Internet access is a human right -- a necessity in today's world and yet Internet Service Providers (ISPs) feel they have carte blanche to raise our rates all the while offering no guarantees of speeds, limited high-speed service options, poor customer service and sub par performance. When we call in protest, customer service agents are at best cold and dismissive.
On Feb. 1, 2020, Altice rolled out their newest rate hike and basic level internet is now in excess of $90 per month.
Enough is Enough! Today we call on our elected officials to officially recognize internet access as a fundamental human right and ask for appropriate regulation that protects consumers from rising costs and poor service.
I am -- without an alternative option -- an Altice Optimum 100 Internet subscriber. My community in Stratford, CT has no other comparable options for high-speed internet access. Optimum 100 customer bills were increased from $67.45 to $93.49 (up 38.6%) and with only a promise to do their best to offer the "SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE".
If you’re like me you likely contacted customer service and/or opened a live chat dialogue to ask, "Why such a huge increase and what can be done to lower my bill?" And the customer service agent likely responded to you as they had to me. As if reading from a script the conversation went like this:
- An increase announcement was included in your last bill as a notice.
- This isn't only happening to you this is an increase for all customers.
- The reason for the price increase is because our partner services costs, contract costs, and the cable networks costs have all gone up. (They are passing cable network costs off to their internet customers)
- I reminded the agent that I am an Internet-only customer and not paying for cable service products so increasing cable contract costs should not apply to me or my service rate. Agent response: I understand. (No, I don't think you do!)
- Agents final words, "There are currently no discounts available to you at this time."
If you opened a Live Chat as I also did it likely went much the same as the phone call. This agent I had at least attempted to offer some assistance:
- You can enroll in auto pay and get a $5 discount each month.
- Contact Customer Care and ask about bundling discounts. (I only want internet because it's what I need.)
On Bundling Discounts: These "Discounts" are the biggest bag of sand there is. They make us pay for more services in order to "save" money. In the end we pay more money for services we don't want and certainly don't need -- all this so the Service Providers can pad their subscriber numbers and their wallets.
After looking around Altice/Optimum website, at the mailers I've received over the last several months, and speaking to customer service, it has become apparent that Altice is attempting to entice customers to bundle their plans with Altice Mobile their nationwide mobile phone service launched in September 2019. Bundle or not Altice is raising prices on all their services to increase capital for yet another service many of us would otherwise choose not to buy from them.
Internet Service Providers know that we are powerless when we are divided. It's time we stand united. Sign this petition and call on our elected officials to regulate ISPs, protect our interests and secure our rights!