dnoyeB and pflog:
I think you're both basically correct. Their management and customer retention philosophy is a joke. It amounts to: sucker them in with great sign-up rates, then increase the annual billing over a period of years with only modest increases in speed every few years apart... and when they get fed up, let them leave because you have a cable monopoly in every market you serve.
Proof of this is the multitudes of people (many who post here), who simply get fed up, cancel service, wait a while, and sign up again to get the lower rate and start at "ground zero" for the "fee escalation game". Maybe I'll do that and let you all know how it goes. Might as well try to game them back.
(That part is the government's fault, just like it's their fault for allowing price fixing schemes among cellular data plans... oh I must be crazy for complaining about that too. I'm just the paying customer is all. lol)