracts are unenforceable in Cedar Rapids. I'd almost enjoy the opportunity to sign up just to break their "contact" and then issue a press release explaining how to do it for others.



Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2

said by OldCableGuy1 :

Um, yeah. Contracts on a franchised utility? Now I've heard it all!

Seriously though, don't make me laugh. Go ahead and "sign" their contract, 99% of the franchise boards would never let that fly. I know for a fact that contracts are unenforceable in Cedar Rapids. I'd almost enjoy the opportunity to sign up just to break their "contact" and then issue a press release explaining how to do it for others.
I assumed something must have changed. AFAIK no contracts were allowed but here we are...
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.


Anynonmouse

@mchsi.com
reply to OldCableGuy1

My son needs out of his 1 year contract after 9 months. How do you get out of it?


k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1

said by Anynonmouse :

My son needs out of his 1 year contract after 9 months. How do you get out of it?
One way is to just do it, contacting Mediacom and paying whatever cancellation fee is needed. But I doubt that is what OldCableGuy1 has in mind, nor what you and and your son are seeking.


IowaMan
Premium
join:2008-08-21
Grinnell, IA
Reviews:
·Mediacom

So, In a Year if I want the $24.95 Digital Cable and $24.95 12Mb Internet ONLY I have to sign a contract?
I'm not talking about the Digital Star Package/Online for $79.90

I'm talking about the V.I.P plan with out the phone service or the upgraded Internet


k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1

1 edit

said by IowaMan:

So, In a Year if I want the $24.95 Digital Cable and $24.95 12Mb Internet ONLY I have to sign a contract?
I'm not talking about the Digital Star Package/Online for $79.90

I'm talking about the V.I.P plan with out the phone service or the upgraded Internet
I don't know about the specific prices you seek, or combination of services, but all the OP is indicating is that if you want a service from Mediacom at anything by paying other than full price, then it appears from now on out that you are likely going to need to sign into either a one-year or two-year contract to get that starting price. That is assuming, in the meantime, that the other poster is correct and consumer contracts on franchised utility agreements in Iowa aren't deemed illegal.


OldCableGuy1

@mchsi.com
reply to Oblivious1

No, Mediacom always "offered" contracts. Even when I worked there back in 98-03 if you did the Dish buyback thing you would sign a "contract". They paid whatever your dish termination fee was. But the contracts were unenforceable. I knew tons of people who switched to Mediacom for a month to get out of their dish contract then dropped it.

To the person asking, call your franchise authority, the phone # is on every single one of your bills, and tell them Mediacom is trying to lock you in to a contract and you have heard that many franchises actually care about the customers they service and don't allow it. Even if they don't have it written directly into the franchise agreement, the MSOs don't like upsetting the franchise boards, so they will usually let you go to keep things hunky-dory.

Remember franchise boards are supposed to be made up of paying customers like you and therefore they don't want to be locked in to a contract any more than you do.


thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

HA! last i checked my "franchise authority" is the mayor! not a board. that would be fun.

as for getting out of your contract, have them fire you. just call them 5 times a day every day to fix what ever problem there is. sooner or later theyl get tired of it and "fire the customer"



IowaMan
Premium
join:2008-08-21
Grinnell, IA

1 edit
reply to k9iua6

I'm trying to find an answer for everyone regarding the legalities of this in Iowa.

EDIT
I'll ask my friend who is a lawyer.


SunnyD

join:2009-03-20
Madison, AL
reply to Oblivious1

Contracts are meant to be negotiated and modified. If you don't like the wording of the contract, modify it before signing it. Sure, the other party has to accept your modifications, but once it's on paper, it's the "law" so to speak.


JTech

join:2001-11-13
Springfield, MO
reply to Oblivious1

Funny thing is contracts like this are completely useless if your like us and your credit is already in the dump. UI just tell them to join the already large crowd of folks who want money from us. Just finished telling dish just this.



stock

@mchsi.com
reply to Oblivious1

I don't see it as that big of a deal, of course I as an existing customer was offered a new customer deal of $29.95 per month for internet/TV for a year and right now I pay almost that much for internet alone. Supposedly I get an HD box included for the HDTV with no extra fee too, and after 12 months it only goes up $20 per month. That's still much better then I have been getting.. I'll take $80-90 for both cable and internet... usually it ends up being well over $100.


thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1

"no extra fee" huh? last i checked theres a "digital gateway" fee for that box. if its the same "deal" they gave me when i got "VIP" 2 years ago that doubled on me after the 12 months. no thanks.

now had it only went up $20 sure id have kept it.



stock

@mchsi.com
reply to Oblivious1

they went though the whole contract thing with me over the phone via recording. Specified it would be $59.90 the first year and 79.90 the second year, and I made sure to mention the fact they offered a free HD box with the deal... they're coming next tuesday to set it up.

The guy who called was out of Iowa somewhere and they said they can offer better deals then what is offered locally in the small towns that have the small mediacom places... kind of like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

Guy had to clear it with his female supervisor or something like that too.. I was pleased to get that deal. But yeah, the first time around when I had the deal, it went up significantly after the first 6 months I think, back up to regular price. They appear to be trying to compete more directly with dish and directv, making sure the deal we can get on combined services is better then trying to just get the internet with them, and get the cable from dish/directv.